Malaysia Fast Facts

malaysia fact file Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Population: 29,628,392 (July 2012 est.)

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

Climate: Tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons

Time Zone: GMT +8 hours

Conjuring up all the mysteries of Asia, Malaysia is a former British colony that remains as colorful as ever. Beyond the lofty skyscrapers of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, its dramatic canvas is embroidered with tropical beaches, mountains, dense rainforest, and vividly green tea plantations.

Along with foreign expats from around the globe, the country is home to Malay Malays, Chinese Malays, Hindu Malays, and Sikh Malays. There are still traces of the British influence. Throughout the Muslim world, there’s probably no more liberal country.

Malaysia has great infrastructure and foreigners are allowed to own properties freehold, has no inheritance tax, and places no tax on income repatriated from overseas.

There is no capital gains tax on equities either, and property sold in the fifth year will incur only 5% capital gains tax.

Malaysia also has a fascinating history. The UNESCO heritage city of Malacca was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511, and the first Englishman to set foot on a beach on the Island of Penang (also UNESCO listed) did so in 1593.

Malaysia’s first UNESCO heritage site, Kota Kinabalu Park, has more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 birds and over 100 different mammals. It will literally take your breath away.

When you sprinkle the stunning beaches of Langkawi, Pankor and Tioman Island into the mix, and then throw in unbeatable heath care at super low prices, you have a country like no other in Asia. The fact that most Malaysians also speak English is the icing on the cake.

Find Out More From Our Malaysia Correspondent

From the Archives of Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia: A Multicultural Tropical Paradise with Low-Cost, Luxury Rentals

Penang, Malaysia: A Multicultural Tropical Paradise with Low-Cost, Luxury Rentals

After an exhilarating morning walk, ex-Navy Seal Jim Farquhar and his wife Sharon like to unwind on the deck of their ocean-view apartment. The couple have always been active, but there are so many opportunities to hike and enjoy the great outdoors in Penang that staying active is easy.

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