When the Globe Shopper Index rated Malaysia as the second best city in Asia Pacific to go shopping, we at The Choice were quite certain it was due in large part to the friendliness of Malaysians.
Forbes magazine certainly agrees. It has just ranked Malaysia 10th in its World's Friendliest Countries List.Malaysia was of course ranked 12th best worldwide by the World Bank in terms of ease of doing business. Forbes thinks that this ranking should be extended across the rest of our culture.
The results are based on a global survey conducted by HSBC, which asked 5,339 expats from 97 countries a range of questions across four categories: the ability to befriend locals, success in learning local languages, capacity for integrating into the community, and ease of fitting into the new culture.
Top of the list for those wishing to move abroad were the Cayman Islands – presumably for its tax incentives rather than the weather – though Australia and the United Kingdom also ranked highly.
Survey respondents described Malaysia as "culturally interesting" with a pleasant climate. They were also fond of the fact that in Malaysia, one is never far from seeing some of the most spectacular sights that nature has to offer.
Malaysia received particularly high marks from career-minded expats, with 61 per cent of respondents in the country having moved here for the wealth of job opportunities – a good sign for our increasingly educated and skilled people.
Overall, 79 per cent of those surveyed reported a better quality of life in Malaysia compared to their home country – and engaging with the local people is key to that.
"I have no issues in communicating with the locals as many of them are able to speak good English," explained 45-year old Ellen Suppiah from the UK. Clearly she has had no trouble when it comes to feeling welcome – she and her husband have lived in Malaysia for over nine years.
"My husband and I have found many like-minded locals here and we mix a lot with them. Malaysians are very friendly and accommodating," she said.
With so many rankings tables, it is easy to get bogged down with figures. But the key thing to take from them is this:
Malaysia is scoring higher on worldwide tables and more often – this is a sure sign that the country is on the right track to success. We should be proud of this and do everything in our power to maintain this steady transformation of our nation.