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An Interview with An English Expat Living in Malaysia

  1. Expat Extracts #1Richard Rodwell

Name: Richard Rodwell
Home Country: United Kingdom
Marital Status: Married with one child
Designation/Industry/Company: Software & Wine

What brought you to Malaysia?
A few factors played a hand in me making the decision to move to a new place. The death of a friend, the resultant work opportunity and the lure of an adventure – it’s been an amazing 18 years.

What do you like and dislike about living here?
There is so much to like: the rhythm of the place, quality of life, family, friends and of course the food. Work and travel take me to parts of Asia; however I always look forward to coming ‘home’ to KL. I think the more time you spend in Malaysia, the little things that initially annoy tend not to bother me too much anymore. The annual haze, potholes, and rain disrupting satellite service would be the three that still irritate.

Name three typical weekend activities that you enjoy.
Eating out with family and friends, avoiding shopping centres, and trying to fit in the occasional game.

What is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia or in the region? Why?
The East Coast for the beach, Penang for the food, Bali to relax, Singapore for a change, and Hong Kong to party.

What do you miss most about your home country?
Spring and Autumn and being at home on Anglesey with the family. Cheaper cars!

What advice do you have for a newly– arrived expat?
Go out and meet people – Malaysians are incredibly welcoming, friendly, and generous. Food-wise – try everything, especially the fruits. If you can make the time explore the rainforests, climb Mount Kinabalu, and learn to drive. Expats should also take advantage of the fact that Malaysia is a great base to explore the whole region – it’s so easy to hop on a plane and be somewhere in a couple of hours.

How long do you plan to stay in Malaysia? Where would you like to go next, and why?
I would like to think I will always have a place in Malaysia to call home. My family is Malaysian, so leaving for good is not really part of the plan. Hong Kong would be a natural next step from a business perspective.

Is Malaysia a good country to raise children? Why?
My son is Malaysian therefore he will grow up in a diverse cultural environment, speak a minimum of three languages, and, in time I’m sure he will grow to love everything that being Malaysian entails. He’s already off having a good start…

Is Malaysia a good place in which to work and do business? Why?
Malaysia’s both a great place to either start or base a regional business – leveraging Malaysia’s cost; infrastructure; economic stability and language advantage was partly the reason I came here in 1997. For me personally, it provides the ideal base for my work across the region.

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Source: The Expat Magazine March 2015

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