Cost of living in Malaysia

Are you moving to Malaysia? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in Malaysia of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

Get a salary calculation for:

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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM16
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) RM14
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast RM7
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk RM7
12 eggs, large RM7
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes RM4.52
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM22
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM9
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM3.95
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM10
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM78
2 liters of Coca-Cola RM3.97
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.12
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area RM3,064
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area RM1,712
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM221
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area RM1,982
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area RM1,225
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio RM172
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) RM127
40” flat screen TV RM1,613
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) RM438
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM19
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM24
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) RM247
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) RM149
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) RM278
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM300
Transportation
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM134,428
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.24
Monthly ticket public transport RM137
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM18
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM29
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) RM63
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) RM21
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM10
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM14
4 rolls of toilet paper RM5.55
Tube of toothpaste RM5.31
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM34
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM77
2 tickets to the movies RM32
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) RM227
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM144
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM31
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM14
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM17
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB RM1,822
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.55
1 month of gym membership in business district RM155
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes RM17

Map of Cost of Living in Malaysia

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This map shows only the top cities in Malaysia. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan.

The color of each marker corresponds with the Cost of Living in the city. Red markers show more expensive cities, green ones show cheaper cities.
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Cost of Living Ranking in Malaysia

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Johor Bahru 90
2nd Petaling Jaya 89
3rd Kota Kinabalu 88
4th Kuala Lumpur 85
5th Georgetown (Penang) 79

Price Index:

To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to Malaysia? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in Malaysia of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

Get a salary calculation for:

Prices recently added

  • 1 ticket to the movies in Petaling Jaya costs RM40 (1 day ago)
  • Hourly rate for domestic cleaning help in Kuala Lumpur costs RM60 (2 days ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Kuala Lumpur costs RM150 (2 days ago)
  • Furnished accommodation in normal area, monthly rent - 900 sqft in Kuala Lumpur costs RM2,033 (2 days ago)
  • Monthly rent - 900 sqft furnished accommodation in expensive area in Kuala Lumpur costs RM3,558 (2 days ago)
  • 2 liters of coca-cola in Kuala Lumpur costs RM2.50 (2 days ago)
  • 12 oz domestic beer in the supermarket in Kuala Lumpur costs RM25 (2 days ago)
  • 12 eggs, large in Kuala Lumpur costs RM5.00 (2 days ago)
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk in Kuala Lumpur costs RM5.00 (2 days ago)
  • 1 kg of boneless chicken breast in Kuala Lumpur costs RM7 (2 days ago)