Malaysian Moving Back to KL

Hi -

I am a Malaysian that has been living overseas for most of my life. I am venturing back to KL for a variety of reasons and was hoping to get some advice on where to stay and employment. I was living in NYC and my firm there has agreed to retain me as a freelancer for 6 months while I transition out of the role - would I need to file local Malaysian income tax?

Also, where should I live? I don't know how to drive and ideally I'd like to be in an area that would allow me to walk around and also be accessible to the train. I would like to be able to go out and eat and meet people too - so anywhere where it is safe, convenient and slightly social.

Thanks, in advance, for all your help!

Welcome to Malaysia.

You can live in Subang Jaya and rent one of those Soho units which are small two story apartments that can be really good for use as a home and small office.  Yes file for local Malaysian Income Taxis probably a good thing to do  especially when it comes to opening bank accounts and applying for credit cards. If you budget permits, you could live in Bangsar South, actually anywhere in Malaysia depending on your budget. These days train stations are all over the place.

Of course if you wanted to be more central, well there are cheaper apartments in Bukit Bintang.

About employment, apply for a job with Airasia or list your self with a job employment service.

I would suggest flat sharing initially, because it is flexible and social. Not knowing where you need to live that is convenient for your future work location, suggests waiting before putting down firmer roots.

For socialising, joining just as a basic member (don't pay a membership fee) would enable you to attend the public functions to meet people. You may also find accommodation through their Forum. There are also Mingles arranged by The Expat Group (TEG). However most expat-related events take place close to KLCC/Bangsar.

What sounds a bit concerning is the 6 months freelancing period. It may stop you getting on with your life in Malaysia if not carefully managed.


Thanks for the response. Much appreciated. I will look into the apartment buildings that you mentioned.

With regards to the income tax - I think it might just be easier if I got to LHDN and ask for guidance.


Thanks for the response and the advice on flat-sharing and

6-months of freelancing really wasn't the ideal situation, but I've worked with the firm for so long and it will take some time for them to find a replacement for me. I plan on using that time to secure a new opportunity.

I would discourage you from living in Subang Jaya and choose something nearer KLCC such as Bangsar South (new Gateway area), as suggested above. SJ is too far away and too different from NYC. I think it may cause some culture shock to start in that suburban location.

However, you write rather like a Muslim woman (only guessing) and another consideration might be an area with best facilities for you (e.g. Alamanda area - Putrajaya). If my assumption is correct, then I would have to suggest Shah Alam too.


You are correct in your assumption (and also impressed by how you gleaned that from just my writing in a forum...) however Putrajaya and Shah Alam are a little out my scene. I've looked into KLCC and Damansara area and am leaning towards Damansara for the large expat community.

Different question - is it easy to transfer money from Malaysia to the US?


The "expat" scene is very different from how it was 2-3 years ago because of the demise of the oil and gas industry plus other changes here.

If you join internations. org (basic membership only) you can see who are the current expats by viewing who signs up for the public events.

It is possible to open a USD account in Malaysia and exchange RM then transfer direct to the  US. But usually it will have to be done over the counter and not online. Trying to send RM online to an offshore USD account is more tricky and charges plus exchange rate eats into the value. I know that Maybank does have a transfer system online. Otherwise, people use various transfer companies here, to make cash movements. Their rates can be better.

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