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Some basic info on relocating to KL (Kuala Lumpur)

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KL and Malaysia as a whole is in the throes of political change with the upcoming general elections due in May. There is a lot of uncertainty on what the economic, social and cultural situation will be like after that. However, overall, KL can be a great place to stay for expatriates who like the city life. It is somewhere between the sterile, rigidity of Singapore and messy, free-for-all of Bangkok.

One major setback is that this is an Islamic country, thus, there is a lot of underlying no-nos that you will have to understand along the way. For example, if you have a Malay girl in your hotel room, you may find the religious department banging down your door and charging you with Khalwat (The Sharia criminal offence of “close proximity” whereby two unmarried non-relatives of the opposite sex are apprehended after being found “in compromising positions” by state religious police). Liquor is expensive because of the high tax, again because liquor is prohibited in Islam. There is a paradox here, though. The heaviest drinkers who will probably drink you under the table are the Malay bunch! The horniest, most sexy chicks you will find at the night spots in town are predominantly Malay girls. There is a term for them... SPGs. Sarong Party Girls, they hang out at popular hot spots like The Beach Club and prey on Caucasians, hoping to live the expat lifestyle and ultimately marry away to the Americas, Oz, Europe, etc.

Internet connection is fairly good with only occasional glitches as the infrastructure is still being upgraded. The main internet provider is by TM, offering competitive packages. Protected content . There are many options for backup if you cannot afford to go without internet for a few hours (the downtime is usually not more than a day).
1. To have 2 internet providers such as Time.com, etc.
2. Have a smart phone and sign up for data package with the phone provider i.e. Maxis, Digi, etc.

For accommodation, real estate is very costly in KL. The preferred expat areas are Mont Kiara, Bangsar and KL City Center. Price for an apartment there is above $ Protected content month. Check out Protected content It is best to contact some agents so that they can give you some recommendations based on your requirements. Internet, phone and cable TV services is usually applied in your own name for most rental units. The start-up cost to rent a place that is say $1,000 is about $5,500:
3 months deposit $1,000 x 3 = $3,000
+ first month rent $1,000
utility deposit (electricity, water) $500
Internet & phone deposit $1,000

The conversion rate for Ringgit is approx. $1 = RM3 at the moment.

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