Due to the close proximity between Singapore and Malaysia, more and more Singaporeans are thinking of moving to Malaysia to enjoy a good standard of living at a lower cost. Whether you’re relocating for work, family, or personal reasons, here are eight important factors to consider when moving from Singapore to Malaysia.
Culture and Language
In terms of culture, there’s certainly a strong sense of shared experience, heritage, and history in Malaysia and Singapore. Therefore, while there are many subtle differences between the cultures of both countries, you may find that Malaysians generally have a lifestyle quite similar to that of Singaporeans, although life in Malaysia can be more laid-back and slow-paced than in Singapore.
One thing you should be prepared to face, though, is the potential language barriers. Unlike in Singapore, where English is mostly used as the official language, Malay (also known as Bahasa Malaysia) is the national language in Malaysia and is quite commonly used among Malaysians, particularly in official and formal settings.
Of course, if you’re fluent in English, Tamil, or Chinese dialects such Mandarin, Hokkien, and Cantonese, you’ll survive pretty well as these are also some languages commonly spoken in Malaysia. Nonetheless, it would still be a good idea to know some basic Malay phrases if you’re planning to stay in Malaysia for the long-term.
Planning your income should be one of your top priorities when you’re moving from Singapore to Malaysia. If you’re relocating to Malaysia for a job, you won’t have to worry about this issue. However, if you haven’t found a job just yet, or if you’re looking to start a business after moving to Malaysia, make sure that you have enough personal savings or passive income for a smooth transition, especially if you have a family to support.
Whether it’s a new job or a business you’re starting soon, keep in mind that income tax rates and laws may vary from one country to another, so be sure to brush up on your knowledge of Malaysian tax requirements. Additionally, if you’re looking for ways to build a sustainable retirement fund, you can consider contributing to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), which is a long-term saving and retirement scheme that is mandatory for employed Malaysian citizens and voluntary for non-Malaysian citizens.
While the overall quality of Malaysia’s public transport system has improved significantly over the years, the accessibility of public transport facilities may vary depending on the state and city you’re moving to.
For instance, in Kuala Lumpur, you can pretty much get around the city by bus, railway, taxi, and various ride-hailing services such as Grab, MyCar, and Riding Pink.
Nonetheless, there are many other cities and states in Malaysia that lack proper access to public transport, so you may still need a car to get around.
Fortunately, cars are available at more affordable prices in Malaysia than in Singapore. Moreover, Malaysians also enjoy some of the cheapest fuel prices in the Asia-Oceania region, so owning a car in Malaysia is still a relatively affordable transport option that offers you much more convenience and freedom. Moving from Singapore to Malaysia may have its perks after all.
When moving from Singapore to Malaysia, you’ll be pleased to find high quality yet affordable healthcare services available in Malaysian hospitals. As a matter of fact, Malaysia has been listed as one of the top destinations in the world for medical tourism.
Nonetheless, it’s still important to make sure you and your family members are covered by health insurance in case of any emergency. Most domestic health insurance policies would not cover you overseas, so if you only have a health insurance policy from Singapore, it would be best to purchase an additional health insurance plan in Malaysia for comprehensive coverage.
Some of the best insurance providers in Malaysia include Great Eastern, AIA, and Prudential. If you’re looking for an international health insurance package, consider getting a quote from Allianz instead.
If you have someone in the family with a disability or medical condition, try looking for more information on healthcare services specific to their needs before moving from Singapore to Malaysia.
If you’re moving from Singapore to Malaysia for a job, you’d probably be glad to find out that your employer is typically the one to take care of your work visa. However, if you don’t have a job at the moment, you can apply for a tourist visa instead and then switch to a work visa once you’re employed. To ensure a stress-free moving experience, you should get your visa and documentation in order before you move to avoid any problems with the Malaysian immigration authorities.
When you’re moving abroad, it’s always helpful to know the overall cost of living by the state to have a more accurate idea of the budget you will need. The housing market may vary from state to state in Malaysia, so you should first do some research and find out the cost of buying or renting accommodation before looking into other miscellaneous expenses like groceries, gas, and utilities.
It would also be a good idea to set up a Malaysian bank account before you move. Maybank is one of the most widely used banks in Malaysia with branches in Singapore, too, so it is possible to open a Malaysian bank account online if you fulfil certain requirements and have a reference from a Malaysian contact.
Don’t forget to take into consideration your cost of moving as well since this might affect your overall budgeting plan. It would be great if you manage to find a job at a company that is willing to sponsor all or part of your relocation cost. Otherwise, the easiest way would be to consult a professional mover to get help in budgeting your moving costs. That way, moving from Singapore to Malaysia will be less of a hassle.
Mobile Plans and SIM Card
Malaysia has numerous telecommunication service providers that offer a wide variety of mobile prepaid and postpaid plans for data, calls, and texts. Some of the most popular service providers you may want to check out are Maxis, DiGi, Celcom, and U Mobile.
You can easily buy a local SIM card at a convenience store, the arrival area of an airport, or a retail store or kiosk of your chosen service provider by providing proof of identity and completing a registration form. Depending on the mobile plan you’re getting, you may also have to pay some additional fees and provide your personal or work address as well as your billing information.
Furniture and Personal Belongings
Once you’ve found a place to buy or rent, remember to check if your new place will be fully furnished. If not, you should have a plan for buying or shipping furniture when relocating. For those who don’t plan on shipping their furniture across, you can easily shop around for second-hand furniture at websites like Mudah.my and Carousell Malaysia.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to bring your furniture and personal belongings along when you move, you can always get a moving company near you to help deliver everything from your old place to your new one.
Given the close distance between Singapore and Malaysia, the cost of moving should be rather low. Therefore, by enlisting the help of relocation services, you can save yourself the hassle of packing, loading, and unloading your items, and have a smooth and safe moving experience at an affordable rate. You may contact us if you would like to get a quote for your upcoming move.