Find a job in Klang
Updated 2022-05-17 14:19

Klang, also called Kelang, is a bustling port town located on the Klang River in the Selangor State. It is found on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and is considered the most developed state in the country. Klang was the ancient capital of Selangor before the advent of Kuala Lumpur. Somehow in the shadow of Kuala Lumpur ever since, Klang still has plenty to offer Malaysians and foreigners alike.

Nowadays, Klang is best known for hosting Malaysia's largest Little India district and for being the presumed hometown of the Malay dish 'bak kut teh', traditionally enjoyed by Klang residents for breakfast.

The city has also a rich history. This is reflected in the preservation of colonial and neoclassical buildings on the three-kilometer Royal Klang Heritage Walk, made available free of charge to the public by Klang City Council and Tourism Selangor. This walk aims to highlight the 24 main tourist attractions of the city, all located close to this route.

South of Klang is Alam Shah Palace, the official residence of the Sultan of Selangor, from where he performs his official duties. All ceremonies involving the royalty of Selangor are held within the grounds of this palace, which makes Klang an important city in Malaysia today.

Local economy and labor market

Port Klang, also called Port Kelang, is located about 40 km from Kuala Lumpur. It is the largest of Malaysia's seven major federal ports. Its proximity to the important Klang Valley, the commercial and industrial center of the country, ensures the port a central role in the economic development of Malaysia. The Malaysian authorities want to make Port Klang a regional platform for maritime trade and a transshipment base capable of attracting the largest shipping lines. Many investments have been made accordingly in recent years, through a development aimed at transforming the port into a national cargo center.

Port Klang is gigantic! It actually has three distinct ports: Northport, Southport and Westport. Northport and Westport have been privatized and are now managed by separate companies. With three port terminals combined, Port Klang has an estimated annual handling capacity of 8.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot container equivalents), which is by far the largest in the country. Port Klang's port capacity is growing every year: in 2021, the port collected a total of 13.6 million TEUs, a national record. The Malaysian Ministry of Transport announced in March 2022 that the government plans to expand Port Klang's capacity by 60% before 2040, with the aim of fostering the commercial potential of the region and the country.

Port Klang handles over half of Malaysia's container trade, has trade relations with over 120 countries and deals with over 500 ports worldwide. Therefore, Klang attracts expatriates who have qualifications and experience in the shipping industry, and the planned expansion of port facilities will certainly cause an increase in demand for foreign talent.

The district of Klang is also known for the cultivation of rubber, fruit, its canned pineapples, as well as for the manufacture of rubber shoes and herbicides.

A few years ago, Tourism Selangor, the official tourism agency of the state of Selangor, launched the 'Discover Selangor' campaign, with the slogan 'Heart of Malaysia'. The aim was to showcase whatever the state had to offer and strengthen its tourism industry (particularly in the areas of sports, medical and business tourism). The Klang City Council was involved in this campaign to further encourage the royal city to become a tourist destination, and the Klang Art Fest was to play a strategic role in this project. Unfortunately, there was only one edition of this festival, in 2017. Despite all this, Klang remains a cultural hotspot in Malaysia, with its numerous museums, art galleries and historical sites.

As a major and increasingly tourism-oriented port, Klang is becoming an important area to work and live in Malaysia. Highly qualified engineers, technicians and researchers are particularly sought after, but the opportunities remain abundant and varied for expatriates wishing to settle in Klang.

As the country's commercial hub, the Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley area was a crucial component of the government's plan to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020. Unfortunately, the government's goal has not been achieved, even though Malaysia's gross national income per capita increased sharply between 2015 and 2020. In 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was at $11,200. To be considered a high-income country, a state must generate a gross national income of $12,535 per capita. It can be concluded that the government was very close to achieving this goal before the outbreak of the pandemic, which caused enormous changes in Malaysia as elsewhere in the world.

The Greater Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley region is one of the country's 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) that make up the “Economic Transformation Agenda”. Each NKEA has been granted 9 “Entry Point Projects” (EPPs). These EPPs are, actually, specific initiatives and business investment opportunities to stimulate growth in the economic area in question. The first of these EPPs aims to attract 100 of the fastest-growing companies in the world, while the second aims to attract both internal and external talents. This means that foreign expertise is particularly welcome in this region of Malaysia.

Good to know:

The Hokkien dialect is widely spoken in the city, with Klang having experienced strong population movements throughout its history from Fujian province in southeast mainland China. Many descendants of Chinese immigrants run businesses in the city. Considering the commercial exchanges, practicing Mandarin or other Asian languages will be very useful to you.

Finding a job in Klang

It's worth scrubbing the business directories for a job in Klang. It's also a good idea to research the major companies' websites, especially those in the shipping and manufacturing industries. If you are looking to get hired in the shipping industry, any local contact can also be valuable to you.

It is also advisable to search on various online job sites. Malaysia expat forums can help you find relevant information, and companies usually advertise their job vacancies on professional social networks such as LinkedIn.

Some of Klang's most prominent local companies include a gym (WinFit Fitness Factory), an Indonesian-style honey chicken maker (Rapi Ayam Golek Madu), a construction company (AAA Roslee Pillar Building Tech ), an advertising agency (Seven Pacific Advertising), a commercial transport and logistics company (Skyline Movers), a large real estate developer (ACMAR Group), a chain of cinemas (MBO Cinemas) or even a merchant of imported steel from Europe (E Steel). As you can see, there is a wide variety of successful businesses in Klang. If you do not find a job immediately in this city, you will only need to persevere and multiply the steps and contacts, because the potential for professional opportunities remains attractive in many fields.

Such diversity in professional opportunities can also be found at the level of the international companies that have settled in Klang during the last decade. Naturally, given the port status of the city, freight companies, shipping lines and other companies involved in port activities or logistics make up the majority of Klang's labour market, with companies like the Armada Group of Companies, JT International Trading, Malaysian International Shipping, Mine Logistics and NYS Shipping & Forwarding... to name a few of Klang's companies with international reach. The Port Klang Free Zone is a major job provider in the area and is looking for staff at the time of this article's update.

The acceleration of Klang's development over the next few years, both in terms of the port and the city's infrastructure, will provide even more opportunities for expatriate job seekers. Real estate, in particular, has immense potential in Klang as in the region as a whole. Teladan Seitan, one of the most prominent Malaysian real estate groups in recent years, announced in January 2022 the launch of a wide range of projects in the Klang Valley, the total value of which exceeds RM 1 billion. These projects include serviced apartments, gated communities, and low-budget residences. The objective is to offer Malaysians and foreigners residing in the country the widest possible choice of accommodation and rentals, for all budgets.

Therefore, expatriates with experience in the sale and rental of real estate will be particularly welcome in the region, especially with companies whose main projects are aimed precisely at expatriates. Another economic sector that has a future worth exploring is civil engineering. The sector as such will also bring its share of opportunities, even if the Malaysian government has not planned any new major projects in its budget for 2022. Major floods in the Klang Valley in early 2022 have changed the game. They could force local authorities to massively improve the rainwater drainage networks and systems in the region. That was strongly pointed out by the media as one of the main causes of this disaster, but also to other floods in the past.

This region's accelerated development should also bring new opportunities for job seekers. With the planned installation of many new inhabitants in Klang and its outskirts, leisure activities, restaurants, shops, specialized shops and others should quickly multiply, as well as educational centers and international schools. There are currently only five of those institutions in the Klang area, but the city's proximity to Kuala Lumpur provides expatriate parents with a wide choice of reputable establishments where they can register their children, as long as they are willing a small morning commute.

Obviously, Klang remains for the moment far from its neighbor Kuala Lumpur, things to do or see, not only in terms of standard of living but also in terms of professional opportunities. However, the Government's will to decentralize the former administrative capital and offer new growth opportunities to the other major urban centers of the country is excellent news for the inhabitants of Klang and for those who wish to settle there.

Klang is indeed one of the authorities' priority development targets and has already experienced meteoric growth in the few years preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. We bet that the economic recovery in Malaysia, which should accelerate at the end of 2022, will be one of the engines that will make Klang an ultra-modern city and one of the spearheads of the new Malaysia of which the government dreams.

Useful links:



Port Klang Free Zone

Yalwa - Professional Directory Klang

Selangor Tourism Portal

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