1997 in Malaysia is the fortieth anniversary of Malaysia's independence.
- Yang di-Pertuan Agong: Tuanku Jaafar
- Raja Permaisuri Agong: Tuanku Najihah
- Prime Minister: Dato' Sri Dr Mahathir Mohammad
- Deputy Prime Minister: Dato' Sri Anwar Ibrahim
- Sultan of Johor: Sultan Iskandar
- Sultan of Kedah: Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah
- Sultan of Kelantan: Sultan Ismail Petra
- Raja of Perlis: Tuanku Syed Putra
- Sultan of Perak: Sultan Azlan Shah
- Sultan of Pahang: Sultan Ahmad Shah
- Sultan of Selangor: Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong)
- Sultan of Terengganu: Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah
- Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan: Tengku Naquiddin (Regent)
- Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Penang: Tun Dr Hamdan Sheikh Tahir
- Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Malacca: Tun Syed Ahmad Al-Haj bin Syed Mahmud Shahabuddin
- Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sarawak: Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Mohammed Noor
- Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah: Tun Sakaran Dandai
- 1 January – Petronas Twin Towers (452 metres) become the world's tallest buildings.
- 1 January – Visit Terengganu Year 1997 officially began.
- 1 January – Compulsory self-service at petrol stations in Klang Valley comes into operations for the first time.
- 3 January – Proton Putra, Malaysia's first coupé car is launched.
- 10 January – Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) is established.
- 2 March – The Chairman of DRB Hicom Group, Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad and his wife Puan Sri Rohana Othman were killed in a helicopter crash in Kuala Lipis, Pahang.
- 18 March – The Touch 'n Go Electronic Payment System (EPS) is launched.
- 23 May – M. Magendran (11.55 am) and N. Mohanadas (12.10 pm) were the first Malaysians who reached the peak of Mount Everest.
- May – Dato' Sri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed Acting Prime Minister until August.
- May – Official launching of Cyberjaya by the prime minister Mahathir Mohammad.
- 16 June - 5 July – The FIFA World Youth Championship is held in Malaysia. Argentina wins World Youth Championship after beating Uruguay, 1-2 in the final at Shah Alam Stadium.
- July – Sunway Pyramid, Subang Jaya's new attracttions is officially opened.
- 13 July – Official opening of the Exchange Square, the new headquarters of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE).
- 21 July – Economic crisis in Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) Composite Index fell below 200 points.
- 3 August – A haze occurs in Kuching, Sarawak. A state of emergency is imposed.
- 31 August – The flag of Malaysia is renamed Jalur Gemilang.
- 6 October – The Malaysian Exchange of Securities Dealing & Automated Quotation (MESDAQ) is launched.
- 28 October – The Seventh Non-Aligned Summit Meeting G15 is held in Kuala Lumpur.
Akhlak Mulia Masyarakat Jaya
- 1997 Men's Hockey World Cup Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur
- 16 June - 5 July – FIFA World Youth Championship, Malaysia 1997
- 24 October - Farhanna Qismina, actress
- Ahmad Ezzrin Loy
- Badrul Amin Rusalan
- Fimie Don
- Mohd Syamer Kutty Bin Abba
- Mohd Yusri Bin Mohd Farizat
- Muhamad Rizalul Azuwan Bin Supandri
- Muhammad Danial Amier Bin Norhisham
- Muhammad Danial Asyraf Bin Abdullah
- Muhammad Danish Haziq Bin Saipul Hisham
- Muhammad Jafri Muhammad Firdaus Chew
- Muhammad Nazirul Afif Bin Ibrahim
- Nik Azli Bin Nik Alias
- Thipanraj a/l Subramaniam
- Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad — Chairman of DRB Hicom Group
- Omar Rojik – veteran actors and directors
- Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Abdul Ghani — Melaka chief minister
- Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan — The first Sarawak chief minister