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Filming in Malaysia

Lavish period TV series The Singapore Grip filmed in Malaysia, doubling Kuala Lumpur for the World War II era Singapore. The series tells the story of wealthy British families during the battle of Singapore.

Malaysia retains many of the historic architecture that has shaped the region, including colonial era residences, dilapidated warehouses as well as an abandoned town where action sequences shot.  Producer Farah Abushwesha commented "none of those houses now exist in Singapore. Singapore is now so built up...Malaysia gave us options that I don’t think anywhere else in the region would”.

The country is popular for period settings, including Channel 4 drama Indian Summers is set in Simla, a provincial capital in northern India at the foot of the Himalayas, that shot on the island of Penang for the six month shoot also serviced locally by Biscuit Films. Penang also hosted the filming of Mechanic: Resurrection, which shot in a number of locations around the world.

Malaysia is becoming more popular as an international filming location. The country offers a 30% production incentive and Iskandar Malaysia Studios now has a facility in Johor near the southern border with Singapore. It is a popular base for incoming work in the region and has provided water tanks and soundstages for shoots as varied as Marco Polo, Crazy Rich Asians and Chinese disaster movie Skyfire.

The minimum Qualifying Malaysian Production Expenditure (QMPE) remains at MYR5 million - but the minimum QMPE for postproduction has been reduced from MYR1.5 million to MYR1 million. An additional 5% rebate is available for productions that pass a Cultural Test made up of Malaysian Cultural Elements. Examples of these components include: location, language, nationality, landmarks, tradition, cultural diversity and heritage.

On literally the last day of my location scouting, having considered Sri Lanka and travelled around a lot of India, Singapore and Malaysia, I went up Penang Hill and breathed a sigh of relief. These properties were in a time warp: they absolutely summed up the idea of the British transporting their identity to a foreign land.

Charlie Pattinson, Executive Producer on Indian Summers


Malaysia is split in two by the South China Sea. Both east and west Malaysia have a similiar landscape with coastal plains rising to often densely-forested hills and mountains.

It has a tropical climate with very high temperatures. Days are hot and humid, while nights are much cooler. The rainy season in the east occurs between November and February. August is the wettest period in the west.

The average daytime temperature in Kuala Lumpur is 27C all year round.

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