KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 ― Malaysia took the 20th spot out of 39 countries in a poll of expatriates’ experience of living and working abroad, with good employer benefits and ease of socialisation boosting the country’s score.
Measured across three broad categories in the HSBC Expat Explorer (Balancing Life Abroad) survey, Malaysia fared the best in terms of experience (17th), followed by family (23rd) and economics (25th).
According to the survey findings, expatriates’ working in Malaysia take home annual salaries that are above the global average at over US$109,000 (RM478,379) and are usually offered perks that are more common here than in other countries.
For example, 73 per cent of expatriates here get health and medical allowances as compared to the global average of 52 per cent, while 45 per cent get an annual allowance for visits to their home country against the global average of 33 per cent.
Companies here also offered shipment for personal effects to 42 per cent of expatriates surveyed, against the global average of 23 per cent.
Beyond the generous contractual benefits given, over half of the expatriates here felt that they enjoy a better work-life balance in Malaysia as compared to their home country, with 63 per cent also saying that they have greater disposable income here.
With more time and money on their hands, foreign professionals here are able to lead an active social life, with 72 per cent saying that their social life here is just as active or even surpasses that in their home country.
Adding to this is the ease of making friends in Malaysia, as demonstrated by 62 per cent of expats here in the survey.
Malaysia scores fairly well in terms of relationships, as 43 per cent of expat partners here felt they have been brought closer together after moving here, against only 15 per cent here who say the opposite.
Expat parents here look favourably at Malaysia, with 60 per cent saying that the country offers better overall quality of life for their children, as well as a wider and more diverse circle of friends for their children.
Only 29 per cent believed that their children experienced a better life in their home country.
The survey noted however that only 35 per cent of expats here are confident about the local economy, which is lower than the global average of 48 per cent.
In the eighth edition of the Expat Explorer Survey, 21,950 expats in over 100 countries took part in the survey between March and May 2015 which was conducted by research firm YouGov for HSBC Expat.
Malaysia was one of the 39 countries that made it to the online survey’s league table, which requires at least 100 expat respondents, including at least 30 parents.
The top 10 countries in the overall country league table is headed by Singapore, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Bahrain, Germany, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.