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

Living in Malaysia

Living in Malaysia

By |
August 31, 2016

Malaysia is the most popular retirement haven for expats in Southeast Asia. People have been settling here since the late 1960s. Its beaches are second to none. Its islands, listed in various world surveys, regularly make it in to the top 10, and if you like jungle trekking and all of the fauna and flora that comes with it, Malaysia’s jungles and parks are some of the best and biggest in Southeast Asia.

Moving to Malaysia

Moving to Malaysia

By |
August 31, 2016

Malaysia, while exotic, is a friendly place to move to. The locals are kind and curious and will happily stop you at the market and ask where you’re from, and how you like living in your new home. And because it was under English rule until 1957, almost everyone, young and old alike, speaks English well, if not fluently. The weather is hot and tropical all year long.

Southeast Asia: Beautiful and Affordable

Southeast Asia: Beautiful and Affordable

Known for its perfect beaches, low prices, and excellent scuba diving, Southeast Asia usually conjures up images of young globe-trotting backpackers and sultry nights spent at a beach bar. But this region is also a vast cultural melting pot… With something to appeal to everyone, these fabled lands of Southeast Asia still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas.

10 Best Places in the World to Escape the 2016 Political Season

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In the hours after one presidential debate recently, Google searches for “how can I move to Canada” reportedly spiked 1,150%. Here at International Living, we have nothing against Canada. But it should be said: There are warmer, better-value options to consider…all over the world. Each year at International Living we release our Global Retirement Index. Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven.