Bouncing back from their earlier loss to Great Britain, India played a brisk game in a fast-paced encounter and led from the start, but had to ward off Malaysia's determined fightback.
But the highlight of the day was title favourites Great Britain's 2-3 shocking defeat at the hands of Argentina which completely opened up the tournament.
New Zealand still leads the standings with nine points from three successive wins, while both Argentina and India lie second with six points from four matches each.
Against Malaysia, India's defence faced some anxious moments early on as goalkeeper Bharat Chetri first came out to block a shot from Tengku Ahmad in the second minute and then blocked a penalty corner shot by Shahrun Nabil in the sixth minute.
Two minutes later, young Malaysian striker Faisal Saari missed a sitter by flicking wide of an open goal after his initial push rebounded off the Indian custodian's pads.
After the initial burst, Malaysia was at the receiving end as India produced two goals in the space of two minutes to take charge of the game. Danish Mujtaba deflected in Sarvanjit Singh's shot into the boards in the 10th minute and then Shivendra Singh sent a scorching grounder into the boards from top of the circle in the next minute.