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Malaysia is a federal country in Southeast Asia and it consists of two regions: Peninsular Malaysia or West Malaysia (located on the Malay Peninsula) and East Malaysia (located on the world’s third-largest island, Borneo). The two regions make up 13 states and 3 federal territories, each with their own characteristic features that make this country the perfect destination for tourism. In this country, visitors will not only find lively, modern cities, but also one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests (Taman Negara), as well as some of the most beautiful islands in the world, such as Langkawi.
Besides the natural beauty, there is also a strong commitment to diversity in Malaysia. Its population consists of a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indians, and various indigenous groups, which is reflected in its cuisine, language, religion, customs, architecture, and cultural relics found in the country. With everything that the country has to offer, it is no wonder that it has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. In 2019, around 23.6 million people visited.
Find the latest rental rates on the Malaysia property market
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city (often referred to as KL), a powerhouse financial and business hub, as well as a major cultural and educational center in Southeast Asia. The city welcomed around 13.79 million people in 2018 and is named as the sixth-most visited cities in the world. It is a kaleidoscope of enthralling sights, with all the bustle of a modern city, but still rich in culture and heritage. One of the most iconic sights in the city (and in the world), is the Petronas Twin Towers. They are the tallest twin towers in the world, with postmodern architecture that features motifs found in Islamic art. Visitors can climb to the 41st and 42nd floor to experience the skywalk over the sky bridge joining the two towers together and admire the views of Kuala Lumpur. Those who want to sample some local flavor or indulge in its culture should visit Chinatown and Little India.
In the northern part of peninsular Malaysia, visitors can find Penang, where the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Georgetown, is located and it is the capital of the state that also serves as its administrative, cultural, and commercial center. It has the finest collections of well-preserved 19th and early 20th century buildings in Southeast Asia. Besides heritage buildings, Penang also has numerous beautiful mosques and temples, a riotous food scene, and beautiful nature, such as Batu Feringghi Beach and Penang Hill.
Aside from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Johor is also a popular destination. Most people use it as their stopover from Malaysia to Singapore, but it actually has a lot to offer. Johor is where Legoland Amusement Park is located. It also has a beautiful beach, Desaru Beach, where visitors can relax and enjoy the sun. There are some beautiful architectures here as well, such as Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque and the buildings in Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Street.
Since there are no proper guidelines on how a villa should be developed in Malaysia, renters can find villas of all sizes and styles. In general, villas in the country are bigger than regular houses, spacious, and are luxurious. They can have 1 bedroom to 3 or more bedrooms. Some of the bigger villas even have more than 5 bedrooms. Villas are at the top end of the market and appeal to families or couples.
Most villas in Malaysia are surrounded by gardens and come with lavish amenities, such as swimming pools, lounge areas, in-villa cinemas, and game rooms. They provide renters privacy and a luxurious lifestyle. Some of the more expensive villas are serviced, meaning renters do not have to worry about cleaning the villa or cooking because they are provided with housekeepers, chefs, and even private drivers.
Villas in the country can be owned by a single property (as residential property) or as a part of a resort or a hotel (as commercial property). Villas as residential property are suitable for a long-term stay, while villas as commercial property are usually recommended for those who come to Malaysia for a vacation or honeymoon.
Due to its high-tech infrastructure, high living standards, and low cost of living, Malaysia is a favorite destination for expats to relocate. A single working professional in the country would only need a minimum salary of between 3,000 MYR (around 714 USD) and 4,000 MYR (around 953 USD). With about 10,000 MYR (about 2,500 USD), most expats can live comfortably and maybe rent in a villa with a swimming pool.
The official currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit. The exchange rate from 1 USD is around 4.22 MYR. ATMs that accept international cards can be found in many parts of the country, and credit and debit cards are accepted in most established shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Due to the friendly and welcoming nature of Malaysian people, most expats can adjust to the country’s culture easily. Besides, although Malaysian Malay is the official language, English is widely spoken in the country, making it even easier for expats to adjust and make new friends. In addition to Malay and English, Tamil and Chinese are also widely spoken in the country.
The official religion in Malaysia is Islam, but the Malaysian Constitution protects freedom of religion. Therefore, other faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Chinese Religions are freely practiced in the country.
Located near the Equator line, Malaysia experiences tropical weather with two seasons: dry and wet season. The wet season runs from November to February on the east coast and April to October in the west coast. This means that while the east coast experiences rainy weather, the west coast experiences dry season with sunny and pleasant weather, and vice versa.
To live in Malaysia for an extended period of time, foreigners have many options. These include Multiple Entry Visa, MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home), Permanent Residency Permit, and Residency Pass-Talent.