4 factors affirming the quality of life in Greater KL
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 May 2021

The quality of life in Malaysia’s capital Greater KL maintains steadily in line with evolving infrastructure developments, competitive cost of living index, accessibility of quality education, and assured connectivity to the rest of the country.

To understand how this prime foreign direct investment destination is host to consistently optimal urban livelihood, let’s first dive into the region’s recent economic history.

Greater KL’s recent growth

Greater KL is a known epicentre of the Asian economy. It has been powering the continent’s role as the world’s driver of economic growth. Malaysia was able to thrive with a 63.% increase in FDI focused in the region in 2017, before achieving RM82.4 billion worth of total approved FDI in 2019 and ranking 12th in the World Bank’s East of Doing Business 2020 list.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, FDI in Malaysia fell to 68% in 2020, while global FDI activities had dropped to 42%. Still, Greater KL, which comprises Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, recorded the highest investments approved in 2020, totalling RM55.8 billion. Out of this, Selangor brought in RM38.7 billion, while Kuala Lumpur brought in RM17.1 billion.

Greater KL undoubtedly remains a key attraction point for “high-value, high-impact” FDI activities due to digital resilience. According to the Asia Digital Transformation Index 2018, Malaysia ranks sixth in Asia-Pacific’s most digitally transformed countries (after Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan). It is the second most digitally transformed country in Southeast Asia (after Singapore) in the same vein. Additionally, it is also the second most digitally ready ASEAN country (also after Singapore) in the Cisco Global Digital Readiness Index (2019).

Malaysia’s growth transformation is thus undeniably heading towards digital industries such as next-generation digital industries such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, advanced medical technologies, and global business services (GBS).

But how much of Greater KL’s economic prowess is also owed to its liveability? Let’s find out!

The quality of life in Greater KL affirms its status as a sought-after FDI destination.

Beyond the above complex numbers and statistics, human society remains at the heart of a thriving urban ecosystem. And so emerges the factor of Greater KL's liveability. How the quality of life in this region render it an attractive FDI destination?

Here are the four factors through which Greater KL maps an excellent ecosystem for optimised livelihood and economic resilience.

01. Connectivity

Transportation within Greater KL is diverse and efficient. It offers an extensive network of light rail commuter trains, rapid buses, and metered taxis that charter visitors within the city centre and beyond.

There are various public transportation systems at work, including Kuala Lumpur’s efficient Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail, the Monorail systems, and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. Together, these systems connect almost every part of Greater KL.

Such streamlined connectivity is due to practical intercity efforts that run from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) airport to the Klang Valley Integrated Transit System’s northernmost ends.

The country’s railway network, in particular, connects most of Peninsular Malaysia’s 11 states, with Greater KL at the centre of its transportation web. It is even connected to the Thai railway at the peninsular’s northernmost border, allowing for international outbound travel on land.

Then, there is the upcoming East Coast Link Railway (ECLR) to look forward to. A collaboration between the Malaysian subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), and the Chinese government, the USD 10.57 billion railway network will run from Selangor’s Port Klang on the East Coast to Kota Bharu in Kelantan.

As we can see, nationwide connectivity is a crucial part of Greater KL’s greater destiny.

02. Living hubs

Many township developments in Greater KL are designed to be well-integrated combinations of efficient housing properties and commercial and business trade centres. The fact further solidifies with intersectional sustainability efforts such as the growing number of green buildings and the emergence of proptech (property technology) 2.0 in Malaysia.

Living examples are regions such as Bangsar South, Mont Kiara, Subang Jaya, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya. These thriving cities’ unique setups align with Malaysia’s highly rated, favourable position as a pro-business environment in ASEAN.

The great thing to note about these developments is that their designs promote work-life balance via the idea of returning to present moments. This principle is evident in the growing emergence of nature-inspired pavilions and parks, efficient pedestrian and bicycle lanes, and overall communal green spaces, all of which promote activities that increase collective mindfulness.

Food is another main thing that brings people together in multicultural Malaysia. These modern township developments do well to incorporate this element into their livability — inclusively. Their commercial centres offer a wide range of national and international cuisines, with many fine-tuned to accommodate special diets (e.g. vegetarianism, veganism, diabetic management, Paleo).

Thanks to these holistically embedded lifestyle features, the quality of health in Greater KL is high.

03. Education

One cannot measure the quality of life in Greater KL without factoring in the quality of education available within the region. Education is, after all, the very pillar of society that strengthens the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual calibre of our future generations — the very inheritors of our economic legacy.

There are many excellent educational institutions for budding young minds in Greater KL, from renowned international private schools to high performing public schools (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi) to globally top-ranked universities.

Top tiered international schools range from the British International School, Mont’Kiara International School, and Garden International School in the city centre to The International School @ ParkCity, Eaton International School and Columbia International School in the region’s outskirts.

Meanwhile, chief among public high-performing schools are SMK Aminuddin Baki, Alam Shah Science Secondary School, the all-girls SMK Sri Aman, and SK Taman Tun Dr Ismail 1.

When it comes to public and private universities in Greater KL, many have a strong presence in the critically acclaimed QS University Rankings.

Universiti Malaya, the country’s oldest tertiary education institution located at the heart of Greater KL, recently ranked a record-high 59th in the QS World University Rankings 2021. Fellow top-performing public institutions in the region, University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and University Putra Malaysia (UPM), are also on the list, in the 141st and 132nd spots.

Private establishments such as Taylor’s University and USCI University (which QS University Rankings had recognised as Malaysia’s best private university in 2019) also have their place, ranking 379th and 391st, respectively.

In short, the families of FDI stakeholders looking to work and stay across Greater KL will benefit from these great pillars of education. Many urban Malaysians certainly do!

Now, what about healthcare?

04. Healthcare

As it turns out, Malaysia’s healthcare system is among the world’s most exemplary. According to a review by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Malaysian healthcare system provides impressive health gains for its population (70% of which are now living in urban areas), thanks to its universal and comprehensive services that are also low cost.

Approximately 75% of the country’s public hospitals, a bulk of which run efficiently in Greater KL, are government-subsidized, while fast-growing privatised providers are reasonably accessible through moderately-priced insurance policies. The country’s Ministry of Health is utterly hands-on with overseeing public sector health services while also ensuring the private sector providers comply with its centralised safety and legal regulations.

So, in short, wellness is a significant aspect of Greater KL’s livability as a Malaysian region.

Invest in Greater KL’s future today.

In short, the future of Greater KL has already begun. Together, the factors of intercity and intracity connectivity, well-integrated living hubs, high-quality education, and stellar healthcare affirm the region’s optimal quality of life index.

These four factors also greatly culminate in the region’s position as the ASEAN destination with the most competitive living cost. It’s no wonder why, then, the capital city remains the cornerstone of globally effective FDI strategies.

Let us facilitate your growth in the region.


Reach out to our team


Receive updates from us

Generic Popup