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Living in Malaysia

Life in Malaysia


The Cost of Living in Malaysia as it is a newly industrialized country. Due to currency depreciation, commodities and housing are cheaper in the country. Its capital city, Kuala Lumpur, has become a shopping destination for clothes, electronics and other consumer goods.

The Malaysian government is providing for the needs of expatriates. Buying new cars or items are not taxed including the ones brought from outside the country. Banks also give loans for housing and business. Malaysia now has a GDP amounting to over 300 billion euros. The Malaysian economy is projected at a GDP growth rate of 5.3%.

Entry Requirements - Passport Validity

Entry to Malaysia is normally refused to visitors holding passports with less than six months’ validity.

The Language

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language of the country. However, as Malaysia is a former British colony, English is widely used, especially in the city centres. The different ethnic groups also continue their cultural heritage of speaking Mandarin and Tamil, with vernacular schools available together with public schools in the country.

The Food

Nasi Lemak: Traditional Malaysian Food

Malaysia is well known for its range in variety and quality of food. Step into a shopping mall and you have easy access to a cross-section of local Malay, Chinese and Indian fare – with the added international flavour of Italian, Japanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Whether it is fine dining or fast food chains that appeal to you, your taste buds will always be spoilt for choice.

Money Matters

Costs of Food and Drinks in Malaysia

  • Poultry products are much cheaper in Malaysia as compared to other Countries.
  • Milk and tea are common beverages, available at very affordable prices.
Clothing and Accessories Costs in Malaysia
malaysian shopping
  • Flea markets and night markets sell products at very competitive prices.
  • Locally made products are of high quality and cheaper rates, both traditional and modern accessories are available.

Housing Costs in Malaysia

  • Housing costs are low even in the major cities and towns.
  • People usually prefer to live in suburban areas due to spacious homes and own property.

Living in Malaysia is cheaper as compared to many other countries in the world. Taxation in Malaysia is kept at a very lower rate and due to currency depreciation, housing, food, traveling etc. are cheaper in the country.

Also Read: 10 Interesting Facts about Malaysia

Safety and Security

  1. You should not become involved with drugs of any kind: possession of even very small quantities can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.
  2. Malaysia is a multicultural but predominantly Muslim country, and as such you should respect local social conventions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultural or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
  3. Incidents of bag snatching are common. There have been many cases of bags being snatched by thieves on motorbikes. When going out, avoid carrying valuables with you. Bags with shoulder straps should either be carried with the bag towards the pavement rather than the road, or tucked under the arm. Do not wrap the strap around your arm or shoulder and do not try to hold on to your bag. People have been injured or killed by being pulled to the ground by their bag straps. If your bag is snatched, make a police report as soon as possible.
  4. Always be aware of your surroundings.
  5. Take particular care of your belongings especially your passport, as visitors’ passports have been stolen on aircraft, cafes, airport and railway terminals, and from hotel rooms.
  6. Be careful if offered a drink by a stranger, even in a reputable bar or restaurant. Such approaches can involve spiked drinks, and have resulted in cases of robbery and assault.
  7. Do not open your hotel room door to strangers, even those wearing hotel uniform, and especially late at night. This applies particularly to women travelling alone.
  8. Credit card and ATM fraud is widespread. Take great care when making payments by credit card and using ATMs. There have been many instances where cards have been duplicated and skimming devices added to ATMs.
  9. If you intend to hire cars, motorcycles or any motorized water sport equipment, talk to your travel insurer to check if it is covered by your insurance policy.
  10. You should also dress modestly in conservative and rural areas, and when visiting places of worship.
  11. If you are a Muslim you should be aware that you may also be subject to local Shari’a law.
  12. You could be asked to take a urine test on arrival in Malaysia if you are suspected of having used drugs before your visit.  Should the test prove positive, you could be referred for rehabilitation treatment or be deported. 
  13. The importation of unlicensed firearms and ammunition into Malaysia is prohibited.  Possession can carry the death penal.
  14. The Malaysian authorities are running a vigorous campaign against illegal immigration and are therefore inspecting immigration documents, such as work permits, very closely. It is important that you neither overstay your visa, nor infringe the terms of entry.  Persons doing so (even overstaying for just a few days) will incur a fine, and possibly detention and deportation.
  15. You should get comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling. Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.

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