Malaysia Is One Of The Cheapest Places To Live For Expats
Johor Bahru is the cheapest city in Malaysia for expats, ranked at 250th out of 262 cities worldwide. This is followed by George Town and Kuala Lumpur ranked at 245th and 212th respectively, an international survey on the cost of living found.
“Cities in Malaysia continue to rank among those with the lowest cost of living for international assignees in the world, and have even become marginally cheaper over the past five years,” said ECA International Asia regional director Lee Quane.
The depreciating ringgit played a part in lowering the cost of living in these Malaysia cities, said Quane.
From this region, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, remained the cheapest location, followed by cities in Malaysia and Myanmar.
Across the causeway, Singapore fell from 18th in 2015 to 24th this year in the ranking of the most expensive location for expatriates globally. This is due to the depreciation of its dollar.
Topping the chart for the most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region is Hong Kong, beating Tokyo this year. It is also the second most expensive in the world for expatriates.
Among the cities in Japan, Tokyo remained the most expensive at seventh place, compared to Yokohama (16th), Nagoya (17th) and Osaka (18th).
Globally, the most expensive city is Luanda, Angola, with the cost of goods pushed higher due to poor infrastructure and high demand, and further exacerbated by its increasingly overvalued currency.
The findings are reported by ECA International, who carries out two surveys annually to help companies calculate the cost of living allowances for employees on international assignments.
The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services such as food, clothing, and household and electrical goods.
Living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey as these are usually covered by separate allowances.