COVID-19 ravaged and transformed the world as we know it. Like it or not, it changed every facet of our lives, from how we work to how we live every day. Expats in Malaysia felt the consequence of this unprecedented pandemic the most.

According to, Malaysia ranks #9 in the world as a popular expatriate destination. In fact, Malaysia’s position rose from the 17th spot just a year earlier.

expats in malaysia

The weather, although Malaysians complain about it, is one of the main factors people choose to be an expat in Malaysia. Coupled with a friendly English-speaking community and a smorgasbord of food choices, many want to live and retire in Malaysia long after their job contracts expire.

Then COVID-19 happened. Overnight, expats in Malaysia found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Should they go back, or should they stay and ride out the storm? It was not a simple choice to make, and the clock was ticking.

If they chose to go back and be with their families, they would still need to pay rent in Malaysia. If they decided to stay in Malaysia, amid all the uncertainty, it could be months before they get to meet their loved ones again.

With many countries experiencing a second wave of COVID, it’s clear that this pandemic will linger around much longer than anyone anticipated. In Malaysia, as you now, the RMCO has been extended till 31st December.

A growing number of expats are beginning to realize that they need more mobility and that the old way of living in Malaysia may be off the table for now.

How Expats in Malaysia Are Responding to COVID-19

At Cube Self-Storage, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of expats drastically uprooting and changing their lifestyles. Instead of getting bogged down by expensive monthly rental, they prefer to store most of their belongings at our climate-controlled storage facilities.

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The most common items stored are furniture, art, golf clubs, computers, home audio systems, bicycles and other bulky items. By choosing self-storage, they can now rent a more affordable place to live in.

Many have switched to Airbnb or hotels since these cost way less now.

With this newfound mobility, they can afford to drop everything and return to their home country in short order. Freed from the burden of renting a permanent home, they are feeling less heat from the financial strain caused by COVID-19.

What You Can Do To Adapt To The “New Normal”

The same borderless world we all live in and love is a double-edged sword. COVID-19 may not be the last world-changing pandemic in our lifetime. It was a wake-up call that made us reconsider what was truly important in our lives.

The “new normal” (as it is often referred to in Malaysia) is a different way of looking at things. In this new reality, financial security and mobility are the top priority.

The most meaningful change you can make is in reducing your monthly financial burden and decreasing your lifestyle footprint. Do you really need all the things you have? If you don’t, sell them or give them away. Find alternatives solutions to childcare, education, entertainment, travel and shopping.

We want to support expats in Malaysia by lending a helping hand. As a UK-based company with storage space all over the world, we feel the same frustrations and insecurities most expats do. We get it.

Talk to us and tell us your needs. We will most definitely go the extra mile to guide and help you get through these uncertain times.