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Kuala Lumpur (3) / Malaysia

– Number one among all nations of the world where Japanese would like to live –
A leading global city in Southeast Asia

T. Shimada / Lifestyle & Forest Products Division

* In this column, Marubeni Group staff members provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.

Malaysia–a country that has been chosen for eight consecutive years as the number one nation in the world* where “Japanese people would like to live (overseas destination where they would like to have an extended stay). ”I'd like to tell you about the charm of a country that is not just a tourist destination, but rather a place where you can enjoy living, overtaking Australia and Hawaii.

* LongStay Foundation Survey (2006 – 2013)

  1. Very Livable
    Dining out locally is inexpensive, with the Local Ramen standard lunch costing just 150 yen. Gasoline costs 60 yen per liter, and rent is about several ten thousand yen. Alcohol is more expensive than in Japan, however (because Malaysia is a Muslim nation), which is an especially hard blow to me. Japanese food and Japanese restaurants are not cheap either. Books list the cost of living as about 1/3 of Japan, but I’d say it feels more like about 30 percent lower.
  2. Golf Paradise
    There are a ton of golf courses about 30 to 40 minutes away by car. Public courses cost six or seven thousand yen, and exclusive club memberships cost about 500 thousand to a million yen (incredibly, family members over the age of eighteen can also use the membership). The courses have range, with 6,500 to 7,000 yards being typical.
  3. English is Spoken
    Even taxi drivers and the like have no problem with English, but you do need to get used to their unique accent, as they finish sentences with the Chinese endings, “Le (了)” and “Ma (么).” The same goes for Japanese people, of course.
  4. Endless Summer
    The average annual temperature is over 32 degrees Celsius [89.6 degrees Fahrenheit]. Daybreak is late due to the time difference (around 7:00), and the sunset is late as well (around 19:30). It is really tough to get used to these differences.
  5. Natural Disaster Free
    There are no earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, or even hay fever here!
  6. A Multiethnic Nation
    As a multiethnic nation where local Malays, ethnic Chinese, and ethnic Indians live together, Malaysia is able to accept foreigners.
  7. A Safe Place
    You can’t take this at face value–it is only to say that Malaysia is safe as compared with other Asian nations. It is dangerous from a Japanese sensibility (the safety of Japan is special).
  8. High Standards for Medical Care
    I was surprised by the high quality of the facilities when I went for a routine medical checkup.

    I will close with one piece of background information.

  9. Shangri–La
    Did you know that the management is Malaysian? Not from Hong Kong or Singapore. Shangri-La’s hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu are excellent because they are home territories. Incidentally, Marubeni has undertaken construction in Kuala Lumpur.

Marubeni Group magazine “M-SPIRIT” VOL.83 (September, 2014)

  • Twin Towers photography spot
  • Ultra high calorie ramen with all of the toppings: roast pork, fried pork, and wonton

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