Living Costs

Living in Malaysia is far cheaper than most Western countries and some other Asian countries such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The cost of housing, communications, transport (including taxis), local food, holiday accommodation, airfares, clothing, medical expenses, entertainment and recreation are all very reasonable. Cars, alcohol and imported foods are generally more expensive than western countries. Many other imported items are now free of duty.

Set out below are the prices of some well known items to give you some idea what it will cost to live here. The islands of Langkawi (off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia), Tioman (off the east coast) and Labuan (off the coast of Sabah and Sarawak) are all duty free. This means considerable savings on alcoholic beverages and motor vehicles. A number of people under Malaysia my second Home have chosen to live in Langkawi.

Electricity Cost
Monthly, for a four bedroom house with moderate use of air conditioners and various electrical appliances RM700

Sample New Car Prices

Mercedes E240 RM428,000
Audi 2.0T Quatro RM290,888
Volvo S40 RM189,990 (RM120,981)
Renault Scenic II 1.6 RM134,800
Landrover Freelander 2.5 RM195,500

Figures shown in brackets are duty free prices for purchasers who have a MM2H visa.

Road Tax
Dependent on car – high for cars over 2500cc.
e.g. 1300cc car – RM250 per annum.
2800cc car 2600cc – RM3017

Rates for insurance are fixed by government. Only reduction is for no claims which can rise to 55% after 5 years.
Sample rates:
– 1300cc car valued at RM48000 – RM1,450 per annum.
– 2400cc car valued at RM145000 – RM4,048 per annum
– 2800cc car valued at RM435,000 RM11,600 per annum
Litre of petrol RM1.80 (US$0.4; £0.36 E0.42)

Hotel 5 star – RM350 – 600
Hotel 4 star – RM200 – 400 Taxi fare – Starts at RM2.00. A journey of around 8 kilometers without heavy traffic costs around RM8

Round trip economy class domestic travel by air
By the national airline – Malaysian Airlines. It should be noted that various offers are often available and local cost budget airlines often undercut these prices
KL- Penang RM170.00
KL- Kuching RM270.00
KL- Kota Kinabulu RM450.00

Eating Out – cost per person – food only
Dinner in hawker stall (food court) RM8 – 12
Dinner in air conditioned restaurant RM30-60
Bottle of average wine will add RM70-120
Dinner in five star hotel RM60-RM100
Cost of average bottle of wine will add RM100-160

Sample of goods which can be imported duty free:
Books, cosmetics and perfumes, watches, cameras, computers, leather goods, boats.

Top International Schools – Tuition Fees
Primary School range from RM20,000 – RM35,000 per year
Secondary school range from RM25,000 – RM43,000 per year
Other schools offer lower fees particularly the French and German schools and some newer smaller schools offering a British curriculum.
See a listing of major international schools and their websites.

Selected Consumer items
Prices of these items can fluctuate from store to store and during the year.

LOAF OF BROWN BREAD Each 2.50 0.73 0.54
FRENCH BREAD – BAGUETTE Each 2.00 0.58 0.43
CHICKEN (WHOLE) Each 10.00 2.91 2.17
MILK (AUSTRALIAN) 1 Litre 5.79 1.68 1.25
NOTTAGE HILL SHIRAZ 0.75 Litre 44.00 12.80 9.53
BUTTERHEAD LETTUCE Each 4.99 1.45 1.08
CUCUMBER Each 2.99 0.87 0.65
SUNKIST ORANGE JUICE (LOCAL) 1 Litre 4.49 1.31 0.97
CHINESE PEARS 1 KG 4.99 1.45 1.08
LEMONS Each 1.29 0.38 0.28
NESTLE YOGURT 150 GM 1.79 0.52 0.39
LEMON LARGE 1 Piece 3.00 0.87 0.65
GRAPES BLACK (AUSTRALIAN) 1 KG 17.99 5.23 3.90
BROCCOLI 1 KG 19.99 5.82 4.33
COLGATE TOOTHPASTE 160 GM 6.59 1.92 1.43
RUSSET POTATO 1 KG 4.45 1.29 0.96
KNORR CHICKEN CUBES 60 GM 2.39 0.70 0.52
SARA LEE CHOC CHIP POUND CAKE 300 GM 12.99 3.78 2.81