McLaren claimed a front row lock-out for a second weekend in a row, with Lewis Hamilton qualifying on pole position a tenth ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.
Michael Schumacher gave another strong performance in a frantic qualifying session at the Sepang circuit which saw the German put his Mercedes AMG in third position, the highest grid place since returning to F1 in 2010.
Red Bull are yet to show the dominating performance that we have become used to in recent years, with Mark Webber qualifying in fourth and team-mate Sebastian Vettel could only manage fifth. However, the German opted for the hard compound tyres which could give him a tactical edge in tomorrow's race.
Kimi Räikkönen had posted the fifth fastest time, but was relegated five places due to changing his gearbox during practice on Friday, pushing the Finn down to tenth. Team-mate Romain Grosjean qualified in seventh.
The Lotus is looking strong again this weekend after showing good pace in Australia last weekend, and Räikkönen posted the fastest time in the second qualifying session in Malaysia.
Qualifying was incredibly close at the top, with just four tenths of a second covering the top eight drivers.
It was another disappointing day for Ferrari as the drivers and team continue to battle with an under-performing car. Fernando Alonso will start the race in ninth after suffering problems with his KERS towards the end of the session.
Team-mate Massa fared even worse, only managing to qualify in twelfth and therefore failing to make it into the third qualifying session.
Paul di Resta claimed fourteenth place in his Force India, while the sister car of Nico Hulkenberg will start in sixteenth.
For the first time this season, all 24 cars qualified within 107 percent of the fastest time, which will see the HRT team start their first race of the 2012 season, having missed the cut in Australia last weekend.
The full results are as follows:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.219s + 0.149 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.368s + 0.172 3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m36.391s + 0.242 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.461s + 0.415 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m36.461s + 0.439 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m36.634s + 0.445 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.658s + 1.347 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.664s + 1.479 9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.566s + 0.242 10. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.698s + 1.370 Q2 cut-off time: 1m37.477s Gap ** 11. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m37.589s + 0.874 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.731s + 1.016 13. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m37.841s + 1.126 14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.877s + 1.162 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.883s + 1.168 16. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m37.890s + 1.175 17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.069s + 1.354 Q1 cut-off time: 1m38.437s Gap * 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.077s + 1.905 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m39.306s + 2.134 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m39.567s + 2.395 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.903s + 3.731 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.250s + 4.078 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.914s + 5.742 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m43.655s + 6.483
The race starts at 8am GMT tomorrow morning.