The Canadian broke serve four times en route to victory in one hour and 44 minutes as he looks to reach his first ATP World Tour final.
World number 457 Pablo Cuevas ousted 2009 champion and eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4.
Davydenko could only convert one of his seven break points and the match lasted just 84 minutes.
Top seed David Ferrer will face qualifier Matteo Viola in his opening match after the Italian beat Somdev Devvarman 6-3 6-3.
Pablo Carreno Busta, world ranked 66 after starting 2013 at 654, marked his Kuala Lumpur debut with a 7-6 (7/5) 6-0 victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Qualifier Mischa Zverev earned a second-round clash with fourth seed Jurgen Melzer after beating Horacio Zeballos 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.
France's Adrian Mannarino and Argentina's Federico Delbonis advanced to the second round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Mannarino saw off Germany's Daniel Brands 6-3 6-4.
Delbonis was also a comfortable victor as he saw off South Korean wildcard Hyeon Chung 6-4 6-2.