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Reasonable salary in Kuala Lumpur

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by taffyboy, May 8, 2008.

  1. HI I left KL 4 yrs ago (stupidly) as apartments there are the best I have ever lived in. Swimming pols to die for and great facilities. If u r working at Alice or Garden their housing allowance is good enough to get a 3 bedroom apartment in most condos. If u r off to MIGS or other then it is questionable.
    Advice from me is to find your own once there as agents get a cut of your rent i e 1 month rent from the owners of apartments. The local papers are full of apartments for rent.Then get your school to ok the contract.
    If your partner wants to teach there is lots of private tuition to be had.
  2. KL is not really a cheap place compared to other asian cities. Rents have gone up and although you can get a condo for less than 3000 ringgit per month(about 500 pounds) it will more likely be an old place with old furniture and when you first view it - dirty. Make sure you insist the landlord cleans it and even paints it if necessary. Be choosy as there is a lot of choice and you have the bargaining power because of this (although some greedy landlords won't budge in their price)
    Non teaching partners? Some find work and others don't. I know of two couples who left because their non teaching partners could not find work and got bored.
    One got so bored he had affairs with a whole string of local girls - one of them another ex-pat's wife -so it was a disastrous time for that particular couple!
    Eating out is cheap but do not spend all your money on food in western outlets. They are roughly the same as back home and will eat away at your salary.
    Wages? None of the schools here pay a generous wage -fine for singletons but not families. I heard that one of the big schools here recently gave their staff a generous pay rise but it hasn't stopped people leaving as I also hear the new management at said school is becoming more demanding of their staff and this is making some people generally unhappy.
    Having said all that, I am still in KL after four years and I really like it here. It is very easy to be here and that is why a lot of people do stay on. I have no plans to go back to Britain - I went back last year to visit and I couldn't stand the horrible weather!
  3. Depends where you want to live & which school you are working at.
    You COULD in theory live v cheaply, but we are only discussing on here expat-type housing...

    One of the big UK Secondary schools is way out in the sticks, so you could live out there or you could choose anywhere and do the traffic.
    Many expat teachers live in TTDI - spacious 2 bed apartment like Taffy described is about 2500 upwards. These are in tower blocks & older but nice.
    Other areas you can get similar for 2-2500. 20 min drive to many int schools.
    Mont Kiara is where some of the international schools are - this is upmarket residential, tower blocks of 30 storeys, concrete jungle but FANCY concrete jungle (many Japanese & Korean expats) so 3000 upwards for smaller but newer condos. Traffic in that area is v bad around school times but if you live near your school you can walk. Many staff do.
    You can also rent an unfurnished/furnished row house with 3 bedrooms & mini garden for the same price, which some families prefer. But this won't have a pool or security & burglaries do happen, although not as often as UK big cities.
    Bangsar & Ampang are the most upmarket rental areas & prices are 3000 upwards for a v small condo, sky's your limit. But both have good nightlife & upmarket shopping together with local shops.
    And, you CAN buy if you decide you like it. I know someone who has done that.
    Hope this helps. Otherwise ask away.
  4. Don't live in Bangsar! Ex-pat hell and loads of little Englanders (Aussies and others too) and gossipy oil riggers wives with nothing to do but meet for coffee and compare their maids! I know because I've heard it with my own ears!
    Unless of course you like that sort of thing...
  5. How about Desa Park City, what would the commute be to Alice Smith?
  6. Hi,
    this advice is great. I have to decide by Monday whether to accept or not. The school is offering 1000 R towards housing (clearly not going to cover it all) and 7000 R per month salary. It is just me and my partner but obviously I can't make an assumption that he will get a job. We are hoping he will but from what I gather it is very difficult. I realise I have to make some tax payments from this. What do people do about pensions? I don't want to mention the school name but it is not the Alice one. I really want to work abroad (have done in the past and I know that Malaysia is a great place through travelling there) but I am prepared to take my time and find the right job. Is this a realisic salary? I know the cost of living can be cheap but I would like to live in a reasonable apartment? As for the school I have the impression it is quite demanding, which is fine as long it is not a struggle financially as well. What do you think?
  7. Taman Desa is a great Condo and will cost u about 2000 for 3 bedroom..there are smaller for less.There are cheaper condos around the corner form there and there is a short car ride to the motor way which will take u to AS.
    Try and contact someone from the school to see who is leaving and ask about their apartment and car.
    Its a good school and a good life
  8. This is all very useful information - thanks.

    Anyone got any tips for AS Primary?
  9. Does anyone know what sort of deal teachers who work for the Ten by international schools get? Can someone afford to live on it?
  10. Caroline - sorry be a spoiler but your wage is RUBBISH and 1000 towards accomodation is an insult. Ok if you can afford to take a pay cut but I really would not get on a plane or out of bed for that paltry sum. You get taxed quite highly here too. You will struggle my dear, believe me.
    I do not understand why people on this thread cannot just tell the truth! Are they all hypnotised or brainwashed or something?
  11. Can you give an estimate of what a good salary is for KL?
  12. Well, at one 'good school' the monthly salary + overseas allowance + rent is:
    For a single contact, ex-pat teacher with 3 year's experience: 14250RM
    at the other 'good school' is: 14000 RM.
    In both of these schools, this includes an accommodation allowance of about 2500RM.

    Your actual ?cash in hand? salary would be about 10,000 plus 3200, which goes into a forced savings account for when you leave.

    There other (relatively small) differences between these 2 schools (e.g baggage allowances, medical, how high their pay scales go, how expat allowances work) that need to be considered before making a direct comparison between them. These are realistic ball park figures though and makes your salary about half the going rate. :(

    Take into account that the salaries in KL are comfortable but not amazing compared to some places in the world (or even SE Asia) due to the fact that it is a desirable location to live. Some people on this forum have asked affordability questions about living in KL with non-working partners before ? try doing a search.

    International schools have ex-pat salaries and locally hired teacher salaries. These vary significantly (3500 at one and 10000 at the other). People at the former must be able to survive, but I wouldn?t think it was a very comfortable lifestyle!

    One of the good schools still has some jobs on its website. I?d consider these or applying next year.

    Note that I don't actually live there (yet). People with local knowledge may be able to offer more advice.

    Good luck.
  13. Yes that salary offer is v low. You COULD live on it, but it would be a pinch. You wouldn't be eating out in Bangsar or the city centre unless it was street food.
    Tank of petrol for eg: is about 100RM. That did me a week of travelling to work + a small amount of driving around. Broadband about 80 a month. Satellite TV about the same. Elec about 200 a month + depends how many rooms you'll need the a/c on in. Mobile & phone bills cheap though. Food cheap.

    Are you being offered 'local hire' which some schools try if you are arriving with a partner employed elsewhere.
    I would have thought not, cos they are offering you a housing allowance & local hire don't usually get that. Is there an allowance for flights? Check who they intend to fly you out on.

    Or, it could be an 'international' school which isn't really - local students.
    Yes, local staff are paid on a different scale. But all the ones I have worked with had husbands who were very well paid so if you looked in the car park, you could spot an expat car compared with a local colleagues...!

    Yes generalising and yes unfair to those local staff (the ones who are equally qualified/experienced)
  14. Tips for AS primary..if u r female dye your hair blond..Head seems to employ more blopnds than anything.
    ad but true!
  15. Forgot to add:

    Non-teaching partner = very difficult for them to find work, generally, whether they are male or female. Did you mean your partner has a job offer? If so, then their employer might offer a housing allowance. Other, non-teaching, expats usually get a lot higher allowance.

    Low paid jobs are done by locals or increasingly expat (and illegal) workers from places like Bangladesh or Indonesia.

    Married spouse will get a residence visa but NOT work visa.

    Partner non-married will need to come in on tourist visa (3 months) and then do visa runs - this is not an issue, we go on holiday so often mine just gets the new 3 months every time we go to Bangkok or whatever. Tourist visa means no legit work though.
  16. Hi,
    thanks for all this advice, no my partner does not have a job. He is hoping (although I know possibly small chance) to get work after going to Malaysia. As for the school I emailed and told them I wouldn't be accepting the post because of the salary. We are now in salary negotiations but I don't hold out much hope as the original offer was so low. So thank you all for the advice as I wouldn't have known that. It makes such a difference to get infotmation from people that are or have been in the place you are interested in.
  17. Kiwitaff The drive from Desa Park City to Alice @ EP is about a 1 hour drive on a normal day. From Desa to JB probably about 30 mins. Unless there are some short cuts of which I am unaware.
  18. 'reasonable' depends of course on what you're used to and your expectations. Many expat teachers - beautifully referred to by taff as the alice smith primary blondes (in spirit more than body perhaps!) -spend all their time in wellheeled and shallow gloss bars where the drinks are outrageously expensive but the people certainly look good. and then they have the front to complain that they don't earn enough. message is: KL is as expensive as you want it to be. you can definitely have a very good time without being willingly bled dry.
  19. We are bringing all of our furniture with us, how much can we reasonably negotiate off the rental price to take a place unfurnished? (we will need white goods though.
  20. I didn't take the job! Does anyone think any other Kuala Lumpur jobs will be advertised before next summer?

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