Besides having accents and reinventing their names, Malaysian people also display facets of their character with their choice of automobile. For Malaysian people, a Japanese car will convey all the things they'd like people to think about them: stylish but pragmatic, rich but not a show off and worldly, but still Asian at heart.
Japanese car manufacturers love Malaysia because they could pretty much stick one of their logos on a cardboard box with wheels and it would sell like hot cakes. It would not be an exaggeration to say that you could fit any demographic with a Japanese car. Yuppie sedan, family SUV, speed junkie souped-up sports car. They covered most of the bases so Malaysians can feel unique, but still under a homogenous Japanese consumerist umbrella.
No, it is not contradictory that Malaysians want to feel special but own the same car as everyone else. It's just that their sense of good taste is contagious. Nothing says you've worked your middle class ass off in a corporate drone job with mediocre pay more than an overpriced Japanese vehicle which will last you until the new version is released.
Owning a Japanese car is part and parcel of a Malaysian person's development. Much like bandwagonning or complaining and comparing Toyota to Honda. There are some Malaysian people who even go the whole nine yards in expressing how Malaysian they are, by driving their Japanese vehicle with one hand and complaining on their cell with another as they arrive late for an appointment at IKEA and proceed to double park. Incredible!
If you're wondering how you can use this information for your personal benefit, it's quite simple. The next time you're attending an event or a gathering, ask the owner of a Japanese car if you could take theirs, considering yours isn't fuel economic and that you feel insecure driving it. Presto, a free ride!
Note: You should never imply it is redundant to drive a Japanese sports car in a country whose speed limit is 110mph. They know this, but it was not a factor in the purchase decision.