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The Pros and Cons of Living in Malaysia




a close up of a piece of wood with water in the background
a close up of a piece of wood with water in the background


Malaysia is a diverse and vibrant country located in Southeast Asia. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and affordable cost of living, it has become an attractive destination for expatriates looking to live abroad. However, like any other country, Malaysia has its pros and cons when it comes to living there. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of living in Malaysia, helping you make an informed decision if you are considering a move to this beautiful country.

The Pros of Living in Malaysia

1. Affordable Cost of Living

One of the biggest advantages of living in Malaysia is its affordable cost of living. Compared to many Western countries, the cost of housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare is significantly lower in Malaysia. This means that your money can go a lot further, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

2. High Quality of Life

Malaysia offers a high quality of life, with excellent healthcare facilities, modern infrastructure, and a well-developed education system. The country has a low crime rate, making it a safe place to live, and the people are known for their friendliness and hospitality. Additionally, Malaysia has a diverse and vibrant culture, with a mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, providing residents with a rich and unique cultural experience.

3. Beautiful Natural Landscapes

From pristine beaches to lush rainforests, Malaysia is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. Whether you enjoy hiking, diving, or simply relaxing on the beach, Malaysia offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The country is also home to several national parks and wildlife reserves, where you can spot exotic flora and fauna.

4. Delicious Food

Malaysia is a food lover's paradise. With its diverse population, the country boasts a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from traditional Malay dishes to Chinese, Indian, and Western fare. Whether you're dining at a street stall or a fine dining restaurant, you can expect to find delicious and affordable food in Malaysia. The country is also famous for its street food, with bustling night markets offering a feast for the senses.

5. Easy Accessibility

Malaysia is well-connected to the rest of the world, with several international airports and a well-developed transportation system. This makes it easy to travel to and from Malaysia, as well as explore other countries in the region. The country also has a reliable and affordable public transportation system, with buses, trains, and taxis readily available.

The Cons of Living in Malaysia

1. Hot and Humid Climate

One of the downsides of living in Malaysia is its hot and humid climate. The country experiences high temperatures and heavy rainfall throughout the year, which can be uncomfortable for some people. However, Malaysia's climate also offers the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and tropical landscapes.

2. Language Barrier

While English is widely spoken in Malaysia, the national language is Malay. If you do not speak Malay, you may encounter some language barriers, especially in rural areas or when dealing with government offices. However, most Malaysians are bilingual and can communicate in English, making it easier for expatriates to navigate daily life.

3. Traffic Congestion

Major cities in Malaysia, such as Kuala Lumpur, are known for their traffic congestion. Rush hour can be particularly frustrating, with long commute times and crowded public transportation. However, the government is continuously working to improve the transportation infrastructure, and alternative modes of transportation, such as the MRT and LRT, are being introduced to alleviate traffic congestion.

4. Limited Job Opportunities

While Malaysia offers a favorable cost of living, job opportunities for expatriates can be limited. The country has strict regulations when it comes to hiring foreigners, and many industries prefer to hire local talent. However, there are still opportunities available in sectors such as IT, engineering, finance, and education, especially for those with specialized skills and experience.

5. Cultural Adjustment

Moving to a new country always requires some level of cultural adjustment, and Malaysia is no exception. Expatriates may need to adapt to different customs, traditions, and social norms. However, Malaysians are generally welcoming and tolerant, making it easier to integrate into the local community.


Living in Malaysia offers a unique and enriching experience. With its affordable cost of living, high quality of life, beautiful natural landscapes, delicious food, and easy accessibility, it is no wonder that many expatriates choose to call Malaysia their home. However, it is important to consider the hot and humid climate, language barrier, traffic congestion, limited job opportunities, and cultural adjustment before making a decision. By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine if Malaysia is the right place for you to live.