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

The 3 Best Places to Live in Malaysia

The 3 Best Places to Live in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a big thriving city of about 1.6 million people. Expats living there have all of the conveniences of the Western world mixed with a Malaysian flair. There is a good public transportation system consisting of buses and trains, but taxis are common throughout as well. It isn't just the capital of Malaysia; it is the largest city, too. There are thousands of restaurants serving up everything from local noodle dishes to Australian steaks and burgers.

5 Reasons to Live in Georgetown Penang

5 Reasons to Live in Georgetown Penang

Penang is well-known in Southeast Asia as a foodie haven. It's a passion that the locals don't take lightly (you can’t even take a taxi without getting into a big discussion about food). But, unlike many top foodie spots, Penang’s gourmand attitude doesn’t stem from its expensive Michelin-starred restaurants or celebrity chefs.

A Low-Cost, Sociable Retirement in Penang

A Low-Cost, Sociable Retirement in Penang

Daily Postcard
By |
November 16, 2015

Dawn and Phil first came to Malaysia for a four-month break to recharge their batteries. Nothing had been planned and they liked the idea of just winging it, but they did visit the island of Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. However, George Town in Penang, with its colonial heritage, was where they spent most of their time.

The Inside Scoop on Southeast Asia’s Best Festivals

The Inside Scoop on Southeast Asia’s Best Festivals

Daily Postcard
By |
October 31, 2015

One of the most diverse regions on Earth, Southeast Asia is home to a myriad of different religions and cultures, many of which trace back thousands of years. And every year, the unique cultures of the Far East manifest themselves in a variety of colorful festivals, all free of charge, the likes of which you will find nowhere else on the planet. Add to this some of the world’s best beaches and street food, and you have every reason to stop by this neck of the woods.

5 of the Best Tropical Islands for Retirees

5 of the Best Tropical Islands for Retirees

In this article, we outline the best five tropical island paradises for retirees. These places meet all the criteria needed to make them perfect retirement havens. As well as looking the part, all five of these islands—spread throughout the world—are becoming easier to get to as more and more flights open up to and from North America. Many tropical getaways have been consumed by commercialism, leaving them beyond every reasonable budget. But the islands on our list remain affordable, as attested by our expat experts on the ground. On some, it’s possible to live for as little as $1,500 a month including rent.