All You Need To Know About Moving From Singapore To Malaysia: 9 Crucial Facts

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Settling in Malaysia can be a great experience. Malaysians are known to be friendly and welcoming, so you won’t have trouble making friends. There is also a large expat population in Malaysia, both working and retired, which makes it easier to find people with similar interests.

Some people move to Malaysia thanks to its affordable cost of living alone. Still, there are other great things you should know about Malaysia. This blog will discuss other items you need to know about making an international move from Singapore to Malaysia. Keep reading to get one step closer to experiencing that vibrant city living you’ve always heard of – and then you’ll be ready to get started with one of our dedicated relocation experts.

1. You Can Visit Without A Visa

As a Singapore passport holder, you may visit Malaysia for up to three months without the need for a visa. Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and the USA are among the many countries whose citizens can spend up to three months in Malaysia without a visa.

Before visiting Malaysia, you can ask your nearest Malaysian Representative Office, and you can get a work visa for Malaysia. Applying for a visa to enter Malaysia can be a complicated process, depending on the purpose of your stay.

Suppose you go to Malaysia on different passes such as an Employment, Dependent or Professional Visitor’s Pass. In that case, you will need to apply for a visa with a reference. This type of visa is required for those planning to stay in Malaysia for longer than 90 days. On the other hand, if you are only visiting for social reasons, you should apply for a visa without reference.

To apply for either type of visa, you will need to submit certain documents, including your passport and two photocopies, as well as two copies of the visa application form. There may be additional documents that must be submitted to complete the application process. It is essential to ensure that all necessary documents have been provided to avoid delays or complications with your application.

The Malaysian government agencies recognise a single entry visa, valid for up to three months, and a multiple entry visa, valid for up to 12 months.

2. There Are Several Affordable Ways To Go Around

After worrying about your entry requirements, it’s time to talk about actually entering Malaysia. Coming from Singapore, you can actually just take the train.

First, you should head to the Woodlands train checkpoint, but note that this differs from the MRT Woodlands Station. Here, you go through immigration and customs checks bringing all your personal belongings and the travel documents we discussed earlier.

After that, take the KTM train to the Johor Bahru Sentral Station. From the Johor Bahru Sentral Station, you then take the train to Gemas Station, then transfer to the final train, which is bound for KL Sentral. KL Sentral is then your starting point of your journey in this new country.

Getting around Malaysia is a breeze, especially if you own a vehicle. But don’t worry if you don’t, as there are affordable ways to get around, such as coaches, scooters, and bikes. Most people get on scooters that you can purchase for as low as 2,500 MYR or around 760 SGD.

If you’d prefer to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view while you travel, coach rides are readily available from Singapore to Malaysia. To the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the ride can take roughly 4 hours and will cost at least 95 MYR or 29 SGD.

The roads in Malaysia are well-marked in English and Malay, which is great if you’re not among the 10% of Singaporeans who understand Malay.

Fortunately, owning a car in Malaysia is an affordable option if you want the convenience of a vehicle. Cars are available at more affordable prices than in Singapore, where a sedan that would cost around 400,000 RM in Singapore would only be about 120,000 RM in Malaysia. A litre of gasoline that is about 2-3 RM in Malaysia would be approximately 10-12 RM in Singapore.

Malaysia also boasts great highways, with its main aim to connect all the country’s nooks and crannies. It has around 65,877 km worth of highways, more than Earth’s 40,075 km circumference. They also have the largest roundabout in the world. Want to experience that roundabout with your current vehicle? Our ocean freight services include options for moving your car to a new country!

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3. Decide Which Region And Plan For The Monsoon

You also need to decide which region of Malaysia you want to move to. Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia are two very distinct regions, separated by the South China Sea.

Peninsular Malaysia is divided into 11 states and two federal territories. In comparison, East Malaysia consists of two states and one federal territory. Each region has its own immigration policies and residency status for people moving to the country.

East Malaysia is rich in natural resources, with major industries being timber and oil. It is also less industrialised with much of its land covered by lush rainforests, especially in Borneo. Peninsular Malaysia is the one connected to Singapore, and holds the majority of the country’s population and economy, in fact, more than 80% of the Malaysians live in this region.

Despite their differences, both parts of the country share similar geographical characteristics, such as coastal plains rising to hills and mountains. The tropical equatorial climate and moderate temperatures due to the surrounding oceans make it a great place to live.

The monsoon season is an essential part of life in both regions of Malaysia. During this time, heavy rains bring much-needed relief from the hot weather. The monsoon season also brings strong winds that can cause flooding in some areas, so it’s essential to be prepared for this possibility. Some real estate agencies don’t mention this, so it is crucial to do research if you wish to purchase a home in Malaysia.

The monsoon season usually lasts from November until March but can vary depending on location. It’s important to be aware of the weather conditions during this time so you can plan based on when you’re travelling or living in either region of Malaysia.

4. Socialising Is Great For Singaporeans

Singapore and Malaysia actually have shared similarities in terms of culture. Both countries have a strong sense of heritage, shared experience, and history. Life in Malaysia is more laid-back and slow-paced than in Singapore despite Malaysians having a similar lifestyle to Singaporeans.

If you understand Singapore’s Singlish, you’d be able to understand most of Malaysia’s Manglish too–both coming from similar roots. Still, Manglish is just the language of the streets while Malay is the national language. If you wish to communicate with the locals better, try to pick up a few basic words and phrases.

Facebook is the most popular way to connect in Malaysia, especially for expats. There are numerous groups dedicated to helping expats settle in and make friends. Just type ‘Penang Expats’ into the search bar, and you will find more than half a dozen groups that can help you get connected with other like-minded individuals. This makes settling into your new home much easier as you have access to a wealth of resources and support from other expats who have gone through the same process before you.

5. Buy A SIM Card The Moment You Arrive

While we’re on the subject of socialising, you should get a Malaysian SIM card. This costs from 7 RM to 50 RM from providers such as Maxis, Digi, Celcom, U Mobile & Yes in their respective stores. You can also find these in various airports, such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Just like Singapore, Malaysia has a wide range of mobile plans and SIM cards that suit your needs. Popular service providers for postpaid plans are Maxis, Digi, and Celcom. Also, if you’re pressed for time and didn’t get a SIM at the airport or the terminal, you can get one from convenience stores, retail stores, and other kiosks.

Make sure you have your documents with you, as you will need to provide proof of identity before the sale. You would then complete a registration form before being given a SIM card.

cars on road between high rise buildings during night time

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6. There Is A Huge Gap In The Cost Of Living…

Compared to many countries, Malaysia’s living costs are meager. This low cost of living makes it ideal for expats who want to retire early or for people who just want to live in a country with very affordable prices. It’s easy to compare Malaysia and Singapore and see the vast difference in prices.

Renting a condo in a complex with gated security, parking, a pool, and a gym can go for around 3,000 RM, which is just about 914 SGD, while a condo like that in Singapore is approximately 12,000 RM, that’s roughly four times the savings. When you visit restaurants, you can see affordable meals priced at 11 to 12 RM, while the same meal is around 45 to 50 RM in Singapore, amounting to more than triple the cost. Country club memberships are affordable, with The Penang Sports Club as one of the more popular options.

When it comes to education, international schools net an average cost of 27,300 RM yearly, while it’s around 107,000 RM in Singapore. The only items that don’t have a huge difference are items you can see at a convenience store and clothes.

On average, Singapore’s prices are only 50% to 150% higher than in Malaysia. Milk costs around 7 RM versus Singapore’s 11 RM, and rice averages around 5 RM per kilo versus Singapore’s 11 RM per kilo. A pair of branded jeans that costs about 218 RM in Malaysia is 324 RM in Singapore, only a 48% increase. However, it is still evident that Malaysia is still more affordable than Singapore.

Any budget you have for living in Singapore will be far more than enough when living in Malaysia. In fact, with a budget of around 10,000 RM or approximately 3,050 SGD, couples can live comfortably and enjoy all the amenities that come with modern living.

7. …But Having Financial Security Is Still Recommended

Even though Malaysia’s cost of living is very affordable, it is crucial to plan your finances if you don’t have a job when moving. However, this will be fine if you’re relocating for work-related reasons. If you are already employed, or you plan on saving up in Malaysia, you can build a sustainable retirement fund by contributing to the Employees’ Provident Fund. This is mandatory for employed Malaysian citizens and is voluntary for non-Malaysian citizens.

Over-development in Malaysia has been rampant, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there has been an abundance of empty office space. This means that there are more opportunities for businesses to set up shop.

If you want to start a business, make sure you have another source of income, such as a passive income or maybe personal savings, for a smoother transition. Ensure you brush up on Malaysian tax requirements, as tax rates and laws vary.

8. There Are Affordable Healthcare Options

When it comes to healthcare, Malaysia is an excellent destination for those looking for high-quality yet affordable services. With its world-renowned medical tourism industry, you can be sure that you and your family will receive the best care possible. However, ensuring that you are adequately covered in any emergency is crucial. Domestic health insurance policies from Singapore may not cover you in Malaysia, so purchasing an additional health insurance plan in Malaysia would be wise.

Many reputable providers, such as Great Eastern, AIA and Prudential, offer comprehensive coverage at reasonable prices. For those seeking international coverage, Allianz provides a range of packages tailored to meet your needs. With these options available, you can rest assured that you and your family will have access to quality healthcare while living in Malaysia.

9. Take Care Of Your Belongings

Even though you can get to Malaysia by train, plane, or any other transportation from Singapore, you still need to take care of your belongings. Look for professional movers like Sanelo who offer comprehensive moving services such as a pre-move consultation with a custom home survey, packing services, storage for moving your belongings. Professionals who can help you no matter how many belongings you have for the move.

Taking care of your belongings also helps in a smooth transition, as you won’t need to worry about the security of your items. But for added security, you can add shipment protection to ensure that you won’t have any issues after you leave Singapore and arrive in Malaysia.

Conclusion About Moving From Singapore To Malaysia

Whether you’re moving to Malaysia for a new job or just to retire in the beautiful country, you are to expect a lower cost of living, amazing potential neighbours, and beautiful beaches in this country. We hope this article helped you prepare and informed you of the other benefits and great things Malaysia offers.

If you’re moving to other countries from Singapore, check out our other blogs on moving to the UK from Singapore, Thailand, or Japan.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving From Singapore To Malaysia

Can Singaporeans Live In Malaysia?

Singaporeans can stay in Malaysia for up to three months without a visa. However, if you wish to stay for residency or long-term employment, you should visit your nearest Malaysian Representative Office.

Can Singaporeans Retire In Malaysia?

Many have chosen to retire in Malaysia, and if you plan on retiring, you need to join Malaysia My Second Home Programme. This is the best route if you want to retire in the country for a longer stay.

Can A Singaporean Own Property In Malaysia?

Yes, any foreigner can buy property in Malaysia, depending on where. Different foreign property ownership limits govern different states in Malaysia.

How To Move Things From Singapore To Malaysia?

You should disassemble large pieces of furniture. Also, you shouldn’t buy cheap packing materials to ensure the safety of your belongings. However, the best way to move is to contact movers like Sanelo to have a hassle-free move to Malaysia.


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