When faced with the idea of moving overseas, it’s no surprise that people are terrified at the thought of moving to a new country with an unfamiliar culture – and potentially a different language. This is particularly true when employees are told they are relocating to Malaysia; a country not far from Singapore and Cambodia.
However, as soon as they arrive on Malay soil, they realise there wasn’t much cause for concern. Malaysia has a diverse culture with a mix of Malaysia; Chinese; Indian and European influences all over the country, meaning communication is easy as most people speak English.
At Galleon International; one of the UK’s leading experts in international relocation and removals, we provide a local contact to each expat as part of our moving overseas process. As such, Galleon has an extensive network of contacts across the globe to support and guide employees relocating for the first time.
We spoke to our overseas agent in Malaysia and here’s what they had to say about living and working in the country:
1. Working Permit Visas
If you’re looking to live and work in Malaysia, you will need an employment pass. This isn’t difficult to obtain; however, the company hiring you must ensure they are not hiring you for a job that could easily be filled by a Malaysian citizen. You will also need to acquire a work visa for any spouse who wishes to work while in Malaysia. Once you have lived in Malaysia for three years, you can get a ‘Residence pass’ which allows you to stay in the country for up to 10 years.
2. Cost of Living
Compared to Western countries and neighbouring countries like Japan; Hong Kong and Singapore, the cost of living in Malaysia is far cheaper. While cars; international school fees and imported foods can be expensive, expats will be able to find it easy to save money and enjoy a good lifestyle. For example, Malaysian food in restaurants is relatively cheap (around RM10, or £1.90 a head) if you’re happy to eat in the local eateries.
Food is a highly important part of Malaysian culture. In fact, one of their common greetings is “Have you had your lunch yet?” It is also seen as etiquette to offer your guests food on their arrival to your home. Tea and coffee are usually prepared along with some small snacks; but this isn’t allowed to be eaten until the host says so. As a guest, you are expected to sip the beverage and taste the food offered.
If you still have questions about moving to Malaysia; get in touch with our international relocation team on 01708 868 068.