Malaysia Fast Facts

malaysia fact file Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Climate in Malaysia

Population: 30,949,962

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

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

Time Zone: GMT +8

Language: Bahasa Malaysia

Country Code: 60

Coastline: 4,675km

The Exotic, Modern Paradise

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. And 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 healthcare at super low prices, you have a country like no other in Asia. The fact that most Malaysians also speak English is just the icing on the cake.

Find Out More From Our Malaysia Correspondent

From the Archives of Malaysia

I Thank My Lucky Stars That I Moved to Penang, Malaysia

I Thank My Lucky Stars That I Moved to Penang, Malaysia

I'm a very lucky guy to be doing what I'm doing, and there isn't a day that goes by when I don't remind myself of that. Sometimes I say it to my wife, too, but she already knows how lucky we are. My wife and I moved to the island of Penang in early 2010. A small island—15 miles long and 12 miles wide—on the west coast of Malaysia, Penang, which is connected to the mainland by a six-lane bridge, is just two hours' drive south of Thailand.

Low-Cost Luxury and Adventure in Penang, Malaysia

Low-Cost Luxury and Adventure in Penang, Malaysia

Daily Postcard
By |
February 9, 2017

"We live in a mansion," says Victoria Roffenkauf. "Our lives are totally different than how they would be if we lived back in the U.S. No way would we have a home with a private pool and an elevator. That's insane." Four years ago, Cleveland natives Steven and Victoria moved to the tropical island of Penang, Malaysia with their son...

My Knee Surgery Cost $2,000 in Penang, Malaysia

My Knee Surgery Cost $2,000 in Penang, Malaysia

Daily Postcard
By |
October 5, 2016

When my wife Lisa and I moved to Penang, Malaysia, we decided to join The Penang Sports Club, a five-star facility boasting more lawn tennis courts than any other club in Malaysia. The tennis players there are all levels and ages—a few weeks ago I had a match with a gentleman who is 82. What I love about the club is that most evenings you can turn up on your own, register for a game, and find yourself playing with strangers who soon become friends. It’s incredibly social and we’ve been greeted warmly as new members.