Kuala Lumpur has been ranked at a lowly 126th in the latest ECA International location ratings survey for Asian expatriates.
In a statement, the company, which provides global mobility reports, said the capital city had fallen from 25th to outside the top 100.
"One of the main causes for this is that while other locations have improved their air quality, the high levels of pollution in Kuala Lumpur, coupled with relatively high rates of petty crimes, have seen the city slip down the rankings.
"However, the Malaysian capital scores well in categories such as utilities and the availability of housing, so there are still positives for any Asian expatriate moving to Kuala Lumpur," said Lee Quane, the regional director (Asia) of the Hong Kong-based group.
ECA compiles data on the cost of living, salary accommodation, tax, labour law, benefits and quality of life for international assignees in about 400 locations worldwide, annually.
According to the survey, Singapore once again ranked the most liveable city for Asian expats.
Quane said the low crime rates, as well as easy access to good quality schools and healthcare, coupled with lower levels of pollution, were among the reasons for the island republic's top ranking.
Five Australian cities – Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra – made the top 10 (some joint), while Osaka and Nagoya in Japan occupied two spots, followed by one spot for Wellington, New Zealand.
Hong Kong remains in 28th place, due to the air quality issues plaguing the city, while the majority of Chinese cities, fell down the ranking, said Quane.
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