Leaving Malaysia – Why i would go

Despite the fancy website, Talent Corp will never be able to bring back Malaysians in sufficient numbers who have chosen to work overseas. If we look beyond all the altruistic reasons Malaysian cite for leaving (and staying away) such as corruption, discrimination, and the lack of meritocratic opportunities, there is one reason that will still hold true — the quality of life as a factor of effort earned is certainly greener on the other side. 

This report by the Malaysian Insider is not really an eye opener. Anyone who has done any amount of travelling knows that it is true. The Malaysian Ringgit is crap. Everything we buy overseas is expensive due to the relative strength of other currencies against ours, and increasingly, due to inflation and other market forces, things that we buy at home as a percentage of our incomes is becoming extremely expensive. And i’m not talking about luxuries, as we should always expect to pay a premium for luxuries, but even basic necessities such as food, chicken, grain, and even fuel. 

How much longer will the Government be able to afford to pay the fuel subsidies? Already prices are creeping up, and i’ll bet any amount of money that we will see a series of gradual hikes post-GE13. Can Malaysians afford to pay the market rate of petrol, about RM4.50-5.50? Worse than that, what will happen to the rest of the economy as energy prices creep up relative against our crappy currency?

For me, i look at it this way: i work for my wages, and i want those wages to mean something to me. It’s not a matter of working harder to earn more, i shouldn’t have to “earn” more in order to make what i currently earn have real meaning, real from a purchasing power point of view.

Work is an opportunity cost of life. Therefore, i’m giving up portions of my life in order to work. Work is work is work — where will that same amount of time spent provide the greatest return? In Malaysia? Obviously not. An accountant in Malaysia earns RM5000 a month. The same accountant doing exactly the same job in the UK will earn UK$5000. And, believe me, $5000 pounds in the UK goes a heck of a lot further than RM5000 does in Malaysia. Food is cheap — you can buy a whole chicken for $1-2 pounds. The same chicken will cost RM10-15 here in Malaysia. Cars are affordable — a brand new Toyota Camry will cost no more than $20,000 pounds. The same car costs RM160,000. The cost to income ratio just does not compute. 

We only get one life, that’s the point i was making earlier. Why make it a hard one for reasons totally beyond our control, when we can make it easier for reasons totally within our control.


3 thoughts on “Leaving Malaysia – Why i would go

  1. “We only get one life, that’s the point i was making earlier. Why make it a hard one for reasons totally beyond our control, when we can make it easier for reasons totally within our control.”
    I think it’s surprising so many people are still apologetic towards our local government. Corruption, blatant waste of resources and public funds, cronyism is rampant, be the general population still believes they are the only people that can rule. Sigh.


  2. Yeah. You forget to mention tax in uk is 50++% and cost of living is much higher. You better calculate properly…. Australia may be better…… But may be the best is saudi where there’s no tax man. Or a few middle eastern countries. …
    You want to talk about personal self go ahead. But don’t brag man…


  3. Top bracket taxes in Malaysia is about ~23%. Australia and UK top bracket taxes is ~50%. And still the quality and affordability of life is better; the figures reported by TMI don’t lie.
    I think it is also related to what the Governments do with the taxes that make a difference. Toll roads are rare, for example. Public transport is excellent — thus improving affordability and allows for the stretching of their income. There is also a social welfare safety net, ensuring that hardcore poverty is wiped out (and unlike Malaysia where someone earning RM800 can’t hope to live in a big city, AUD$800 is enough for rent, food and even some luxuries — that’s why some lazy bums can’t be bothered to work, ever). So life is better for the poor too, and not just the rich.
    The grass is rarely greener on the other side, every country has it’s problems, sure. However, the struggle of a weak currency happens to be one of ours, and for a working professionals such as myself (and others, i’m sure), it is a big concern.


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