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Ann Maureen Sin
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Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia with a territory of 127,720 square miles. It is comprised of Peninsular Malaysia, which is continental, and East Malaysia, on the northern part of the Kalimantan Island. As a federal monarchy, it includes thirteen states and three federal territories. Its population is over 32 million people. Because of its geographical location in the tropics, it is considered one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world and has stunning flora and fauna. Malaysia is a popular tourist destination for travellers seeking to experience its natural beauty and cultural diversity.

With a steadily growing GDP, the economy of Malaysia ranks 6th in Asia and 20th in the world. Its lands are rich in natural resources, which have traditionally fueled its economy. The main exports are petroleum, tin, rubber, palm oil, and agricultural products. Tourism is also becoming a major economic driver in the country.

Urbanization is growing fast in Malaysia. About 75% of the population lives in urban areas. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to 1.5 million people. Other important urban centers are George Town, Ipoh, Shah Alam, and Petaling Jaya. Each of these cities has more than 600,000 inhabitants.

Top Skills

Malaysian is the official language in the country. English is an active second language spoken widely in Malaysia due to the country’s historic ties with the British Empire. In some areas, English holds official status and is used for business, trade, and education. The literacy rate is 94.6%.

In the last 20 years, Malaysia has become a local hub for higher education. The country invested heavily in developing its universities to provide enough higher institutions for its own students and to attract international visitors. The most prestigious universities in the country are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and Universiti Teknologi Mara. Some of the most successful graduate programs are in IT, engineering, and business.

The popularity of freelancing has grown tremendously for young Malaysian professionals based in metropolitan areas. Many of them embrace the “modern workplace” option and the benefits it provides, such as more flexibility and free time, combined with a good income. Malaysians offer their freelance services in fields like design, IT, copywriting, customer support, and engineering.

Income Range

The average monthly income in Malaysia is 7,400 MYR, or about $1,700. There are great variations between fields. Salaries in the services sector start at 1,000 MYR ($230). Management, real estate, and oil-related professions can pay up to 18,000 MYR, or $4,100 per month.

The average monthly salary in Kuala Lumpur is about 9,000 MYR ($2,040), as income in urban areas is higher. Monthly salaries in the capital can go as high as 20,000 MYR, or about $4,550.


The currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian ringgit. The current exchange rate is 1 USD to 4.39 MYR.

Currency Exchange

Major online payment services like PayPal, Payoneer, and Transferwise can be used for money transfers to and from Malaysia.

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