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An English Expat in Malaysia Shares His Experience

Name: Harj Sandhu
Home Country: England
Job/Industry: Insurance
Other countries you have lived in: Canada

What brought you to Malaysia?
We have been in Malaysia for almost three years now. We set up our business here that provides insurance services across Asia, as we felt that Malaysia meets all of our needs.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
I like the friendly people, delicious food, and the fact that Malaysia is quite centrally located. The easy access to so many lovely places in Asia helps! I dislike the worrying crime rate, the bad drivers, and the terrible haze.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
We love going on family picnics, playing golf, and meeting friends to try different bars and restaurants around town.

What is your favourite holiday destination here? Why?
It has to be Langkawi. We find the island a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. It’s safe, boasts great food, and is filled with warm-hearted people.

What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss my family and friends, autumn and spring, and a spicy Jalfrezi from a British curry house!

Do you own property here? If so, where? If not, why?
No, we currently rent, but we are likely to consider buying once our daughter is of school age, in an area close to her school.

What advice do you have for newly arrived expats?
I’d tell them to try not to keep comparing Malaysia to your home country and to simply embrace the country for its friendly people, great food, and opportunities to pursue new activities. Meet other expats to learn of their experiences, and definitely make full use of the budget airlines to travel around Southeast Asia.

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia?
Where would you like to go next, and why? We plan to stay here for some time as we have set up our business in Malaysia. One day we will move back to Vancouver (Canada).

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Is Malaysia a good country to raise children? Why?
Yes! We were amazed to learn of the many reputable and affordable baby and toddler classes. It’s good to see that child development is taken seriously here, and the schools have great reputations. We have learned through many of our friends that their children prefer schooling in Malaysia. In addition, Malaysians are so friendly. Our toddler always gets smiles and compliments from passerbys.

Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
We set up our company in Malaysia a few years ago. It has been a good experience with no real hurdles. Malaysians are kind, smart, but sometimes a bit too laidback. It’s a different pace of work than we are used to, but eventually things get completed. KL is also an excellent hub to service Asian-wide business.

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