This comes as mounting concerns over stubbornly high inflation and stagnant wages pose a potential challenge for the Najib administration which has to call for general elections before March next year.
Data made available by the EIU to The Malaysian Insider show that KL’s cost of living index rose from 67 in June 2009, which was just after Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over as prime minister, to 83 this month, a jump of 16 points or 23 per cent.
This means KL is now 83 per cent as expensive as New York although its salaries are nowhere near as high as those in the global financial capital.
The EIU takes into account more than 160 items, from food, toiletries and clothing to domestic help, transport and utility bills, in 140 cities worldwide to formulate its index, which uses New York City as a benchmark.
Analysts have said that the cost of living will be one of the biggest issues in the next election.
In the run-up to the 2008 polls, a spike in fuel prices and toll rates had contributed to a backlash against the Abdullah administration and helped earn the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition the informal moniker of “Barang Naik” (Malay for “Price Increase”).