Abstract Basaltic dykes of Peninsular Malaysia are confined to the Eastern Belt (Indochina/East Malaya block) as compared with the Western Belt (Sibumasu Block). The dyke intruded through a crustal fracture formed by stress developed from the evolution of two offshore basins (Malay and Penyu basins) east of Peninsular Malaysia. The Ar–Ar dating from the present study combined with the previous geochronological data indicate that the ages of dykes range from 79±2Ma to 179±2Ma. Thus it is difficult to correlate the dykes with the closure of Tethys during Permo-Triassic time because of the younger age of the dykes. The majority of the dykes exposed in the Eastern Belt may have been attributed to the difference of crustal thickness between the Eastern and Western belt of Peninsular Malaysia. A thicker Western Belt crust (13km more than both Eastern and Central belts) is difficult to rupture with normal plate tectonic stress and therefore serves to contain the rise of a mantle derived melt. The chemistry indicates the basalts are olivine to quartz normative and are of the continental within-plate category.