Time in Malaysia

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Malaysian Standard Time (MST; Malay : Waktu Piawai Malaysia, WPM) or Malaysian Time (MYT) is the standard time used in Malaysia. It is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). [1] The local mean time in Kuala Lumpur was originally GMT+06:46:46. Peninsular Malaysia used this local mean time until 1 January 1901, when they changed to Singapore mean time GMT+06:55:25. Between the end of the Second World War and the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, it was known as British Malayan Standard Time, which was GMT+07:30. At 2330 hrs local time of 31 December 1981, people in Peninsular Malaysia adjusted their clocks and watches ahead by 30 minutes to become 00:00 hours local time of 1 January 1982, to match the time in use in East Malaysia, which is UTC+08:00. SGT (Singapore) followed on and uses the same until now.



Time in Peninsular Malaysia

Period in useTime offset from GMT Name of Time (unofficial)
Prior to 1 January 1901GMT+06:46:46British Malayan Mean Time
1 January 1901 – 31 May 1905GMT+06:55:25Singapore Mean Time
1 June 1905 – 31 December 1932GMT+07:00Standard Zone Time
1 January 1933 – 31 August 1941GMT+07:20 Daylight Standard Time
1 September 1941 – 15 February 1942GMT+07:30 Daylight Standard Time
16 February 1942 – 11 September 1945GMT+09:00 Tokyo Standard Time
12 September 1945 – 31 December 1981GMT+07:30 Daylight Standard Time /Malaya Standard Time
1 January 1982 – presentUTC+08:00Malaysia Standard Time

Time in East Malaysia

Period in useTime offset from GMTName of Time (unofficial)
Prior to 1 March 1926GMT+07:21:20 Kuching Mean Time
1 March 1926 – 31 December 1932GMT+07:30 North Borneo Standard Time & Sarawak Standard Time
1 January 1933 - 15 February 1942GMT+08:00 North Borneo & Sarawak Standard Time
16 February 1942 – 11 September 1945GMT+09:00 Tokyo Standard Time
12 September 1945 – 31 December 1981GMT+08:00North Borneo/Sabah Standard Time and Sarawak Standard Time
1 January 1982 – presentUTC+08:00Malaysia Standard Time

Standardisation of time in Malaysia

The Malaysian government declared that people in Peninsular Malaysia would move their clocks ahead by 30 minutes to match the time in use in East Malaysia (UTC+08:00) on 31 December 1981. However, many found this to be awkward, as most of the population (roughly 80%) live in Peninsular Malaysia rather than in East Malaysia (on Borneo). The time was switched on 1 January 1982 at 00:00 (old time) to 00:30 (new time).


On 1 January 1990, the Malaysian Cabinet appointed the National Metrology Laboratory (Sirim) as the official timekeeper of Malaysia. It propagates coordinated universal time plus 8 hours. This timescale is derived from five atomic clocks maintained by Sirim and is always within 0.9 seconds of the legal time.

IANA time zone database

The IANA time zone database contains two zones for Malaysia in the file zone.tab:

c.c.*coordinates*TZ*comments* UTC offset UTC offset DSTNotes
MY +0310+10142 Asia/Kuala_Lumpur Malaysia (peninsula) +08:00
MY +0133+11020 Asia/Kuching Sabah, Sarawak +08:00

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  1. Commissioner of Law Revision (1 January 1982). "Malaysian Standard Time Act 1981" (PDF). Retrieved 11 September 2020.