Exactly like you said Malaysia is a better choice. I live in Singapore once after 3 months you seen them all. Plus it is so expensive these days full of foreign worker Indian, Pino, Bangla not a nice place anymoreboth Malaysia and Singapore are good choices for immigration, in my humble opinion.
Singapore has a higher living standards, so naturally prices are higher there. It is also remarkably safe to wander at night there. But as a city state, you may find life a bit boring, and the Singaporean government is said to be just a bit too overbearing and parent-like.
If you ask me, I prefer Malaysia whose citizens are genuinely friendly if you respect their culture and way of life. As a bigger country, it offers more diversity, and more fun to drive around, but mind you, it is right hand drive.
I am thinking of retiring in Kota Kinabalu used to be called Jesselton on East Malaysia in a year or 2 It is Chinese majority town like Penang and Singapore with Mountain on one side and Sea on the other side So if it too hot you go to mountain. Not so crowded like KL
Living in the west is comfortable but a bit sterile and so far away from my roots
Chinese new year in SEA is very festive occasion. good company good food like this party this guy is so rich he invite all his fellow babas . Look at the front yard it can host so many people must be mansion like crazy rich asian
Trying to find Chinese culture in China is like trying to find needle in haystack Even the rich Shanghainese are moving to Malaysia and they see more Chinese culture there than in China