The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that injury will be the second leading cause of morbidity of disease burden worldwide by the year 2020. We conducted a community-based survey to determine the prevalence of recent illness and injury, in Malaysia. The survey was a cross sectional population-based household survey conducted using face to face interviews. The information was on self-reported recent illness and injury (SRRII) over the previous 2 weeks. This study was conducted during April - August 2006 and as a part of the third National Health and Morbidity Survey of Malaysia. A total of 56,710 respondents were interviewed with a response rate of 98.2% (55,660/56,710). The overall prevalence of combined SRRII was 23.6%; for injuries the prevalence was 3.1%. The groups with the highest SRRII were children 0-5 years old (31.2%), males (24.3%), Indians (26.9%), those with secondary education level (22.9%), those earning RM 1,000/ month (25.0%) and rural dwellers (25.5%). Age, sex, ethnicity, and locality were significantly associated with SRRII while monthly household income and edu- cational level were marginally associated. On multivariate analysis, age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, income and locality were significantly associated with SRRII. The most common reported recent illness was related to the respiratory system (42.0%). The information obtained from this survey is useful to policy mak- ers in the Ministry of Health to review and strengthen existing health programs.