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Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Old Mar 1st 2020, 3:37 am
  #1  
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Default Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

In our search of the best place to retire for an English speaking person, we researched all countries in the whole world.
"The best" is defined differently for different people.
Some important factors can be the following:
- English
- Health care: level and cost of insurance and medical care
- Crime level
- Cost of living
- Ease of getting a permanent residency or may be a citizenship
- Taxation
- Inflation rate in a country
- Tolerance level to the immigrants
- Expat locations
- Industrial development level
- Natural disasters
- Climate
- Corruption and political stability

Malaysia came up at the top in our list of a dozen of countries we've been considering.
However, unless you are a smoker you may consider one more factor: quality of air (AQ) or air pollution.
If you feel that you don't want to ruin your health by constantly inhaling polluted air, Malaysia is not your choice.

Here are the problems with AQ in Malaysia:
- Open burning is widely accepted. Even though there are relatively good laws against open burning, there is practically no enforcement. Burning of farm land or the jungle may last weeks and this happens many-many times a year.
- West Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak get additional air pollution from burning in Indonesia.
- If you live in a city or near the roads or go shopping, you will get additional heavy dose of harmful diesel gasses.
- Penang and KL get additional pollution from open burning of recycled materials.
- Beserah in Pahang: There is a big issue there with dust from Bauxite mining.

So why AQ is important to consider if you care about your health? Because tiny particles (PM 2.5) penetrate into your blood through your lungs and cause cardio-vascular diseases additionally to lung diseases. (You can read about PM 2.5 on wikipedia.)
Unfortunately, several websites which are tracking AQ (like wunderground or aqicn) don't offer historical records for AQ and it is why it is difficult to check on this before moving in.
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Old Mar 2nd 2020, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
- Penang and KL get additional pollution from open burning of recycled materials.
Really? I am now living 4 years in Penang and have not noticed this.

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
So why AQ is important to consider if you care about your health? Because tiny particles (PM 2.5) penetrate into your blood through your lungs and cause cardio-vascular diseases additionally to lung diseases. (You can read about PM 2.5 on wikipedia.)
Unfortunately, several websites which are tracking AQ (like wunderground or aqicn) don't offer historical records for AQ and it is why it is difficult to check on this before moving in.
Malaysia's measurement network: APIMS
A website which stores historical data: https://aqicn.org/city/malaysia/pulau-pinang/minden (scroll down the page)
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Old Mar 2nd 2020, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by SushiFan View Post
Really? I am now living 4 years in Penang and have not noticed this.

Malaysia's measurement network: APIMS
A website which stores historical data: https://aqicn.org/city/malaysia/pulau-pinang/minden (scroll down the page)
Browse "illegal burning of recycled plastic in penang malaysia" and you'll find it.

Regarding historical data for AQ-
Many thanks! Indeed. I didn't notice it before because the data was loading not very fast and I was missing it. Very interesting. It looks like they have two harvests a year and they are burning their land twice a year in order to prepare the land fast for next round. Bad AQ is usually March-April and July-October.
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Old Mar 2nd 2020, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
Browse "illegal burning of recycled plastic in penang malaysia" and you'll find it.

Regarding historical data for AQ-
Many thanks! Indeed. I didn't notice it before because the data was loading not very fast and I was missing it. Very interesting. It looks like they have two harvests a year and they are burning their land twice a year in order to prepare the land fast for next round. Bad AQ is usually March-April and July-October.
If you are concerned about burning of rubbish, agricultural land post harvest and AQ, do not choose to live anywhere in 3rd world.
This happens all over, some countries are worse than others.
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Old Mar 3rd 2020, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
Regarding historical data for AQ-
Many thanks! Indeed. I didn't notice it before because the data was loading not very fast and I was missing it. Very interesting. It looks like they have two harvests a year and they are burning their land twice a year in order to prepare the land fast for next round. Bad AQ is usually March-April and July-October.
Looking at the historical AQ in isolation is not sufficient. You need to compare it with the wind direction during those periods of the year. Then you'll see that the elevated AQ numbers in Penang are caused by fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
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Old Mar 5th 2020, 4:14 am
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
In our search of the best place to retire for an English speaking person, we researched all countries in the whole world.
"The best" is defined differently for different people.
Some important factors can be the following:
- English
- Health care: level and cost of insurance and medical care
- Crime level
- Cost of living
- Ease of getting a permanent residency or may be a citizenship
- Taxation
- Inflation rate in a country
- Tolerance level to the immigrants
- Expat locations
- Industrial development level
- Natural disasters
- Climate
- Corruption and political stability

Malaysia came up at the top in our list of a dozen of countries we've been considering.
However, unless you are a smoker you may consider one more factor: quality of air (AQ) or air pollution.
If you feel that you don't want to ruin your health by constantly inhaling polluted air, Malaysia is not your choice.

Here are the problems with AQ in Malaysia:
- Open burning is widely accepted. Even though there are relatively good laws against open burning, there is practically no enforcement. Burning of farm land or the jungle may last weeks and this happens many-many times a year.
- West Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak get additional air pollution from burning in Indonesia.
- If you live in a city or near the roads or go shopping, you will get additional heavy dose of harmful diesel gasses.
- Penang and KL get additional pollution from open burning of recycled materials.
- Beserah in Pahang: There is a big issue there with dust from Bauxite mining.

So why AQ is important to consider if you care about your health? Because tiny particles (PM 2.5) penetrate into your blood through your lungs and cause cardio-vascular diseases additionally to lung diseases. (You can read about PM 2.5 on wikipedia.)
Unfortunately, several websites which are tracking AQ (like wunderground or aqicn) don't offer historical records for AQ and it is why it is difficult to check on this before moving in.
Yes but by your analysis the level of respiratory disease in Malaysia should be higher than in the other countries you considered retiring to.....is it?
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Old Mar 8th 2020, 7:46 am
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

Originally Posted by StillSearching View Post
However, unless you are a smoker you may consider one more factor: quality of air (AQ) or air pollution.
If you feel that you don't want to ruin your health by constantly inhaling polluted air, Malaysia is not your choice.
That is only a problem in September and October and also not every year. Yes, 2015 was hell, but nobody knows when the Indos will burn down Sumatra again completely and not just partially. Anyway, you can escape if you plan your holidays according to this. We usually go back to Europa in autumn for our annual visit.

But anyway NOW it is maybe the worst time to move to Malaysia, we all know what is going on and one should not be so naive to think we expats are only involved with the currency going down. But after so many good years we stay calm and just monitor the situation. Never forget, we live in a country where 20 percent of the population want to turn it into a very strict islamic state with no room for Kafir.
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Old Mar 18th 2020, 1:33 am
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Default Re: Is it a good choice to move to Malaysia?

“If you are concerned about burning of rubbish, agricultural land post harvest and AQ, do not choose to live anywhere in 3rd world. This happens all over, some countries are worse than others.”
- CORRECT!

“Looking at the historical AQ in isolation is not sufficient. You need to compare it with the wind direction during those periods of the year. “
- AQ is reflecting the wind direction. E.g., if the wind blows the smoke towards the sea, AQ is improving.

“by your analysis the level of respiratory disease in Malaysia should be higher than in the other countries you considered retiring to.....is it? “
- According to worldlifeexpectancy dot org source, UK is comparable to Malaysia in respiratory disease. This data is average for the whole country and includes all the causes for respiratory disease including tobacco smoking.
worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/lung-disease/by-country/
You can drive your own conclusions from this data. But my view on this is if you are a retiree, why would you go to live in a place with the same bad pollution or even worse.
However the issue is not only with the respiratory diseases. Particles smaller than 2.5 microns can go through the lungs to the blood stream. This is why air pollution is slowly damaging your cardio vascular system.
Another issue is that if there are toxic gases being released from burning trash, then it can also lead to cancer.

Yes, it is much cheaper to live in MY, but how much do you value your health? These are factors which you can't change.
If you exercise in a polluted air, the damage to you is even higher.

“That is only a problem in September and October and also not every year. “
- Not correct. According to the aqicn.org AQ is from moderate to high is about 8 months of the year.
This is because they are clearing different fields at different times, not all at once. Planning your escape somewhere else for a clean air is very difficult.
Again, if you are a smoker, this is not your concern most likely. But I don’t consider AQ 54 even healthy.

Another issue is that there is no law enforcement against open burning. Many burn something in their backyards. Illegal immigrants burn trash and yard trimmings several times a day. The smoke can be black and thick and you can notice by the toxicity of it that it is burning of trash. This is happening in the cities, not even in the remote villages. This morning I woke up at 3:30 AM because of the smoke sipping in through tiny openings in our doors and windows. We live in a big condo. Someone was burning trash at this hour somewhere nearby. Even in the dark, I could see a blanket of smoke in the area.
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