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Best rental properties for expats in KL and Selangor


Are you an expat and looking to move to Malaysia soon? You’ve come to the right place to look for property to rent. We’ve outlined areas popular for expats living alone or together with families, and the most searched locations for rent in Q3 2022.

expat looking for rental house
@andreypopov | 123RF

Moving can be overwhelming. What’s more when you’re moving to another country. If you’re an expat currently on the lookout for a property for rent for yourself and/or your family, you’ll get ideas on where and what to look out for here.  

To begin, the two factors that top the criteria list are usually the area and budget. That’ll greatly help you narrow down your search. If you need a guide on the fees involved, tenancy agreement, and more, you may refer to this article here.  

So, what makes a good location? They are often peppered with amenities and facilities such as malls, international schools, private and public educational institutions, financial institutions, commercial hubs, entertainment zones, efficient transport and infrastructure systems such as rail networks, highways and expressways. However, having all these close to the property also usually means a higher population, traffic, and rental price.  

Where do most expats live in Malaysia? 

The Golden Triangle (the heart of Kuala Lumpur) is popular amongst expats as it’s a hub for multinational companies (MNCs), with an active scene for the urbanite.  

Other sought-after locations in Kuala Lumpur among expats include the ‘Embassy Row’ of Jalan Ampang (where most embassies are located), Bukit Tunku (Kenny Hills), Damansara Heights, Mont Kiara, Ampang, Bangsar, and Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI). 

Petaling Jaya in Selangor is a sought-after city as it offers a good mix of residential (both high-rise and landed properties), commercial, industrial, retail and entertainment hubs. It isn’t excessively metropolitan while providing residents with a well-balanced and connected life where amenities are within a short drive. 

Rental price range in Malaysia

The following table includes the price range of units available to rent from in popular areas for expats in KL, Selangor and Penang.

No. AreaRental Price Range
1.Mont Kiara, KLRM1,600 – RM10,500
2.Bangsar, KLRM1,600 – RM18,000
3.Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KLRM1,200 – RM16,000
4. Damansara Heights, KLRM1,650 – RM14,000
5.Petaling Jaya, SelangorRM900 – RM15,000
6.Cyberjaya, SelangorRM850 – RM16,000
7.Subang Jaya, SelangorRM1,200 – RM16,00
8.Ara Damansara, SelangorRM1,350 – RM15,000
9.Bayan Lepas, PenangRM1,100 – RM7,500
10.Gelugor, PenangRM1,000- RM8,500
11.Georgetown, PenangRM1,000 – RM13,000

Tip: Use the filter functions to narrow down your search for the area you’re interested in.

What affects the asking rent price

Here’s a quick list of some of the factors that affect the asking rent price.

  • Area / Location – Needless to say, the posher the property is located, the higher the asking rent price.  
  • Property age – Newer properties with a modern façade and facilities are usually in a stronger position to command a higher rent.  
  • Unit size – The price would be higher for a bigger unit (more rooms), but it could end up being lower based on rent per sq ft.  
  • Furnishing – the more fitted and furnished a unit is, the more you’d need to fork out  

Another important aspect is the property’s title, whether it’s a residential or commercial title. Do take note that the utility fees are higher for commercial-titled properties. 

READ: 10 things you should know before you rent a house in Malaysia

NOTE: High-rise property types such as condominiums and serviced apartments are the choice of many in Malaysia. This is because apartments and flats are usually older in age as they were built roughly 2 decades ago and these buildings tend to have fewer or basic facilities.

What is the cost of living in KL? 

Based on data from, a single person’s estimated monthly costs living in KL are RM2,238 excluding rent. Whereas for a family of four, the estimated monthly cost without rent is RM8,035. On average, rent in Kuala Lumpur is 87.51% lower than in New York.

As a comparison between the cost of living in KL and Selangor, the rent prices in Kuala Lumpur are 16.98% higher than in Selangor. In addition, the restaurant and groceries costs for KL are 0.34% and 20.60% lower than Selangor.

Rental properties for expats living alone  

Solo expats could look into studio, 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom units – depending on how much space they need or want. For better security, most would consider high-rise developments.  

If you’re relying on public transport, go for transit-oriented developments (TOD). TODs are mixed developments that are close to or integrated with a transit network. It creates a walkable environment around it, with convenient accessibility. 

1. Arte Plus, Ampang

arte plus for expat
@Ada Tan | iProperty

Arte Plus is located along the ‘Embassy Row’ of Jalan Ampang, which many diplomats call home. This residence is accessible via Jalan Ampang, Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH), and it’s surrounded by international communities. 

The Petronas Twin Towers are minutes away, while shopping malls and hospitals are within a 5km radius. One of the talking points for Arte Plus is its unique and stylish design. Its CLOUD Podium provides a beautifully designed geometric cloud structure, which has a bar concept and leisure area.  

Arte Plus’ facilities are equally interesting, such as an organic-shaped pool with futuristic decks, a floating fantasy garden, rock climbing, and a 40-metre Lazy River Spa, among others. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM1,400  
  • Built-up size: From 550 sqft (studio units and more) 
  • Nearest stations:  
    • Dato’ Keramat LRT Station: about 10 mins drive or 25 mins walk 
    • Jelatek LRT Station: about 10 mins drive or 30 mins walk 

2. Suasana Sentral Loft, KL Sentral

suasana sentral loft expat
@Jocelyn Tan | iProperty

Suasana Sentral Loft is located at KL Sentral, in between Sentral One office block and Suasana Sentral Condominium. Facilities there include a 50-metre infinity pool with piped-in music, an outdoor jacuzzi, barbeque pits, a reflective pool, a sky gym, and a lounge.  

KL Sentral has the most rail lines in the Klang Valley Integrated Transit Network with 6 rail lines. They are the KTM Batu Caves – Pulau Sebang Line, KTM Tanjung Malim – Pelabuhan Klang Line, LRT Kelana Jaya Line, ERL KLIA Ekspres Line, ERL KLIA Transit Line, and KL Monorail Line. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM2,700 
  • Built-up size: From 811 sqft (2-bedroom units and more) 
  • Station: At KL Sentral itself (about 5 mins walk) 

3. Establishment Bangsar, Bangsar

Est bangsar for expats
@LiQi | iProperty

Establishment Bangsar, also known as Alila Bangsar is accessible via Jalan Bangsar and Jalan Ang Seng at Brickfields. It is well-connected via a network of major highways, including the Federal Highway and New Pantai Expressway (NPE).  

Medical centres such as iHeal Medical Centre and Pantai Hospital are about 10 minutes away, while NU Sentral mall (located at KL Sentral) is a 6-minute drive away. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM2,000 
  • Built-up size: From 468 sqft (studio units and more) 
  • Nearest station: Bangsar LRT station (about 5 mins walk) 

4. Dianthus @ Tropicana Gardens, Kota Damansara

Dianthus for expats
@Vannesa Tay | iProperty

There are several residential blocks at Tropicana Gardens, with Dianthus being one of them. Tropicana Gardens is directly linked to an elevated MRT station located in the middle of Persiaran Surian through Level 1 of the shopping mall (Tropicana Gardens Mall).  

The development fronts Persiaran Surian and it is accessible via major expressways including the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), Sprint Highway, and Penchala Link.  

Tropicana Gardens is also close to other popular and well-populated locations such as Sunway Damansara, Bandar Utama, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) and Damansara Utama.  

  • Monthly rent: RM2,200 
  • Built-up size: From 601 sqft (1+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest station: Surian MRT station (about 6 mins walk) 

5. Marc Residence, Kuala Lumpur City Centre 

Marc residence for expats
@Desmond Low | iProperty

Marc Residence is located at Jalan Pinang, in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It is less than 1km from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Suria KLCC Mall and KLCC Park, while the Bukit Bintang shopping belt comprising Pavilion Shopping Centre, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Berjaya Times Square and more are in close proximity. 

Facilities offered by Marc Residence include a barbeque area, gym, infinity swimming pool, reading room, and a tennis court, among others. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM2,400  
  • Built-up size: From 409 sqft (studio units and more) 
  • Nearest station: KLCC LRT station (about 10 mins walk) 

6. KL Gateway Residences, Bangsar South

kl gateway for expats
@Desmond Chui | iProperty

KL Gateway enjoys high frontage from the Federal Highway as it is located beside the highway itself. It is also close to major highways such as New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Sprint Highway, and Kerinchi Link. 

The development is about 15 minutes drive to Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur respectively when traffic is clear. For shopping, Nexus and The Sphere is only about 5-minute drive, while Mid Valley Megamall is roughly a 10-minute drive away. 

KL Gateway Residences’ facilities include an infinity pool, lap pool, wading pool, gymnasium, steam and sauna room, playground, barbeque area, function hall and lounge. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM2,200  
  • Built-up size: From 500 sqft (studio units and more) 
  • Nearest station: University LRT station (about 5 mins walk) 

Rental properties for expats with family 

For families, we would naturally suggest bigger units. Perhaps a minimum of 1,000 sq ft, but that also depends on how big your family is. Here are some developments with bigger units and located relatively close to international schools, for your consideration.   

1. Concerto North Kiara, Mont Kiara

concerto for expats
@Regina Tan | iProperty

Concerto North Kiara enjoys accessibility via Sprint Highway, Penchala Link, Kerinchi Link, New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE), which lead to various locations in the KL City Centre and Petaling Jaya.  

Concerto Kiara is also located close to several shopping malls such as Publika Shopping Gallery, 1 Mont Kiara, 163 Retail Park, Hartamas Shopping Centre, Solaris Mont Kiara, Plaza Damas, and Plaza Mont Kiara. They are all within a 10-minute drive.   

Facilities at Concerto North Kiara include a swimming pool, wading pool, whirlpool, convenience store, music room, nursery, children’s playground, badminton courts, half basketball court, table tennis, squash court, yoga room, gymnasium, jogging track, putting green, and more.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM3,500 
  • Built-up size: From 1,200 sqft (3-bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • French School of Kuala Lumpur: 700m / 3 mins drive 
    • Garden International School: 3.2km / 9 mins drive 
    • Mont’Kiara International School: 3.5km / 10 mins drive 
    • Hibiscus International School: 3.6km / 11 mins drive 

2. Pavilion Hilltop, Mont Kiara

pavilion hilltop for expats
@Alfred Chua | iProperty

Pavilion Hilltop is a premium condominium located off Jalan Duta Kiara. As the name suggests, this property is developed by a renowned developer, the Pavilion Group. It has excellent access to highways such as the Sprint Highway, Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE), the North-South Highway (PLUS), and the Penchala Link. 

Just like most residents in Mont Kiara, you can get to a plethora of malls and amenities within a 10-minute drive. Facilities at Pavilion Hilltop include a 45-meter infinity pool, 25-meter pool, a wading pool, an outdoor spa lounge, a floating cabana, a children’s playground, barbeque facilities, a jogging path, a game room with an outdoor courtyard, a library, a gym, restaurant, multi-purpose hall, dance studio, basketball practice court, squash court, and tennis court. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM4,000 
  • Built-up size: From 1,200 sqft (3-bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • Mont’Kiara International School: 1.5km / 5 mins drive 
    • Garden International School: 3.2km / 13 mins drive 
    • French School of Kuala Lumpur: 3.6km / 10 mins drive 
    • Hibiscus International School: 5.6km / 15 mins drive 

3. Five Stones, SS2, Petaling Jaya  

five stones for expats
@Jasmine Chong | iProperty

Five Stones is located within the bustling SS2, and it comprises five blocks of low and mid-rise villas and high-rise condominiums. There are plenty of amenities in the vicinity such as eateries, banks, convenience stores, shopping malls (1 Utama, The Curve, 3 Damansara Mall, Atria Shopping Gallery, Seventeen Mall, Starling Mall), and medical centres (University Malaya Medical Centre, Columbia Asia and Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah). 

Facilities at Five Stones include a swimming pool, badminton court, gymnasium, and multi-purpose hall. The property is easily accessible via the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), Jalan Kemajuan, and Jalan Universiti.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM4,100 
  • Built-up size: From 1,785 sqft (3-bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • MAZ International School: 3.6km / 10 mins drive 
    • Nobel International School: 3.9km / 14 mins drive 
    • Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School: 3.8km / 10 mins drive 
    • The British International School: 4.5km / 11 mins drive 

4. Tropicana Grande, Petaling Jaya

tropicana garden for expats
@Michael Lam | iProperty

Tropicana Grande is a low-density high-end residential development on Tropicana Golf and Country Resort. There is a myriad of facilities including a swimming pool, lounge pool,a jacuzzi, wading pool, children’s playground, game room, tennis court, half basketball court, gymnasium and a barbeque pit. Additionally, it’s secured with smart home security features such as its private lift lobby that only opens to each unit.  

There are also many shopping malls in the locality such as 1 Utama, Tropicana Gardens Mall, Sunway Giza, Giant Kota Damansara, The Curve, Lotus’s Damansara, and Atria Shopping Gallery. There are also retail lots at Tropicana Avenue, which is about 3 mins drive from Tropicana Grande.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM6,500 
  • Built-up size: From 2,273 sqft (3+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • St Joseph’s Institution International School: 1.3km / 3 mins drive  
    • The British International School: 2.9km / 7 mins drive 
    • Sri KDU Schools: 4.9km / 10 mins drive 
    • Nobel International School: 8.7km / 17 mins drive 

5. Mutiara Upper East @ Desa Pandan, Ampang

mutiara upper east for expats
@C. H Tan| iProperty

Mutiara Upper East is a high-end condominium, with ‘Feng Shui’ elements. It is located within the embassy district of Ampang Hilir, and close to Jalan Ampang, Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), and Ampang Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH). 

There are 3 themed gardens at Mutiara Upper East – Zen Bamboo Groves, Eugenia Courtyards and Palm Promenade. There’s also an outdoor children’s play area and an indoor playroom. Other facilities at this condominium include a sauna, multi-purpose hall, gymnasium, barbeque area, playground, tennis court, and surau. 

Mutiara Upper East is also close to Royal Selangor Polo Club, Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Raintree Club, SK Desa Pandan, Royal Selangor Golf Club, and Lotus’s Ampang.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM3,700 
  • Built-up size: From 1,281 sqft (3+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • International School of Kuala Lumpur: 1.1km / 4 mins drive 
    • Sayfol International School: 2.3km / 6 mins drive 
    • Taylor’s International School: 2.8km / 7 mins drive 
    • Utama International School: 8.9km / 18 mins drive 

Rental properties for expats looking for landed property 

If you’re looking for landed properties, there are plenty to choose from as well. Here, we’ve rounded up several gated and guarded developments, where you’re guaranteed to have more space for each of your family members. 

1. Idamansara, Damansara Heights

idamansara for expats
@Teoh | iProperty

Idamansara is an exclusive gated and guarded residential enclave in Damansara Heights. The development comprises semi-detached houses and bungalows. Properties in Damansara Heights have consistently been a popular choice for high net-worth individuals.  

Idamansara is easily accessible via Jalan Semantan, Jalan Duta, Lebuhraya Sprint Highway, and Jalan Maarof. It is a few short minutes away from Bangsar, another area popular with expats, and Pusat Bandar Damansara. The area is also rich with all kinds of amenities. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM3,200 
  • Built-up size: From 4,400 sqft (5+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • Cempaka International School: 3.4km / 6 mins drive 
    • Stella Maris International School: 3.8km / 7 mins drive 

2. Valencia, Sungai Buloh

valencia for expats
@Celina Koh | iProperty

Homes in Valencia are weaved around a 9-hole resident-only golf course, and there’s also a neighbourhood clubhouse, business centre, tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pool, wading pool, nursery, children’s playground, barbecue area, gymnasium, sauna, and a jogging track.  

Valencia has around 900 houses and the home types are townhouses, semi-detached houses, bungalow lands, garden terraces, town villas and SoHOs. There are four sections, called North Golf Precinct, South Golf Precinct, Hill Court Precinct and Garden Precinct. 

Valencia is accessible via the North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), and Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP). Shopping malls in the Mutiara Damansara area are about a 10 to 15 minutes drive away, such as The Curve, IPC Shopping Centre, IKEA, and 1 Utama. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM3,200 
  • Built-up size: From 3,109 sqft (3+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • ELC International School: 3.2km / 9 mins drive 
    • IGB International School (IGBIS): 3.3km / 9 mins drive 
    • Sri Bestari International School: 7.1km / 15 mins drive 

  3. Duta Tropika, Mont Kiara

duta tropika for expats
@Shiyan Lim | iProperty

Duta Tropika offers for resort-style living and it consists of three-storey linked houses and 3.5-storey semi-detached villas (garden villas). It is located opposite Publika Shopping Gallery and neighbours Duta Nusantara, which was developed by the same developer.  

Duta Tropika is also close to a host of amenities, including Plaza Mont Kiara, Solaris Mont Kiara, Wilayah Persekutuan Mosque, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Duta Hockey Stadium, National Squash Centre, and Tun Razak Tennis Complex.  

Duta Tropika features CCTV cameras with infrared sensors, a home alarm system, a community intercom system, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a wading pool, Jacuzzi, a children’s playground, and a reading area. 

  • Monthly rent: From RM9,000 
  • Built-up size: From 3,774 sqft (4+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • Mont’Kiara International School: 2.1km / 5 mins drive 
    • French School of Kuala Lumpur: 3.1km / 6 mins drive 
    • Garden International School: 3.8km / 10 mins drive 
    • Hibiscus International School: 5.1km / 6 mins drive 

4. The Effingham, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya

effingham for expats
@Shirley Ng | iProperty

The Effingham is close to multiple amenities, including 1 Utama Shopping Centre, One World Hotel, The Club Bandar Utama, the British International School, Centrepoint Bandar Utama Shopping Mall, IKEA, and The Curve. 

Other well-established townships close to The Effingham are Damansara Utama, Kota Damansara, and Damansara Jaya. The Effingham is accessible via Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Sprint Highway, the North-South Highway (PLUS), and Jalan Damansara.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM9,000 
  • Built-up size: From 5,654 sqft (6+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • The British International School: 2.8km / 6 mins drive 
    • St Joseph’s Institution International School: 5km / 7 mins drive  
    • Beaconhouse Sri Inai International School: 6.2km / 11 mins drive 
    • Nobel International School: 7.6km / 11 mins drive 
    • MAZ International School: 7.6km / 12 mins drive 

5. Tijani 2 South, Bukit Tunku (Kenny Hills)

tijani south for expats
@Teoh | iProperty

Tijani 2 South is a luxurious, private and exclusive gated and guarded community in Kenny Hills, with semi-detached homes and bungalows. Among its immediate posh neighbourhoods are Sri Hartamas, Dutamas, Bangsar, and Taman Duta. 

The exclusivity of Tijani 2 South provides a peaceful environment for families. There’s also a myriad of amenities close to the development, including a host of eateries, Tun Razak Hockey Stadium and Tun Razak Tennis Centre.  

  • Monthly rent: From RM9,500 
  • Built-up size: From 4,630 sqft (4+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international schools:  
    • Spectrum International Islamic School Kuala Lumpur: 2.3km / 5 mins drive 
    • Mont’Kiara International School: 4.3km / 10 mins drive 
    • French School of Kuala Lumpur: 4.8km / 10 mins drive 
    • Garden International School: 6.3km / 10 mins drive 
    • Hibiscus International School: 6.1km / 10 mins drive 

6. Safa Terraces, Desa ParkCity

safa for expats
@Evon Tan | iProperty

Safa Terraces, also known as Safa, is the second residential development in Desa ParkCity, right after Nadia. This 2-storey terrace house development is located on the north side of Desa ParkCity. One of the township’s most alluring features is the pet-friendly 13.9-acre Central Park. It has tree-lined jogging tracks and walking pathways surrounding a 6.34-acre recreational lake.  

For shopping and dining, there are 2 retail hubs – The Waterfront, a retail entertainment centre and Plaza Arkadia, a British colonial-style architecture that houses offices, SOHOs, restaurants, coffee bars, and a supermarket.  

Safa Terraces sits opposite ParkCity Club and is a short stroll from Central Park and The Waterfront. As for townships, Desa ParkCity calls Bandar Menjalara, Kepong, Segambut, Mont Kiara and Bandar Sri Damansara neighbours. 

Highways close to Desa ParkCity include Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2), SPRINT Highway, Penchala Link, New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), and the elevated Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE).  

  • Monthly rent: From RM4,500 
  • Built-up size: From 2,254 sqft (3+1 bedroom units and more) 
  • Nearest international school:
    • The International School @ ParkCity: 1.1km / 3 mins drive 

What should you take note of before renting?

It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to live. One expat’s preference could be very different to another expat. You’d need to decide which factors, such as those below, are more important to you as an expat. 

  • High-rise building or landed property 
  • Rent a studio or bigger units 
  • Types of facilities e.g. swimming pool, laundromat, gymnasium, etc. 
  • Availability of international schools 
  • Pet-friendly properties  
  • Proximity to public transport, supermarkets, malls, parks, and so on 
  • Green lung/landscape  
  • Being among the expat community 
  • Being among the local community 

If you are looking to bring your pets together with you, check this article out for pet-friendly condominiums in KL.

Once you have considered the following aspects above, do remember these 3 things that you should take note of before beginning your rental process.

  1. Negotiate 
    Rental prices listed are usually indicative. It is common for renters to negotiate the listed price. As a general rule, the higher your budget, the more you’re able to negotiate. 
  1. Viewing  
    Most property owners do not stage their units unless it’s a fully furnished unit for rent. Otherwise, units might be bare or even unkempt. Try to see past that to review whether the unit is a fit for you or your family.  
  1. Improvements  
    If you love the unit but it needs some touch-ups, you may request for them before agreeing or signing the Tenancy Agreement. It’s common to ask for upgraded fixtures, some furniture, or a fresh coat of paint.  

While there are many factors that affect rental prices, it all still trickles down to how much you’re willing to pay for rent. Remember, the location and size of a living space greatly affect the rent.  

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Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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