Crime in Malaysia manifests in various forms, including murder, drive by killing, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, black marketeering, and many others. Sex trafficking in Malaysia is a significant problem.
The crime rate in Malaysia showed a decline of 11.9% in 2018 compared to the previous year. However, the public perception of crime did not improve.
According to the Royal Malaysia Police in 2014, the cities and towns with the highest number of criminal cases (in descending order) were Petaling Jaya, Johor Bahru, Bukit Mertajam, Ipoh and Kuantan.
Main article: Human trafficking in Malaysia
Malaysia is a destination, supply and transit point for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are trafficked to Malaysia. Malaysia is a transit country along with Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand in Chinese human trafficking. Women from Malaysia are trafficked into the People's Republic of China. Migrants from countries in the region work as domestic servants and laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors and face exploitative conditions.
Between 2005 and September 2009, more than 36,858 women were arrested for prostitution in Malaysia.
Drug trafficking is a problem, heroin being the primarily used drug. The maximum penalty for drug trafficking is up to death, a measure which was introduced during the 1980s to combat drug offenses, and was highlighted following the 1986 execution of Kevin John Barlow and Brian Geoffrey Chambers.
Violent crime against foreign tourists is less frequent in Malaysia; however, pickpocketing and burglaries are common criminal activities directed against foreigners. Other types of non-violent crime include credit card fraud and motor vehicle theft; there is a high rate of credit card fraud. Scams are a problem in Kuala Lumpur which involve card games and purchase of gold jewellery.
In the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Malaysia had a corruption score of 48 out of 100; Malaysia was ranked 62nd worldwide, similar to Jordan and Cuba, and 3rd in Southeast Asia, behind Singapore (1st in SE Asia, 4th worldwide) and Brunei (2nd in SE Asia, 35th worldwide), and ahead of Vietnam (4th in SE Asia, 87th worldwide), Indonesia (4th in SE Asia, 96th worldwide), Thailand (5th in SE Asia, 110th worldwide) and lastly the Philippines (6th in SE Asia, 117th worldwide).
Transparency International list Malaysia's key corruption challenges as:
On 3 July 2018, former Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), investigating how allegedly RM42 million (US$10.6 million) went from SRC International into Najib's bank account. Police seized 1,400 necklaces, 567 handbags, 423 watches, 2,200 rings, 1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras worth $273 million. On 28 July 2020, the High Court convicted Najib on all seven counts of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust, becoming the first Prime Minister of Malaysia to be convicted of corruption, and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and fined RM210 million.