Keeping in Touch in Malaysia
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The Malaysian government is actively trying to increase the number of internet users in the country. As such, there have been large investments in fibre optic connectivity and wireless zones.
There are a number of service providers offering competitive rates, making it easy to connect with friends and family across the globe. Malaysia also has a number of companies offering cheap call cards so phoning home is also an option for expats.
Text messages and phone calls within Malaysia are reasonably priced, and it’s relatively simple to set up either a cellular telephone or internet connection. There are also many WiFi hotspots across big cities such as Kuala Lumpur.
Internet in Malaysia
Internet technology in Malaysia has improved over the last few years. However, it is still considerably slower than what expats may be used to in their home countries. In Kuala Lumpur, internet connectivity is good, but outside of major cities, the infrastructure is lacking considerably. Dial-up connections are predominantly more widespread in areas outside of the major cities, while ADSL and wireless internet services are common in major cities.
Internet cafés, restaurants and coffee shops do provide wireless internet access, but this is usually only in larger cities.
The most prominent providers include TM Streamyx, which belongs to Telekom Malaysia, Celcom and Maxis.
Censorship in Malaysia is a growing issue, as many movies and websites have been blocked due to their subject matter contravening the Malaysian morality laws. Websites criticising the Malaysian Government have been blocked, as well as many file-sharing websites. News sites like the BBC and Al Jazeera have also been censored at times for their depiction of events in Malaysia. Expats should note that pornography of any kind is strictly banned in Malaysia.
Mobile phones in Malaysia
Mobiles, or "handphones" as they are referred to in Malaysia, are available from a wide range of providers. Expats can use their cellphones from their home country, and just sign up for a local sim.
Mobile service providers offer competitive rates due to the number of rivals that exist in Malaysia. Expats should shop around to find the best offers and deals. Customers can sign up for pre-paid or post-paid mobile services. Both are easily available and require little paperwork.
Landline telephones in Malaysia
Telekom Malaysia (TM) holds the monopoly on the fixed-line network in Malaysia. With highly advanced infrastructure, expats should have no problems keeping in touch. Expats will need to visit one of the TM offices, and are required to pay a deposit.
English media and news in Malaysia
English media is readily available in Malaysia. Daily newspapers include Business Times, The Edge, Malay Mail and New Straits Times. There are a number of other English newspapers and magazines available in Malaysia, and it also isn't difficult to find imported publications.