Malaysia is a peninsula in South Eastern Asia bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam. The climate is tropical with regular monsoons. The official language is Malay (or Bahasa Melayu as it is known inside the country). This is the medium of instruction in schools. However, most Malaysians (and almost all business people) understand English. Other languages that are spoken in the country include Tamil, Mandarin Chinese and a variety of Chinese dialects. The main religions are Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism. The economy of Malaysia is a growing and relatively open state-oriented market economy. The state plays a significant but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans. Malaysia is a multicultural society, however the Malays, who are Muslims, are the majority. A great deal of importance is placed on status in Malaysia. It is important for expatriates to dress and behave with discretion and to treat others with respect. It is important to use titles, such as ‘Datuk' or ‘Tan Sri' or the hereditary title 'Tengku' when addressing the holders of such titles. Expatriate business dress is typically a business suit for men and women, alternatively women may wear a skirt that covers the knees and a high-necked blouse. The security risk for expatriates in Malaysia is low to medium. Risks include street crime, armed robbery, kidnapping, and the underlying threat of terrorism. The currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). Banking is on a par with that of Western Europe and North America. Medical facilities are good, however the cost of private care treatment for expatriates can be high. Dengue fever is common. Some states are rabies infected. The population of Malaysia is 31.9 Million (2018 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is 1.3% for Malaysia as at March 2018. For a single Expat, the personal income tax rate in Malaysia is progressive up to 28%.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Malaysia, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Malaysia as at 1 April 2018 is average in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very High 2) Clothing: High 3) Communication: Average 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Average 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Low Malaysia is for example 5.2% more expensive than USA for groceries, -35.7% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 68.9% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Malaysia for an expat from Australia, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Malaysia) premium of 20% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Malaysia is ranked as a some hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Malaysia? Register subscribe to your home location and Malaysia and run your personalised reports.