For those of you who are thinking to find jobs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this article will provide you with a wealth of information to get off to a great start!

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Geography
  • People/population numbers
  • Economy, major industries, and career opportunities for a young professional
  • Job boards
  • Business Associations and Chamber of Commerce
  • Cost of living for a young single professional
  • Visa process
  • Expat sites
  • Expat Web sties

Profile of Kuala Lumpur


The geography of Kuala Lumpur is characterized by a large valley called the Klang Valley. This Valley is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains to the east, and several minor mountain ranges to the north and south and the Strait of Malacca to the west. Kuala Lumpur literally means “muddy confluence: since it is located at the confluence of the Klan and Gombak rivers.

Kuala Lumpur has a tropical rainforest climate and is warm and sunny, although there is a good amount of rainfall, especially during the monsoon season from October to March.  The temperatures remain fairly steady and hover between 72° and 74° F (22 and 23.5C). Rainfall averages 89.2 inches annually with June and July being relatively dry. Flooding is frequent, especially in the city center and downtown areas.

People / Population of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has the greatest population of any city in Malaysia, with a population of 1.6millin in the city as of 2010. It has an estimated metropolitan population of 6.9 million as of 2007.

Kuala Lumpur has a fairly heterogeneous population that is made up of three major ethnic groups:  the Malays, the Chinese, and the Indians. There is a mix of other ethnic groups include Eurasians, and other indigenous races from East Malaysia and Peninsula Malaysia.

Bahasa Malaysia is the official  national language and the principal language of Kuala Lumpur. Other languages spoken include Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tamil.  English is also very common, especially in business and is a mandatory language taught in schools.

Economy and Career Opportunities

Kuala Lumpur is the fastest growing region of Malaysia and is the country’s industrial and economic base.

The GDP for Kuala Lumpur is estimated at RM73,536 million (approximately USD$24,217 million) as of 2008 with an average growth rate of 5.9 percent. Per capital GDP for Kuala Lumpur as of 2008 was RM48,556 (USD$15,9900 with an average growth rate of 5.9 percent.

Kuala Lumpur remains the economic and business center of the country. The service sector which includes finance, insurance, real estate, wholesale and retail, hospitality and food, communications, business services, and transport provide the largest employment opportunities, representing about 83.0 percent of all workers. The remaining 17 percent work within the manufacturing and construction industries. Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia exchange is based in Kuala Lumpur and provides one its main economic activities.

Due to its strong service sector across diverse industries, career opportunities for new graduates and young professionals are strong in nearly every major from finance and economics to retailing, hospitality and international relations.  The areas that represent weak job prospects would be production, construction.

Median Monthly Disposable Income (after taxes)  $1,180.63

Job Boards for Expats

In this list we’re only considering English-language job boards.

1. Malaysia Job Directory

A great resource with links to job boards, recruiters, and major employers in Malaysia. This is the only link you need for help with your job search.

2. Job Street- Malaysia

Another good resource providing job listings at all levels of experience across diverse sectors: finance, sales/marketing, engineering, etc.

3. Monster

The Malaysian version of the popular job board.

4. IT Job Board:

Provides links to IT jobs in Malaysia, primarily Kuala Lumpur

5. Tiptop Jobs-Malaysia

The Malaysian version of the popular job board. You can also post your résumé.

Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce

The Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce (KLMCC): The KLMCC promotes the development of Malaysian business under the motto “Mengriring Melayu ke Mercu Kejayaan” which literally means “assisting Malays to the zenith of success,” An important objective of the KLMCC is to To encourage active participation from Malay entrepreneurs and professionals….as members and / or providing support in creating a strong and solid association.”

For a list of over 10 Chambers of Commerce, business and trade associations in Kuala Lumpur that provide networking opportunities, visit:

Cost of living of single professional

What follows is a breakdown of the average cost of utility and apartment various expenses in Kuala Lumpur by USD. Updated May 2011.

Monthly rent

One bedroom in city center: $428.07

One bedroom outside of city center: $ 242.31

Monthly Utilities

Electricity, gas, water, trash: $49.45

1 minute prepaid mobile (no discount): $0.09

Internet (6 Mbps, Flat rate, Cable/DSL: $ 42.01

For a full cost of living including food, transportation, clothing, recreation, visit: This site offers the option of converting USD to different currencies.

Visa Application Process

A Malaysian tourist or business visa is not required for stays of 30 to 90 days. This applies to citizens of the United States, Canada, and countries of the European Union.

Easy three step process:

1. Check validity of your passport: Should have at least 90 days validity following the departure from Malaysia. However, it is recommended that you have 6 months remaining on your passport.

2. Make sure you passport has blank pages: Most destinations, including Malaysia will require that you have at least two blank pages, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.

3. One (1) Passport size photograph

4. Itinerary: A copy of your airline ticket and itinerary once in the country, along with a copy of your hotel reservation.

5. Confirm requirements for any connecting flights: Check with your airline for the visa requirements of any country where you may have a lay-over as these countries may have different visa requirements. Please refer to the visa requirements of different countries.

Work Permit/Employment Pass (EP)1

Application for an EP must be submitted to the Immigration Office. Paid up capital of the potential employer must be at least 250,000 RM and Salary must be more than or equal to RM3,000 and the post applied for a period of two years or more. The applicant’s salary has to be under the local payroll.

Timing / application procedures

Your Employment Pass application is submitted to the Malaysian Immigration Department and consists of information and documentation that you provide, together with corporate documentation that are provided by your sponsoring company in Malaysia. There are 2 stages to the application:

1. Authorization and approval of your position in Malaysia by the Malaysian Immigration Department (DP10)
2. Employment Pass Endorsement (DP11)

DP 10 process takes from 2 to 4 weeks and for citizens from certain countries (e.g. India, China etc) the processing time may be longer as there are additional procedures to comply with. For restricted nationalities, the applicant is required to remain outside Malaysia while the application is being processed and is only permitted to enter Malaysia on a Single Entry Visa – visa with reference – upon approval of his application.


Useful Expat Web Sites

1. Expat Go Malaysia: A blog and website that includes expat directory of services, shopping guide, visa information, classifieds,  expat events, expat forum, and lifestyle.

2. Kuala Lumpur Expat: Provides and A-Z directory of services, Kuala Lumpur jobs, classified ads, property information, restaurants, and advice forum.

3. Allo’ Expat-Kuala Lumpur: Forums regarding different aspects of expat life: jobs, business and finance, housing, shopping, immigration, etc.

4. Kuala Lumpur Expat Community: “Build up valuable contacts with like-minded Kuala Lumpur expats Find reliable information and trustworthy tips about the expat life in Kuala Lumpur  Join top-class InterNations events to meet fellow expatriates in town.”

5. Kuala Lumpur Expat Guide: Great resource for new expats. Site pprovides all of the following:

  • Friendly, lively forums and an email discussion list where members are made welcome and  encouraged to become part of our community.
  • Country and city guides written for the expat community, not the tourist.
  • Useful articles written for an expat audience covering a wide range of subjects.
  • A monthly email newsletter full of useful information and interesting articles.
  • Expat experiences from expatriates all over the world.
  • Financial advice provided by a range of expert, independent financial advisers ready to answer visitors’ enquiries.
  • Interviews with leading authors, expat service providers and relocation professionals.
  • An informative and entertaining podcast for visitors to listen to online or download.
  • Much more, including property listings for popular expat destinations, expat book reviews, expat blogs, etc.