Cost of living in Malaysia 2012

Cost of living in Malaysia 2012

Cost of living in Malaysia 2011

The cost of Living in Malaysia 2012

One major influence to consider when moving to another country is the cost of living. Malaysia in comparison to many other countries has a lower cost of living, this should enable you to live a more comfortable lifestyle than where you currently live. When we look at the cost of living in Malaysia, perhaps the best indicator is found by talking directly to people that have moved to Malaysia from another country. Being on the MM2H program, I get the chance to meet many other MM2H participants, mostly from the US, Europe, Australia and Singapore, and almost without fail they remark on how low the cost of living is in Malaysia. This to many of them is the most attractive thing about living in this country and one of the primary reasons for joining the MM2H program.

Personally, I would happily say that the Cost of living in Malaysia is in general, lower than other country I have visited.

We have tried to highlight some 2011 costs for you to compare with what you currently pay. (Information was supplied on 4th July 2011 and may be subject to change)

The Jan 2012 Economist Big Mac IndexThe Cost of living in Malaysia 2012 and the Big Mac Index

The Economist’s Big Mac index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity: that, in the long run, exchange rates should adjust to equal the price of a basket of goods and services in different countries. Our basket consists of one McDonald’s Big Mac, and we’ve compared it with the average price in America, $4.20.

According to our burgernomics, the Swiss franc is 62% overvalued: the exchange rate that would equalise the price of a Swiss Big Mac with an American one is 1.55 francs to the dollar; the actual exchange rate is only 0.96. The cheapest burger is found in India, where it costs just $1.62.

Big Macs aren’t sold in India, so we’ve taken the price of a Maharaja Mac, made with chicken instead of beef.

The current price of a Big Mac in Malaysia as at Jan 2012 is $2.30 (US)

The Big Mac Index is published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity (PPP) between two currencies and provides a test of the extent to which market exchange rates result in goods costing the same in different countries.

The Cost of living in Malaysia and the Big Mac Index

The Jan 2012 Economist Big Mac Index 
* China yuan is 42% undervalued. (China was 44% undervalued)
* Hong kong is 49% undervalued.
* Japan is 1% undervalued. (Japan was on par value 6 months ago)
* Canadian dollar is 10% overvalued.
* British pound is 9% undervalued.
* Indian rupee is 61% undervalued.
* Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia are all about 40% undervalued.
* Brazil is 35% overvalued.

More information on the Big Mac Index:

With regards to the above food comparison, Malaysia is famous for its Hawker stalls where people can eat out and have food freshly prepared for them. A bowl of Char Kway Teow can be purchased from RM3 and many other freshly cooked meals can be purchased for under RM5.

The cost of living in Malaysia and Subsidised food / fuel prices (as at Last quarter 2011)

Local Rice
Actual price: RM2.40/kg
You pay: RM1.80/kg
Government pays: RM0.60/kg
Subsidised percentage: 25%

Actual price: RM2.50/kg
You pay: RM2.30/kg
Government pays: RM0.20/kg
Subsidised percentage: 8%

Cooking Oil
Actual price: RM4.75/kg
You pay: RM2.50/kg
Government pays: RM2.25/kg
Subsidised percentage: 43%

Actual price: RM1.90/kg
You pay: RM1.35/kg
Government pays: RM0.55/kg
Subsidised percentage: 29%

RON 95 (Unleaded) Petrol
Actual price: RM2.75/litre
You pay: RM1.90/litre
Government pays: RM0.85/litre
Subsidised percentage: 31%

Actual price: RM2.66/litre
You pay: RM1.80/litre
Government pays: RM0.86/litre
Subsidised percentage: 32%

Cooking Gas (Bottled)
Actual price: RM48.02 per 14kg tank
You pay: RM26.60 per 14kg tank
Government pays: RM21.43 per 14kg tank
Subsidised percentage: 45%

According to the government, “all the subsidies, incentives and assistance” add up to RM33.2 billion.

Malaysian Property Prices compared to other Asian Countries 2011
Square metre prices, premier city centre, US$. (
Average per square metre (sq. m.) prices in US$/€ of 120-sq. m. apartments located in the centre of the most important city of each country.

Singapore   $16,644
Hong Kong   $16,422
Japan   $12,884
India   $10,265
China   $5,449
Taiwan   $5,251
Cambodia   $3,750
Thailand   $3,072
Philippines   $2,407
Malaysia   $1,546
Indonesia   $1,381

Properties are in excellent condition, with good facilities, and have been refurbished or redecorated within the last five years. Newly-built and pre-sale property prices are not included. Buyers should expect the prices of new properties to be higher than house prices published by the Global Property Guide.

Accomodation (Hotel and Resort) 2012
Luxury 5* accomodation
A nights stay at the luxury Tanjong Jara Resort is priced from RM400 per night
A nights stay at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel is priced from RM320 per night
A nights stay at the G Hotel in Penang is priced from RM390 per night
A nights stay at the Hotel Equatorial in Malacca is priced from RM250 per night
A nights stay at Le Grandeur Palm Resort Johor is priced from Rm188 per night
A nights stay at Damai Puri Resort & Spa in Sarawak is priced from RM228 per night
(Data obtained from on 04/07/11)

We hope that you found Cost of living in Malaysia information useful.