Climate change is a global issue posing threats to the human population and water systems. As Malaysia experiences a tropical climate with intense rainfall occurring throughout the year, accurate rainfall simulations are particularly important to provide information for climate change assessment and hydrological modelling. An artificial intelligence-based hybrid model, the bootstrap aggregated classification tree–artificial neural network (BACT-ANN) model, was proposed for simulating rainfall occurrences and amounts over the Langat River Basin, Malaysia. The performance of this proposed BACT-ANN model was evaluated and compared with the stochastic non-homogeneous hidden Markov model (NHMM). The observed daily rainfall series for the years 1975–2012 at four rainfall stations have been selected. It was found that the BACT-ANN model performed better however, with slight underproductions of the wet spell lengths. The BACT-ANN model scored better for the probability of detection (POD), false alarm rate (FAR) and the Heidke skill score (HSS). The NHMM model tended to overpredict the rainfall occurrence while being less capable with the statistical measures such as distribution, equality, variance and statistical correlations of rainfall amount. Overall, the BACT-ANN model was considered the more effective tool for the purpose of simulating the rainfall characteristics in Langat River Basin.