They are going to use a Big Brother style competition to select the astronaut once they have whittled the 11,000 applicants down to a handful.
Malaysia's science minister plans to make the country's space programme a truly interactive experience.
Members of the public will be able to choose the country's first astronaut from a shortlist and vote by text message, said Jamaluddin Jarjis.
Malaysia is due to take part in a Russian-led mission in 2007.
Having seen the enthusiasm with which people vote in TV talent competitions, the government is to apply the principle to the space programme.
Once its 11,000 would-be astronauts have been whittled down to a handful, their details and updates on their progress will be posted on the internet.
Then, the public will be able to make their choice by telephone text message and Malaysia's space bosses will factor the votes into their final decision.
If the contest proves popular and the government charges for the votes, it may even be able to cover the cost of its space programme.
Channel 10 must make some serious money from the voting in Aus Idol and Big Brother and that is just voting for some no-name (generally) talentless hacks and bogans in a cage. Malaysia's population is slightly larger than Australia, tie that in with the national pride of having their first astronaut, and you have a massive cash cow.