Living in Malaysia
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Living in MalaysiaIn strict contrast, whereas the living standards in Malaysia with regards to infrastructure, etc are high, the cost of living in Malaysia is one of the lowest of all Asia. The weather is pleasant with moderate rain throughout the year.
Currently the programme “Malaysia, My Second Home” continues to be actively promoted by the Malaysian Government. This programme allows foreign nationals to live in Malaysia with a “social visa” allowing multiple entries for up to 5 years.
While Islam is the official religion of Malaysia and is practiced mainly by the Malays, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions are practiced freely and Malaysians are free to celebrate cultural festivities.
The tudung (which literally means “to cover”) is quite commonly seen in Malaysia. Whereas it is compulsory for Muslim women, in Malaysia due to the democratic government, they are given the freedom of choice. Family values are still strongly upheld in Malaysia and despite a strong dedication to their corporate careers, family values are considered essential in their lives.
There is a large variety of places to see and things to do in Malaysia and therefore it is greatly appreciated that there are also many good roads which can be used to get to them. For UK visitors driving in Malaysia is somewhat more familiar than to other European visitors as they drive on the left hand side and many of the road signs are in English.
You can use your international driving license to drive in Malaysia as long as it is still valid – when in doubt if yours is accepted, please contact your local embassy. If you are driving in heavy rain, remember that many times cyclists stop under bridges to get away from the rain, so be cautious when you are about to drive under a bridge. As in some European countries, there are special lanes for busses and taxis. Private cars should not drive on or stop on road lanes which are marked in yellow. Road bumps in Malaysia can be quite steep and therefore caution is advised and drivers are advised to slow down a lot before approaching a speed bump.
If you purchased a home under the “Malaysia My Second Home” programme, remember that you can either bring a previously owned car with you or you can either buy a car produced by a Malaysian auto maker or a locally assembled international car without paying any taxes. Buying an international car imported ready to sell will not be exempt of taxes and are often harder to service and maintain. Petrol prices in Malaysia are significantly lower than many western countries.
The Malaysian postal service, Pos Malaysia, is considered to be convincingly efficient and quite prominently accessible. Further information can be found at www.pos.com.my however one thing to remember is that generally speaking, the staff at Pos Malaysia will normally speak Malay so if you don’t speak the language, try and get someone who does to accompany you, or be patient and hope for the best. Being courteous will be a great boon to your experience. Remember that you are in Malaysia and as such should make an effort to speak to them in their language. Demanding everyone address you in English will not be very efficient other than annoying the locals.
For packages and parcels, other than the express service provided by Pos Malaysia, there are several international companies which operate from Malaysia, including FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.