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Basic Economic Summary


Digitalisation continues to expand within Malaysia, as companies in every industry are looking to accelerate their transformation efforts in order to scale and grow. As a result, digital and technology talent are highly sought after. In particular, there is demand for developers – front-end, backend and mobile – as well as talent in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. (Robert Walters’ 2020 salary guide)

Basic Information

  • Local Languages: Malay (Official), English, Chinese
  • Major Economic Hubs: Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Seberang Perai
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
  • Population: 32.7 million (2020)
  • Date Format: dd/mm/yyyy

Useful Information

  • GDP Per Capita (in USD): $11,415
  • Exchange Rate (MYR/USD): 0.25
  • PISA Ranking: 48
  • Total number of University Graduates (2018): 5.29 million

Local Universities

Renowned Local Universities:

Salary Data

Average Monthly Salary of Jobs:

Job TitleAverage Salary Range (MYR)Average Salary Range (USD)
Product Manager5000-90001234-2221
Database Administrator6000-100001481-2468

More information about average salaries in Kuala Lumpur can be found on Robert Walters’ 2020 salary guide.

15-20% salary rises are expected for job movers in 2020. For tech professionals staying in a role, 43% expect a 0-6% annual increase, 45% expect a 7-15% annual increment while 15%+ annual salary increment..

Talent Sourcing Tips

English Proficiency: Moderate Proficiency

Number of LinkedIn Users (2020): 5.41 million

Top Local Job Portals: Indeed, Neuvoo, Jobs-Station.com

More information about job portals in Malaysia can be found here.

Top Recruitment Agencies: Monroe Consulting Group, Seekers Malaysia, Hays Malaysia

More information about recruitment agencies in Malaysia can be found here


Employer Payroll Tax

Type of Tax Contribution (%)
Provident Fund (employees under the age of 60) 12% – 13%
Provident Fund (employees over the age of 60) 4% – 6.5%
Social Security (SOCSO) 2.00%
Employment Insurance (EIS) 0.20%
Human Resource Development Fund 1.00%

Links to the provident fund, social security, employment insurance and human resource development fund.

Employee Payroll Tax

Type of Tax Contribution (%)
Provident Fund (employees under the age of 60) 11%
Provident Fund (employees over the age of 60) 0-5.5%
Social Security (SOCSO) 0.50%
Employment Insurance (EIS) 0%

Employee Monthly Income Tax

Net Taxable Income (Ringgit) Contribution (%)
< 416.67 0%
416.67 – 1,666.67 1.00%
1,666.67 – 2,916.67 3.00%
2,916.67 – 4,166.67 8.00%
4,166.67 – 5,833.33 14.00%
5,833.33 – 8,333.33 21.00%
8,333.33 – 20,833.33 24.00%
20,833.33 – 33,333,33 24.50%
33,333.33 – 50,000 25.00%
50,000 – 83,333.33 26.00%
83,333.33 – 166,666.67 28.00%
> 166,666.67 30.00%

Malaysia follows a progressive income tax model. Links to the provident fund, social security, employment insurance and employee income tax.

Minimum Wage & Payroll

Minimum Wage

1,200 ringgits per month or 5.77 ringgits per hour.

Payroll Cycle

Paid monthly, within 7 days of the following month.


13th month salary

Common practice in manufacturing industry to pay salaries in 13 instalments.

Working Hours & Statutory Leave

Maximum working hours

Maximum working hours: 48 hours per week. Most common office practice is 45 hours per week.

Maximum overtime hours

Maximum over time hours is 104 hours in 1 month (~4 hours in 1 day).

Overtime pay
Extra hours worked on normal working day150%
Rest days200%
Public holidays300%

Public Holidays

16 public holidays can be found here. There are 6 compulsory public holiday & 10 optional public holidays. At least 5 of the 10 should be given, but it is common for all public holidays to be given.

Annual Leave

Years of EmploymentNumber of Leaves
≤ 28 days
2 – 512 days
> 516 days

Sick Leave

Years of EmploymentNumber of Leaves
≤ 214 days
2 – 518 days
> 522 days

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

90 days paid leave if employed in last 4 months and worked for same employer for at least 90 days in 9 months prior to childbirth.

Paternity Leave

Not mandatory.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

The termination process is relatively simple with notice to be given for the types of contracts as well as severance pay.

Notice Period

No set notice period, but should be equitable for both employee and employer

Severance Pay

Years of EmploymentAmount of Pay (Days)
≤ 210
2 – 515
> 520

Probation period

Probation is optional. Employment act does not distinguish between employees on probation and permanent employees.



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