What to do when someone dies in Malaysia? (Non-Muslim)

4 min readApr 15, 2021

By Izumi Inoue, Founder @ Bereev

Photo Credit: Pinterest

When my grandmother passed away, I remember watching as my mother and her siblings scramble to figure out what to do next. While their mother’s body was being prepped by the nurses at SJMC, they were all huddled around by the corridor, calling up relatives and friends who might have an idea on what the next steps are.

I hate for that to happen to my family again or yours. The only silver lining from the entire experience was the fact that it inspired me to start Bereev, Asia’s 1st Death Preparation App.

So let’s get down to the brass tacks of what to do when someone dies in Malaysia. Take note that this guide is meant for Malaysian citizens, the steps for expats and foreigners are slightly different and we’ll cover that in another post very soon.

Step 1: Contact the Nearest Hospital

Assuming that the deceased passed away at home or somewhere other than a hospital, the first thing you need to do is to call or go directly to the nearest hospital (we’ve heard of cases where people reached out to clinics too) to inform them of the death.

Photo Credit: ZDNet

Step 2: Examination of the Body

Either a doctor will come to your house to examine the body or you’ll have to transport the body to the hospital (they’ll assist you with arranging an ambulance). The doctor will then determine the cause of death and issue the death slip.

Photo Credit: Expatica

Step 3: Go to the Nearest Police Station

Once you’ve received the death slip, take it to the nearest police station and they’ll provide you with a burial permit. Without this burial permit, you won’t be able to proceed with burial or cremation.

Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today

Step 4: Pick a Cemetery or Memorial Park

Take both the burial permit and death slip to your preferred cemetery or memorial park. They’ll usually assign a funeral director to guide you through the entire process.

Photo Credit: Nirvana Memorial Park

Step 5: Arrange the Funeral

Pick a funeral service package and purchase either a burial plot or urn niche (for cremated remains) that suits the deceased’s wishes and your budget. You’ll most likely have to pay the full price if these were not purchased in advance (pre-planning).

Photo Credit: Nirvana Memorial Park

Step 6: Register at JPN

Bring the death slip, burial permit, the deceased’s original NRIC and your own NRIC to the nearest National Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) to receive the official death certificate which will be issued within a week.

Keep an eye out for our next guide which will cover the same topic but for Muslims, we’ll also be writing more on what to do after you’ve dealt with the body of the deceased including how to get a probate, how to claim a life insurance policy and more in the coming weeks.

Bereev is a Death Preparation App that helps you prepare yourself and loved ones for your own death. Sign up for your FREE account here.

📝 Plan
Leave instructions for your funeral, financial and personal arrangements.

📂 Vault
Store vital documents like your will, insurance, medical records and more.

💌 Message
Leave messages for your loved ones which will be sent after you’re gone.

👥 Share
Invite the people you trust to view your plan and customise their access.

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