Moving to Malaysia
Malaysia is an ideal destination for expats considering moving to Asia. Traditionally a country reliant on resource exports, Malaysia is beginning to expand its economy in areas such as science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism, resulting in an increase in expat employment opportunities.
The country consists of two different geographical regions separated by the South China Sea – mainland Peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia (the Sarawak and Sabah region of Borneo Island and 13 diverse states).
With a vast mix of cultures and nationalities, Malaysia offers expats a lifestyle replete with first-world comforts and conveniences, while still allowing for a sense of adventure through its easily-accessible jungles and island getaways.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital and largest city in Malaysia, is the financial, cultural and economic centre of the country, and a major hub for international air travel. Among the skyscrapers and Dutch architecture, KL, as it is commonly known, is packed with luxury shopping malls, quality restaurants and colourful markets. It is a melting pot of cultures and offers expats an energetic lifestyle.
Travel within Malaysia is generally cheap and easy, particularly within Peninsula Malaysia. The country has an extensive road and rail network and taxis are easy to come by in the larger cities. East Malaysia is slightly less developed when compared to the mainland.
Malaysia has an affordable public healthcare system with a high standard of medical care. There are also a number of top-quality private facilities available. Additionally, Kuala Lumpur offers a range of great international schools that hold their own against neighbouring Singapore’s top-quality list.
Another key benefit to the expat lifestyle in Malaysia is the exceptional cuisine, which reflects the variety of ethnic groups present in the country, as well its colonial heritage. The biggest influences come from Chinese and Indian immigrants.
Although separated into two distinct parts, Malaysia’s landscape and climate are fairly similar. The country has an equatorial climate, with the southwest monsoon from April to October and the northeast monsoon from October to February. There is a dry season from June to October, when burning is conducted in many parts of the country, which can lead to heavy pollution; something expats with respiratory problems may wish to consider.
Malaysia is an exciting expat destination, but not without its challenges and differences. The myriad of cultures and immigrants make it a place both foreign and yet easy to adjust to. With wonderful beaches, jungle hideaways and serene tea plantations, it’s easy to take a break from the city bustle over weekends.
Malaysia is a stable country, eager to attract foreign businesses and investors, ensuring a warm reception for expats choosing it as their new home.