Moving to Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur (“KL”), the Malaysian capital, has built up a solid reputation for being South East Asia’s travel and business hub and one of the most expat-friendly cities in the world.

Although it’s the most expensive city in Malaysia, when compared to other near-by cities like Singapore or Hong Kong, your money will go a lot further. Expats on a budget will find education, buying a home, shopping, and healthcare in KL very affordable.

The iconic Petronas twin-towers, huge shopping malls (3 of the 10 biggest malls in the world are in KL), and booming construction industry, symbolise the nation’s embrace of modernisation and innovation. Despite its rapid industrialisation, Malaysia’s colonial roots are still visible throughout the city.

One cannot talk about Malaysia without mentioning the food. The country consists of 3 main ethnic groups, Malay (50%), Chinese (22%), and Indian (9%), all of which. Foodies will be spoiled for choice between family-owned joints, delicious street food, and Michelin star restaurants throughout the city.

Malaysia has a tropical climate - temperatures are consistently between 22c and 32c with high humidity levels throughout the year.

The majority of Malays are Muslim and the official religion is Islam. When visiting and living in Malaysia, you should be aware of local customs and practices especially when it comes to dressing appropriately. The Muslim population does not drink alcohol, so, although it is widely available, heavy taxes make it an expensive habit relative to incomes.

Jobs Market

The majority of expats in Malaysia bring technical and specialist skills to the booming service sector, which employs 89% of the workforce in KL, mainly in finance, insurance, and real estate. Foreign talent is increasing in demand as many Multi-National-Corporations use Kuala Lumpur as a base in South East Asia.

Hays, a global recruitment firm, found that Malaysia is facing a chronic shortage of highly-skilled staff, leading to stiff competition among companies to recruit and keep the best talent.

Average monthly income in Kuala Lumpur is 8,500RM (USD $2500) and expats with specialist skills typically experience little difficulty in getting an employment visa. Local companies need to prove that a specific task cannot be fulfilled by Malaysians and must adhere to a quota of local labour in their company.




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