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Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Old May 9th 2011, 12:51 am
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Default Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Malaysia was always since i knew it some decades ago rather more expensive than neighbouring countries, namely Thailand and Indonesia,but cheaper than Singapore.

With Malaysia's rather rapid development in recent years,i wonder,in the considered opinion and knowledge of Expats, if the gap has widened either further?
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Old May 9th 2011, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

I've lived in both Singapore and Thailand and now Penang Malaysia. Just been down to Singapore for a trip and can confirm it is much much more expensive than Malaysia.

Thailand I would say it's swings and roundabouts. Overall, not much difference pricewise to Malaysia. Petrol is currently half the price in Malaysia compared to Thailand. Thailand tends to have slightly cheaper alcohol. Other stuff comparable.
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Old May 19th 2011, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Depends on where you are now. If your currency is the Euro, then you'll find that the conversion to RM is quite good, way better than the SGD.

Add to that the higher standard of living in Singapore and the way prices of just about everything have been on the up in recent years in Singapore, your best bet is Malaysia.

Of course, there are trade-offs too. Singapore is very stable, more organized, cleaner and more efficient when it comes to governing the country.

Pros and cons, I suppose.
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Old May 19th 2011, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Sounds to me that prices in Thailand have risen far more over the past twenty years then.

There was a distinct notable difference back then with Malaysia being more expensive but still okay.

Wonder if prices in Thailand relate to the mass tourism boom since then?
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Old May 19th 2011, 3:58 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

I think Thailand's base was a lot lower to start off with, so even though prices have been rising, in absolute terms, Thailand is still cheaper.

I'm sure tourism has something to do with it. Any time you get an influx of people with way more disposable income than the local population, it sets off the inflation chain of events.
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Old May 19th 2011, 4:07 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

I think you'll find that it's mainly due to the Thai Baht which strengthens and strengthens. The government keeps it propped up. We've had our Thai villa on the market for yonks now - so difficult to sell with a strong Baht. And if anyone wants a nice villa, go take a look in Classifieds. Shameless plug
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Old May 19th 2011, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Originally Posted by bryannn View Post
I think Thailand's base was a lot lower to start off with, so even though prices have been rising, in absolute terms, Thailand is still cheaper.

I'm sure tourism has something to do with it. Any time you get an influx of people with way more disposable income than the local population, it sets off the inflation chain of events.
Quite a few of the long termers whom had been living in Thailand,some for yonks,have moved onto Cambodia and even Laos.
Met a number in both countries over time. The common answer when asked why,seemed to be Thailand isn't what it used to be(where is?) and of course easy peasy to purchase a Business Visa for a year in both countries.
Now Laos is a country i really do like but perhaps not yet developed enough for retirees?
Cambodia also good,but a little wild west still or it was back in 03.

Malaysia seems to be more in favour for couples as would perhaps be expected.
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Old May 19th 2011, 5:11 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
I think you'll find that it's mainly due to the Thai Baht which strengthens and strengthens. The government keeps it propped up. We've had our Thai villa on the market for yonks now - so difficult to sell with a strong Baht. And if anyone wants a nice villa, go take a look in Classifieds. Shameless plug
An Australian friend living in Laos mentioned to me during a phone conversation earlier this week that the Thai Baht is now more favoured than $US,which wasn't the case when last in Laos in 07.

Last edited by the troubadour; May 19th 2011 at 5:32 am.
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Old May 19th 2011, 5:18 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

It seems amazing to me that countries that I once liked for their authenticity and traditional old-school kampung style living are now all ramping up to be as industrialized as Singapore, Malaysia and, by the sound of it, Thailand. It's a matter of several years.

Vietnam was a shocker to me when I went there a few years back. USD3 for a roll at Deli France?? USD50 per day for rental of windsurfing gear??

I hear that South America too is showing emerging nations potential. Even certain African countries are showing solid growth.

I reckon I better retire fast....
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Old May 19th 2011, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Originally Posted by bryannn View Post
It seems amazing to me that countries that I once liked for their authenticity and traditional old-school kampung style living are now all ramping up to be as industrialized as Singapore, Malaysia and, by the sound of it, Thailand. It's a matter of several years.

Vietnam was a shocker to me when I went there a few years back. USD3 for a roll at Deli France?? USD50 per day for rental of windsurfing gear??

I hear that South America too is showing emerging nations potential. Even certain African countries are showing solid growth.

I reckon I better retire fast....
I know what you mean. Never been to Vietnam but have heard as much.
By the way,the Kampong that i lived in back in the early 80s,when i revisited in 03 it was no longer there and flats had been built instead.
I could hardly believe what i saw. From my understanding that was no isolated case and such things had happened across the states.
Vandalism of the first degree i'd call it with the wilful destruction of national identity
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Old May 19th 2011, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

It's sad eh. Then again, I try to remind myself, who are we to hope these countries remain stuck in the days of yore. I'm sure they're as excited as we were when we became industrialised.

I remember driving up in Malaysia in the 80's and seeing people everywhere in sarong kebaya. Kampongs everywhere. It was lovely.

When I visited KL again in 2004, all I saw was kids wearing jeans, yapping into their cell phones. Reverse culture shock, haha.
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Old May 19th 2011, 6:11 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Originally Posted by bryannn View Post
It's sad eh. Then again, I try to remind myself, who are we to hope these countries remain stuck in the days of yore. I'm sure they're as excited as we were when we became industrialised.

I remember driving up in Malaysia in the 80's and seeing people everywhere in sarong kebaya. Kampongs everywhere. It was lovely.

When I visited KL again in 2004, all I saw was kids wearing jeans, yapping into their cell phones. Reverse culture shock, haha.
KL by it's nature i guess will be as you describe. I wonder how is it in the Malay heartland these days? I mean the kampongs in the northern conservative states of Kelantan and Perlis and the like.
Expect Malay tradition may have held out to a far greater degree up there.
Last time i was in Kota Baru i noticed far more women with heads covered than years before.
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Old May 19th 2011, 6:26 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

We are all showing our age reminiscing about the good old days...and they were. Fortunately I have a place in KL and one in Penang so go where the mood takes me. However in KL on the northern outskirts on the city, it is a virtual kampong. We have everything we need close at hand and prices a fraction of normal city prices. It has the kampong friendliness and ...get this...an increasing number of uncovered heads and sarong coming back!! All we need now is the return of the Sari and Chong sam and old men gathering early evening to discuss the days news.

If you haven't been to Cambodia for a while hurry as development is at breakneck speed and dare I say the just wonderful nature of Cambodians is eroding fast.

Overall except for the price of booze, where we live in KL is cheaper than Thailand and Cambodia and a lot cheaper than Vietnam. No idea about Laos though.
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Old May 19th 2011, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Speak for yourself Strider :-P

Well, maybe in 10-20 years we'll all be going to the west to live the kampong life...
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Old May 19th 2011, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Cost of Living in Malaysia Compared to Neighbours

Originally Posted by bryannn View Post
Speak for yourself Strider :-P

Well, maybe in 10-20 years we'll all be going to the west to live the kampong life...
Actually thought that a possibility myself. When the last mine is depleted in Australia and cities become more and more redundant the return to simplistic hunter and gathering societies are the rage.
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