Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top 10 things Malaysia has Given Me

September 16th is Malaysia Day and is not to be confused with Merdeka Day (Aug 31st). Merdeka Day celebrates Malaya's independence from British rule in 1957. Malaysia Day acknowledges the merging of Sarawak and Sabah with Malaya, becoming Malaysia.

People here may go on holidays either in or out of the country, particularly if it coincides with a school holiday week. Or, people flock to the nearest shopping mall to spend the day, and money, on discounts!

Today I decided to spend some time thinking what Malaysia has given me and why I'm so thankful to be living here. So here is my 

Top 10 things Malaysia has Given Me:

1. A beautiful wife and family
Horne family photo in Kuantan, May 2014
First and foremost, the reason why this Englishman is here in Malaysia today, is my beautiful wife. After meeting my Malaysian beauty on the island of Borneo, we soon engaged and married a year later. In addition to being the woman I love, she is a great help to my cause as a local Malaysian.

2. 4 sisters-in-law
My wife with her 4 sisters at home in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Get that! Not only has Malaysia given me a gorgeous wife, but the family extends to four fantastic sisters-in-law (though I hate the 'in-law' part. I refer to them as simply 'sisters'). How lucky can one guy be?

3. A family company
Our company logo
Malaysia has given us our own family company. We registered Horne Learning Services through Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM, or Malaysia Companies Commission), and in no time we had our own business. We are able to work from home, giving us the pleasure of being with and raising our children simultaneously. Our website can be found at HLS English Classes Kuantan

4. Long-term visa with permission to work

The Kuantan, Pahang Immigration has over the years relaxed its policies and has allowed me to receive a 4-year visa with permission to work. This is a huge blessing for me which I am ever grateful for. Long gone are the days where I had to go to Singapore every 3 months to get a new stamp in my passport. I am now working towards receiving PR (Permanent Residency) in Malaysia.

5. A love of hotels
Meeting the Chief Minister of Pahang at Vistana Hotel Kuantan in February 2014
Through my blog and living in Kuantan, I have developed quite a love of hotels, which has seen us stay inside most of the notable hotels in Kuantan, and some of the smaller ones. We have often stayed there for free in exchange for positive blog reviews, while also taking the opportunity of combining our English classes with the hotel industry. We have gained many new friends in hotels in Kuantan and KL which has enhanced our lives dramatically.

6. An appreciation of health
In my hospital bed with dehydration and food poisoning at HTAA Kuantan
Malaysia has given me a more vivid awareness and appreciation of my health. Coming down with food poisoning has taught me to be extra careful what I eat and making sure it's clean and safe before consumption. Severe dehydration has alerted me to the need for drinking PLENTY of water and electrolytes, and also taking rehydration salts from time to time. 

I have also started regular workouts at the local gym, to increase my health, strength and blood circulation. It feels fabulous to work out and eat right!

Looking and feeling better at the gym

Living in this hot and humid climate has created a much greater importance to looking after my health. Coupled with my long-overdue dentist appointments to correct a number of problems at extremely low prices, Malaysia has definitely brought about an improved sense of good health.

7. A new outlook on life
with friends in Ipoh, Malaysia, May 2004
Malaysia has reinvigorated me. It has given me a whole new outlook on life. It is a combination of living a different culture, adapting to a new climate, appreciating the appearance of the sun every single day, interacting with really friendly people, serving others and experiencing new opportunities. Thank you for these wonderful things, Malaysia!

8. Nasi Lemak et al.
A gorgeous helping of nasi lemak
Mmmm, nasi lemak. The greatest food ever! And nasi kukus. And roti jala. And mango sticky rice. And a whole list of other brilliant foods. Malaysia boleh!

9. Beautiful beaches
Teluk Chempedak beach, Kuantan
Malaysia has given me a beautiful beach just 15 minutes drive down the road. Teluk Chempedak beach is the most popular place in Kuantan. I love going there and walking across the bridge through monkey territory to the next beach. What a luxury this is!

10. Astro
Astro is the Malaysian equivalent of Sky TV in England. Man, I get to watch more EPL football in Malaysia than I ever did in England. There are 14 channels dedicated to sports, with additional channels on top of that for special sporting events (ie. FIFA World Cup, Olympics etc). Malaysia has spoilt me!


  1. (•ิ‿•ิ)✿

    Hi Duncan !

    Malaysia is a so beautiful country ! You are very lucky !

    Thanks for this very nice post !!! I wish you health, success and happiness in Malaysia !

  2. Duncan, reading this post made me so happy. I had been living in Malaysia for nearly a decade of my life and didn't even know such a day existed! And I'm from SABAH, haha!

    Such a heartwarming post, thank you for sharing Duncan. Keep up the blogging! xx

  3. You have a beautiful family and are very lucky to be able to conduct a business from your home. Do you speak Malaysian? Do you ever get homesick?

  4. Glad that you are happy here in Malaysia man! Though never met in person, your positive vibes have reached me that I, too, am happy for being a Malaysian!

    Happy Malaysia Day!

  5. So many positives Duncan.. do you think you'd ever live in the UK again ?

  6. I am so glad about this uplifting post, I wish you and your wonderful family even more serenity and happiness! By the way, I am writing this from London...

  7. Congratulation for a very good article, Duncan! Your achievements are noteworthy!

    I noticed you have my old blog in the blogroll. My new address is http://travelinghawk.me May be you are courious to see what I already wrote about my trip to KL. I still have to write about Malacca:-)

  8. Great list! I was not expecting number 10 however!

  9. Beautiful photos Duncan.
    Great that you now have a residence permit for a longer time.
    Now you can stay and work there.

  10. Wonderful blog post babe! :D that 4-year visa is the BOMB!

  11. Thank you Nancy, you're very kind :)

    Thank you for the visit Bob

    Michelle, thank you for the encouragement. There are a few people who cannot distinguish between Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day, even though they are quite different celebrations.

    Sally, I count that as one of my greatest blessings - being able to work and raise my children simultaneously.
    I do speak a little Bahasa Melayu (the national language of Malaysia) but only enough to kind of get me through a very basic conversation!
    I've been out here for over 8 years now so I never ever get homesick. Malaysia has become my home so I imagine any homesickness may well occur if I was ever to leave Malaysia!

    Thanks Kai! We have a lot to be thankful for living in Malaysia, though most locals I meet seem to want to move away!

    Grace, to be honest, there is no chance I would consider moving back to the UK, at least not voluntarily. It's just too good out here.

    Thank you for your kind words VP. Hope you're enjoying London :)

    Thank you Traveling Hawk, I will have a look at my blogroll and adjust it :)

    Ah, Monica, number ten is a very important one for a huge sports fan like me! There's no way I could leave astro out - it has transformed my sports experience!

    Yes Irma, it's such a great relief to have that extended permit. A burden removed, for sure.

    Fie, yes, that work permit is one of the best things that happened to me here. PR up next :)

    Thank you all for your visits and taking the time to comment. It's been great reading through them and posting these replies!

  12. No. 11 A greater appreciation for Richard Branson, the Internet and Skype :)


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