Cost of Living in Malaysia is too high?
22/06/2009 7 Komen
Salam Pembaca.. sambil dok godeh-godeh email lama yang saya forward masa keje petronas dulu terjumpalah email pasal cost of living ni… dan bila saya sendiri berada di Germany selama 5 minggu, maka sedikit sebanyak saya dapati ada sedikit sebanyak kebenarannya… saya juga ada cerita sikit pasal mende ni satu masa dahulu tapi secara detailnya korang boleh laa baca kat bawah.. sorry its originally in English and i’m too lazy to translate it for you guys..
Tue | Apr 25, 06 |
Oleh Dr Zain Azrai, London
The argument in this thread from day one is
the cost of living in each country (especially UK and Europe based on what you earn in
the respective country and whether the standards are higher than in Malaysia.
I tried to point out that many Malaysians always convert and that is why they say the
UK is expensive. In fact, the cost of living is much cheaper than in Malaysia.
In actual fact, Malaysians are being conned because for such a rich and resource rich
country, the pay in Malaysia is way too low compared to the cost of living and
One good example is Singapore.
Singaporeans (average) earns around S$3000 to S$4000 and nearly everything is half the
price of Malaysia. Eg; clothes, computer parts, electronics etc. But the average
Malaysian still earns RM$2000 plus and goods are double the price of Singapore.
This is the same as the UK. If you earn around 2000 pounds, you can liken this to the
person earning RM$2000 in Malaysia. I give you some examples below. Maybe you can
1) Good terrace house
It is more or less the same. If you want a house in KL, it would most probably be in
Puchong and not Damansara Heights. So your house would be RM$200,000. In UK (London!),
you can get a decent new house in Zone 6 (still within the tube) for 200,000 pounds.
If non London, you can get a nice house also for less than 200,000 pounds outside
London (Manchester = <100, 000 pounds). The same also applies to buying a house in
, Kajang etc. You can buy a nice house for RM200, 000 below. So buying a house
is the same for the local and the Malaysian.
Renting a place is the same too or maybe cheaper than in Malaysia (I am not sure of
this). A 2-bedroom flat in London is about 750 pounds (Zone 2). 500 pounds outside Zone
6 but still able to commute to London. A 2-bedroom house in Nottingham is 450 to 500
pounds. A 3-bedroom house in Belfast and Manchester is about 300-350 pounds.
2) A car
A good Wira is RM$55,000. Most Malaysians have to take 7-year loans and be in debt all
the time. If you are earning RM$2000 a month, you take nearly 3 years saving the
RM$2000 with not eating at all just to buy a Wira.
In UK, the average local earns about 2000 pounds. He saves 3 months, he can buy
outright a good Ford Fiesta or a Vauxhall Corsa without being in debt.
If buying a second hand car, even better. A 1990 Mercedes 190E cost 500 pounds. My 1996
Mercedes E220 cost 2000 pounds. My friend just gave me his 1989 Honda Accord (Auto) for
free because he said he could only get 30 pounds for it.
I used it for a few months and decided to give it of for free too. That alone speaks
Even if you are kuli or an office boy, you still can drive a Mercedes or a BM. Yes,
kuli’s and office boy’s get paid quite well.
Average temp/office boy in London can earn about 7 to 10 pounds and hour. Overtime is
1.5 times or double. A brick-layer can earn 20 pounds an hour.
The same Indon who lays bricks in Malaysia earns RM$50 for the whole day.
Before I became a doctor, I used to be an office boy and I earned near 300 pounds a
week working about 70 hours a week. My makan was 30 pounds a week. My rent was 70
pounds a week for a room but I still drove a BMW back then. I bought the 10-year old
BMW 3 Series car for 200 pounds.
Amazing how an office boy can drive a safe and luxurious car.
For a UK person earning 2000 pounds, 80 pence (now: 92 pence) a litre/gallon is cheaper
than RM$1.52 (now: RM$1.92!) paid in Malaysia. If you don’t convert, it is like paying
80 sen a litre in Malaysia
20 pounds (which is 1% of 2000 pounds) can buy you 1 week’s worth of groceries in
Tesco. RM$100 (which is 10% of RM$2000) can also buy you 1 week’s worth of groceries in
Giant or Carrefour.
5) Utility Bills (This is what I pay in UK)
1. Virtually non-stop heating the whole day only 20 pounds a month (Only 1% of the
2000 pounds earned).
2. Electricity, I use my electricity maximum only 20 pounds a month.(Only 1% of the
2000 pounds earned)
3. My water bill also comes to about 20 pounds a month (Only 1% of the 2000 pounds
4. My internet – I get 2Mbps for about 25 pounds (Bulldog DSL) (Also slightly above
1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
5. Astro Equivalent (NTL cable or Sky) – 30 pounds per month (Also slightly above 1%
of the 2000 pounds earned)
In Malaysia, this is what I used to pay
1. Tenaga Bill comes to RM$200 to RM300 a month with 3 air-cons. This is more than
10% of the RM$2000 earned)
2. Water (Puas) comes to RM$40 (This is about 2% of the RM$2000 earned)
3. Astro RM$100 (if you take Chinese package) (This is about 5% of the RM$2000 you
4. Internet Streamyx 512K RM 88 per month (This is about 5% of RM2000 you earn)
A good book is about 10 to 15 pounds in the UK. This is less than 1% of the 2000 pounds
you earn. In Malaysia, you have to spend RM$75 to RM$100 for a decent book in MPH or
Kinokuniya in KLCC. This is about 5% of the RM$2000 ringgit you earn.
I think it is about RM$20,000 per year to do a degree in Sunway and about
RM$12,000 per year to send your kid to UM, UKM, USM etc. I am not sure about this.
But in UK, it is only 3000 pounds a year to send your kid to a great university. That
also, the white man still makes a lot of noise because the grants were taken away.
Previously, it was virtually free for the English man to send his kid to university but
now, since the grant was taken away, he has to spend 3000 pounds per year to send his
kid to university and less money to get drunk in the pub.
Well, if you are earning RM$2000 ringgit, sending your kid to UM to study is quite
difficult. If you are earning 2000 pounds per month, you can easily send you kid to
university in the UK.
(Roydotcom: FYI, Education in Germany is still free until now (2009)
NHS is free. Though the service is slow, quality is still there. You still can get a
top quality by-pass for free although you may have to wait many months.
In Malaysia, IJN charges RM$30,000. SJMC charges RM$50,000. GH is free but as many
people know, GH and UH have clown doctors.
10) Assessments to local councils
I may pay high council tax but at least my council assures my streets are clean and
safe, got no holes (pot holes) on my roads, and they jump and attend to me whenever I
When I stayed in Malaysia, I paid my assessment and quite rent but MPSJ I lived in
Subang) told me to “podah” whenever I asked them to come and fill up the pot holes, cut
the long lalang, put street lighting etc The councils, especially MPPJ and MPSJ, were
more interested in eating nasi lemak and going for 10 teh tariks in a day during office
hours and hardly did anything for their residents.
11) Income Tax
My national insurance and income tax also is not wasted. When I was unemployed in 1997,
the government ia social security paid for my 2-bedroom flat for one whole year and I
was given about 100 pounds per week for me and my wife to live on. I am happy to know
that one day if I lose my job, I can still claim social security and get my apartment
paid and food to eat again for free. It is a good security to know.
The list goes on. Here alone you can see, the sterling you earn goes a long way in the
UK. So your quality of life is far better in the UK than a Malaysian in Malaysia. It is
just that Malaysians are just too content with what they have. But you compare apple
The British just love to complain. They have it made but still they love to complain.
Nothing is good enough for the British. The government gives the citizens so much but
they still seem to want more and more.
Roydotcom: Teringat beli coklat bar dengan harga- Euro 0.35, Dark chocolate bar- Euro 0.95, Buah Strawbery 500gram- Euro2.50, Roti Sandwich – Euro 1.20, Sayur Sawi Putih 2 pokok- Euro 1.20