Our objective was to determine the survival and prognostic factors of motor neuron disease (MND) in a multi-ethnic cohort of Malaysian patients. All patients seen at a university medical centre between January 2000 and December 2009 had their case records reviewed for demographic, clinical and follow-up data. Mortality data, if unavailable from records, were obtained by telephone interview of relatives or from the national mortality registry. Of the 73 patients, 64.4% were Chinese, 19.2% Malays and 16.4% Indians. Male: female ratio was 1.43: 1. Mean age at onset was 51.5 + 11.3 years. Onset was spinal in 75.3% and bulbar in 24.7% of the patients; 94.5% were ALS and 5.5% were progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). Overall median survival was 44.9 + 5.8 months. Ethnic Indians had shorter interval from symptom onset to diagnosis and shorter median survival compared to non-Indians. On Cox proportional hazards analysis, poor prognostic factors were bulbar onset, shorter interval from symptom onset to diagnosis and worse functional score at presentation. In conclusion, age of onset and median survival duration are similar to previous reports in Asians. Clinical features and prognostic factors are similar to other populations. In our cohort, ethnic Indians had more rapid disease course accounting for their shorter survival.