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Retiring in Malaysia. Better than Thailand?


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Hello everyone,

 

What are your thoughts on retirement in Malaysia? I have lived in both Malaysia and Thailand and currently living in KL city. I have met a number of young and older expats who mostly prefer Malaysian life over living in Thailand.

 

There is a good scheme called Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) which although has been pushed as a 'retirement' scheme, it is actually open to anyone above 21.  Recently I met a young chap from Swiss who runs his company remotely and he is coming in to Malaysia on this programme. 

 

I also met a couple from France who signed up and were looking at high end properties just overlooking the KL Twin Towers. Apparently the value they can get on real estate compared to living in France is really good here in Malaysia.

 

It offers a 10 year (renewable after that period) multiple entry visa. along with various tax free incentives.

 

There are only 2 main requirements which is a monthly pension or income of at least USD $2400 and liquid assets of at least USD $84000. I did research and it is more expensive that perhaps Philippines retirement programme yes, but Malaysia offers so much more in terms of quality living, safety, medical quality (M'sia was ranked number 1 in world healthcare quality recently) and infrastructure. 

 

Curious to know what expats in Thailand think about the programme! Here is a link to more details.

https://www.movetomalaysia.co.uk/?utm_source=web&utm_medium=forum&utm_campaign=promo

 

And also attaching a very detailed brochure on the programme too. 

MM2H Brochure US v2.pdf

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KL is excellent for food, infrastructure, immigration, and safer roads.  Can't speak to the rest, but do think it's better than Thailand.  As for the government, it's all BS in every country.  Don't break any laws you will be fine.   

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10 minutes ago, madmen said:

20 million Muslims still practicing sharia law... You better learn to say allahu ahkbar!!

Enjoy

Actually this is unfair and inaccurate. There is very little in Muslim religion that affects the daily life of non muslims in Malaysia. Sure there are political statements mentioned here and there that ruffle feathers but life on the street is very different. We drink, party do as we please there is no Sharia law that applies to anyone here.

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7 minutes ago, Shoban said:

Actually this is unfair and inaccurate. There is very little in Muslim religion that affects the daily life of non muslims in Malaysia. Sure there are political statements mentioned here and there that ruffle feathers but life on the street is very different. We drink, party do as we please there is no Sharia law that applies to anyone here.

There's no Sharia Law? Are you kidding?

 

 No country for old men, methinks. Malaysia and the Sharia law is really hardcore. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-caning/malaysian-state-to-cane-a-third-woman-for-infringing-islamic-law-idUSKCN1M713P

   

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5 minutes ago, Isaanbiker said:

There's no Sharia Law? Are you kidding?

 

 No country for old men, methinks. Malaysia and the Sharia law is really hardcore. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-caning/malaysian-state-to-cane-a-third-woman-for-infringing-islamic-law-idUSKCN1M713P

   

I said it doesn't apply to anyone NON MUSLIM. And the article you are referring to is in regards to one particular state Terengganu which is the only state under a Islamic party. they recently lost heavily in the 2018 election. 

 

If you live in Kuala Lumpur, Penang JB or anyone else and are non muslim it is ridiculous to fear Syariah Law. 

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6 minutes ago, Isaanbiker said:

There's no Sharia Law? Are you kidding?  No country for old men, methinks. Malaysia and the Sharia law is really hardcore. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-caning/malaysian-state-to-cane-a-third-woman-for-infringing-islamic-law-idUSKCN1M713P

   

If you live in a big city the whole Moslem thing is pretty transparent. In my time there the only noticeable effect was during Ramadan, when all the eating places had signs up saying "No Moslems during daylight hours" or similar, and when you saw bacon on a menu you had to ask if it was the real thing or the "beef bacon" nonsense. Apart from that you could be in any major SE Asian city for all the impact religion had

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I'd read of the lesbians being whipped.

Sharia law will keep me out of any country that enforces it.

 

Although its only in a few Malaysian states as the article mentions.

 

I was surprised when I was in Kuala Lumpur last summer that there was a spot which had many obvious male hustlers. And this was on a main shopping street.

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29 minutes ago, Shoban said:

Actually this is unfair and inaccurate. There is very little in Muslim religion that affects the daily life of non muslims in Malaysia. Sure there are political statements mentioned here and there that ruffle feathers but life on the street is very different. We drink, party do as we please there is no Sharia law that applies to anyone here.

you are just promoting the country, maybe working for MTA the direct competitor to TAT

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14 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

I'd read of the lesbians being whipped.

Sharia law will keep me out of any country that enforces it.

 

Although its only in a few Malaysian states as the article mentions.

 

I was surprised when I was in Kuala Lumpur last summer that there was a spot which had many obvious male hustlers. And this was on a main shopping street.

I live in KL. Those that spout islamic law and only for non drinkers really dont have a clue. There are many streets that you talk of with lots of bars and easy access to women of questionable morals.

 

I also travel to other states for work. The only states were you wont find too many bars are the ones way up north like Kelantan and Terrenganu. Kedah also does not have too many bars but all chinese restaurants you can drink. Penang i like a lot.

 

in all states its easy to find girls. Its not as in your face as Thailand but you cant miss it. Malaysian girls are great and have no problem dating white men. Also many chinese, thai, vietnamese, philippine girls here.

 

Basically KL is like any other asian big city, overcrowded with too much traffic. The only reason you would have for knowing it is muslim is the girls wearing hijabs, not all of them wear it and they dont have to wear it, Yet they are the most friendly and well mannered I have met.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

I'd read of the lesbians being whipped.

Sharia law will keep me out of any country that enforces it.

 

Although its only in a few Malaysian states as the article mentions.

 

I was surprised when I was in Kuala Lumpur last summer that there was a spot which had many obvious male hustlers. And this was on a main shopping street.

I doubt you are a lesbian. I also doubt you are muslim. So no sharia law for you. 

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I head down to KL every couple of months to visit friends there. I go to Penang at least twice a year - always there for Songkran. Would I live in Malaysia? Sure. Penang most likely only because KL is a big, over crowded city with terrible traffic problems and Penang has way better food. Not planning to move there anytime soon but if I get to the point where Thailand immigration gets too tiresome to deal with, it will most likely be first on my short list. 

 

I'm not a particularly big drinker so limitations on alcohol are not a factor and I am mature enough to pass on women of easy virtue. 🙂 To each their own. As for Islam, I find Muslim zealots no better or no worse than zealots of any other religion. Most followers of Islam are just ordinary people going about their life and trying to provide for the their families. 

 

Is Malaysia perfect? Hardly but neither is any other country I have come across. 

 

David

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44 minutes ago, xylophone said:

I think I'm a lesbian cos I can't stop thinking about women!

 

That's what happens when you think with your little head instead of your big head. 🙂

 

David

 

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I've loved the time I was in Malaysia. Ipoh in the center of the country was also very nice, reasonable prices and great food!  The only downside is a lack of history compared to Thailand if you are into visiting temples and the like. Plus, outside of Penang and Langkawi, not too many good beaches. But the people were super nice, English was widely spoken with a smile, and all signs are written in English letters so you can usually suss out the meaning. Plus 90 days visa free entry for most people.  

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2 hours ago, Mavideol said:

you are just promoting the country, maybe working for MTA the direct competitor to TAT

I think you will find that he works for movetomalaysia, the partner company in the link in the original post. His was one of the better examples of product placement that I have seen on here though, so kudos to him for that.

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20 hours ago, ezzra said:

It's just my opinion but i wouldn't live in a  in a country where the head of state is a hardcore racist and anti semite... this old goat Mahathir Mohamad who had this to say very recently...

 

“Apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and all the evil that mankind can inflict on others can be compiled in Palestine - courtesy of the barbaric, arrogant, terrorist nation called Israel."

 

Well, it’s kind of the truth!

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20 hours ago, madmen said:

20 million Muslims still practicing sharia law... You better learn to say allahu ahkbar!!

Enjoy

It is not as much fun as Thailand, but it is superior in a number of ways.   Malays are better educated overall.  You can have meaningful, enlightening discussions there.  If you wanted to build something, paint something or trim your hedges, that is not considered "working" in Malaysia.  Medical services are good there.  They had a real election there where the corrupt got chucked out.  Better public transport is also available. 

 

Fun wise, Bangkok is proving to be less fun everyday, so KL might be a better alternative. 

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47 minutes ago, yellowboat said:

It is not as much fun as Thailand, but it is superior in a number of ways.   Malays are better educated overall.  You can have meaningful, enlightening discussions there.  If you wanted to build something, paint something or trim your hedges, that is not considered "working" in Malaysia.  Medical services are good there.  They had a real election there where the corrupt got chucked out.  Better public transport is also available. 

 

Fun wise, Bangkok is proving to be less fun everyday, so KL might be a better alternative. 

For people who don't consider a large capital city to be the best retirement destination, where, apart from Penang, would there be a reasonable sized town with amenities, beaches, and freedom of thought?

I guess I'm wondering about the east coast, which apparently has beaches and islands, but perhaps is backwards and conservative.

Is there any westerner friendly communities there?

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I have stayed in Penang for 9 months, 3 times the 90 day visa exempt (immigration denied me a fourth recently), and I have mixed feelings about the place.

 

It is obviously a very islamic island, and you might wake up early in the morning, 05.30, to the loud speakers around the island, for their morning prayors. 5-6 times a day, you are batted with that. 

 

Maybe not a problem for most, but there are around 70% muslims on the island, and except for the city in George Town, there is certainly another way of life there than in Thailand.

 

I had no problem with that, and enjoyed my stay there. The beaches were fine, and people generally nice, except some bad encounters with the immigration in Penang. They are getting stricter there, to people not using the 10 year second home scheme. Which is a bit expensive.

 

Food were good, and I would not mind settling there, if I would come to term with the overwhelming amount of muslims.

 

Not sure I do for a permanent stay, I have to say. I have always had a slight problem with why the ladies must hide their hair and even their face sometimes, the fact that they are obsessed with not eating pork and so on (and hardly sell it).

 

That is if I am to meet a Malay lady to marry or just stay together with.

I will never convert, and that seems the only option here, if you dont hook up with one of the very few non muslim ladies I have seen here.

 

Well, it seems a good country to stay in if you want peace and quit (except for the loud speakers).

Maybe one day I will try the 10 year second home visa scheme.

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If you are happy living in a Muslim country then why not? Except the visa and annual income costs  are way higher than the Philippines; actually about 4 times more expensive and that would put a lot of people off. I've only ever been to Penang so I don't really know the country but there the people were extremely friendly and polite and the food was interesting and pretty good. I'm pretty sure that the cost of living is higher. On the plus side there is no sex industry which precludes a lot of the scussos that have not helped the image or daily life of Thailand!

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4 minutes ago, leggo said:

On the plus side there is no sex industry

Not in your face like like it is in Thailand perhaps, but I can assure you that it's there. If you have such a problem with it, why ever did you move to Thailand? It's not like they used to hide it away. 

 

I've been to Malaysia numerous times and have always enjoyed it, though quite a bit of my time has been spent in Sarawak and Sabah which have very little Muslim influence. I love those two places, particularly Sabah, the people are very friendly. Peninsular Malaysia is more of a melting pot and not all of it is exactly friendly or inviting to infidels. I'm sure there are some great spots to retire, though, but it's going to be more expensive, more orderly and more rulebound than Thailand once was. That will attract some folks, fair enough, but it's quite possible, the way things are going here, that Thailand will end up more expensive and authoritarian than Malaysia. If you enjoy a bit of chaos and freedom then there are better destinations in SEA, though how long they'll last is a moot point.

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Malaysia is at least as, if not more, corrupt than Thailand, and foreigners are far more likely to be targeted by criminals - usually snatching of bags, jewellery, phones, etc, but also occasional violent muggings.  Add the ever simmering racial tension, which will kick off in a big way one day, and it's a good place to avoid making any long term plans for.

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People sometimes forget, but History doesn't .

 

https://www.counterpunch.org/2007/05/26/the-1969-riots-against-the-chinese-in-malaysia/

On May 13, 1969, riots against the Chinese began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was considered the worst racial riot in Malaysian history. Many Malaysian Chinese fled to Singapore for protection. 

https://www.newmandala.org/rise-anti-chinese-politics-malaysia-indonesia/

 

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/article/fifty-years-on-fateful-race-riots-still-haunt-malaysia/

 

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