Moving to Malaysia

Malaysia is predominantly made up of two distinct territories: one on the southern tip of the Malay peninsular, not including Singapore, the other on the northern part of the island of Borneo, not including the Sultanate of Brunei. Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo are separated by the North China Sea, flying being the only practical option for travelling between the two regions of this tropical Southeast Asian nation.

Malaysia has a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society with ethnic Malays making up just over 50% of the population and the rest mostly accounted for by ethnic Chinese and Indians (who are mostly Tamil). While the constitution of this federation of thirteen states and three federal territories declares Islam as the state religion, religious freedom is also enshrined in law. Around 60% of the population are practicing Muslims. Integration of Malaysia’s various ethnicities has not been entirely successful though - political parties are often based on race. Indigenous Malays are known as bumiputera in a political context.

Around two thirds of the country is covered in forest - most of Malaysian Borneo consists of wild jungle - leading to tremendous biodiversity and widespread concern over the effects on the indigenous flora and fauna of deforestation. Malaysian cuisine is a constantly evolving fusion of influences from all over Asia.

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Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is like something from the science fiction fantasies of Phillip K. Dick: glinting glass high rises looming over bustling street markets, anything-you-can-think-of shopping malls and hectares of electronic billboards. Migrating to Malaysia for work is fairly straightforward when sponsored by an employer and with Kuala Lumpur poised to become the world’s Islamic financial hub the number of Western expats is due to increase as the major banks and professional service firms look to get in on the act.

If you found a job or moving for a long period of time, one thing you'll need to arrange is shipping your belongings to Malaysia. Generally, a 20-foot container will hold the contents of a 3-bedroom house while a 40-foot container will hold that same volume plus a vehicle. Whether you've moved earlier or doing it for the first time, we would recommend doing a thorough reserch into it including on how to load a shipping container.