Students and young professionals across the globe dream of settling in Malaysia. But what does life in Malaysia look life? Find out in this article.
Being a continuously developing country, Malaysia has been attracting more and more expatriates for several years. Known as one of the Asian tigers, the country has set up a five-year development plan so as to become a fully developed and modern nation by 2020. Indeed, this plan has been attracting foreign workforce in particular so as to meet the goals set by local authorities.
Malaysia is also chosen for its modernity and low cost of living. The harmony between lifestyle rhythms among students, professionals and locals is also exemplary. Hence, the animation which has seduced tourists and foreigners who have settled there.
Geography and demographics
Malaysia is a federation of 13 States and three federal districts which are divided into two distinct regions, namely West Malaysia (or Peninsular) which is South of Thailand and East Malaysia which is located at the north of Indonesia. The country is linked to Singapore by two bridges which cross the Johor Strait. The Malay landscape consists of mountains, forest areas, long sandy beaches, paddy fields, as well as rainforests.
As regards its population, to date, it consists of some 29 million inhabitants, including 62% of them are Malays which are the majority ethnic group, and 25% of Malaysians of Chinese origin and 10% of Indian origin.
Malaysia also has many big cities. Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital city, hosts a large number of expatriates, followed by Ipoh which is the country's trade and transportation hub and the state of Perak's capital city. Georgetown, for its part, hosts one of the country's main ports. Johor Baharu is another huge city in Johor which is the southernmost peninsula. Finally, Kelang is deemed to be an important industrial hub.
The different ethnic groups living in Malaysia each speak a particular language. Malay is the country's official language while English, which is a secondary language, is mastered by most of the population, especially by those involved in business and trade. The Malaysian Standard English, for its part, is another form of English which is a mother tongue for some. Moreover, “Manglish” is a “creolized” version mixing English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. It is an extremely widespread language. In fact, more than 130 languages are spoken in Malaysia.
Malaysia's economy was originally based on agriculture and mining. But over the years, it opened up to other sectors, particularly due to the presence of Chinese nationals who greatly encouraged development. International trade, especially the export of natural and agricultural resources, is another major economic pillar. Today, Malaysia also owes its progress to the modernization of transport, communications and energy infrastructure, as well as the development of industrial zones and of tax incentives for investors in export industries, etc.
Malaysia experiences a tropical climate involving heat and humidity with temperatures ranging between 21ºC and 32ºC. However, temperatures are lower in the highlands. Rainfall is very high and can even reach between 2,000 and 2,500 mm per year.
There are at least one million illegal foreign residents in Malaysia while some two million more foreigners are working legally in the country. Most foreign professionals are hired in the following fields: high technology, oil and energy sector engineering, public building and concession services, food distribution, automotive, hotels and restaurants, etc. Many of them have settled in Kuala Lumpur and its outskirts.