Marc Warren took advantage of favourable early-morning weather to claim a two-shot lead at the Maybank Championship.
Teeing off in still conditions at the Saujana Golf and Country Club, the Scot capitalised as picked up six shots on his outward nine and added three birdies after the turn to sign for a flawless nine-under-par 63.
The last of Warren's three European Tour wins came in August 2014 and only a late-season surge in form prevented him from losing his tour card in 2016.
After missing the cut with an inconsistent display in Dubai, Warren - whose nearest rival is Phachara Khongwatmai - was pleased to tighten up his game a week on.
"Obviously it was good, it was a good tee-time nice and early before the wind picks up," he said.
"I got off to a really nice start, six under for the first nine holes. Once the wind picked up on the back nine it was just a case of staying solid and hitting the greens.
"My iron play was very good and recently I have been making a lot of birdies, but a lot of mistakes as well. It was nice to get around without a bogey.
"Last week I made 11 birdies in two days missed the cut so it's just a matter of trying to keep the positive stuff going, making the birdies, and cutting out the slack stuff."
Thai teenager Khongwatmai sits two strokes off Warren on seven under, with bogey-free Masters champion Danny Willett lurking in a six-strong tie for third place a further stroke behind.
No one born after 1995 has ever won the European Tour.-- The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 9, 2017
Phachara Khongwatmai (-7) was born in 1999. pic.twitter.com/iHWqLGSD9I
Defending champion Marcus Fraser is among a throng of players on two under, while Lee Westwood - a two-time winner in Malaysia - combined a birdie and an eagle with a pair of bogeys and a double to sit well off the pace on one over.