Malaysia often flies by the radar of most travelers, choosing the savvy Thailand to the North or the vast jungle archipelago of Indonesia to the South. If Malaysia gets noticed, it is typically by those traveling between the two.
Malaysia is a bit of an anomaly in Asia. Whereas most countries are developing, Malaysia seems properly developed. Europe has been pumping money into the nation because of the important stopover port of Malacca for hundreds of years. Therefore, it lacks the "authentic" seeming charm that most come to expect from Asian countries. If you look past this, accept it as a developed country, it is quite nice. At first, I admit, I found it a bit boring; I didn't come to Asia for such a "Western" place (I really don't mean to imply that Malaysia is Western). When I returned for my second trip to visit Jacky in KL, I was pleasantly surprised.
It is clean, the roads make sense, the people follow the rules, for a place whose slogan is "Truly Asia", it seemed anything but Asian. But, if you crack through, it's about as uber-Asian as a country can get.
It is a melange of cultures. Chinese, Indians, Malays, and the native tribes all mingle with each other in harmony, for the most part, but with surprisingly little fusion. With a stop at any food court, one can buy authentic dishes from many food traditions.
The official language is Malay, but with so many cultures tossed together, each with their own language, walking around can sound quite confusing; as a bi-product of the years of British occupation, the nation's second language is English, which everyone speaks. I found myself hearing two Malays at a store speaking to each other in English. It's not out of the ordinary to hear people alternate English and Chinese within a single sentence.
This multiculturalism also leads to a general friendliness and acceptance of all ethinicities and nationalities. Unlike every other place in Asia, I met no hassles, no stares. I was just another foreigner in a country comprised of foreigners; it reminded me of the United States in that way.
The only racial problems seem to come politically. The nation is ran by an Islamic government, and all positions of power belong to the Muslim Malays. They also get special concessions, including cheaper houses, which is unfair to the other ethnic groups of the nation, who only in the country for a couple of generations are still Malaysians. The Chinese, typically shrewd at business control most of the money; the Hindus clean up the messes and sell Roti Cani. Despite this, the racial tension seems to be low.
Overall, Malaysia seemed to be a pleasant country in which to live, though a bit boring as a tourist destination. It was green, clean, forested; the government is quite obviously conservation minded. I liked it quite a bit, though I did come to visit a friend, which often yields different perceptions of places. Give Malaysia a chance before accusing it of having no culture or no unique national identity. Much like the US, you just have to look a bit deeper. It has a unique charm; it's just a bit subdued.