(Johor Bharu, 16 May) Many Malaysians working in Singapore are dreaming of returning home to work. But the salary in Malaysia is so low that they are unable to support the family. Many end up “getting lost in life” having to put up with traffic jam commuting to work and live outside their homes.
The issue of Malaysians working in Singapore has become a hot topic after the fifth session of 13th Johor state assembly ended. Despite having no solution to the issue, arguments of state assemblymen on the issue have since become focus of attention.
Whether one should be grateful of Malaysian workers bring home RM15 billion in foreign exchange, or state assemblymen opposing move to speed up clearance at customs checkpoint, or the proposal of working overtime for four hours, all those remarks made heads turn.
China Press understands that despite many of these workers are hurt by the remarks made by state assemblymen, some of them are even furious. But deep inside their hearts, they hope to return home to work one day.
Hope politicians stop telling lies
Du Cheng Fu, 25, a baker from Muar who works in Singapore, said the working class in Malaysia who are earning monthly salary between RM2,000 and RM3,000 are considered decent. However, he has a family to raise. The salary would be insufficient to cover expenses such as education fees, car loans, house rental, insurance and others. He is unable to raise a family with the salary and can only opt to work in Singapore.
“In Singapore, we are foreign workers. We are also worried once retrenchment is taking place, we are the first to lose the jobs. In fact, the job is without any security. I hope to be able to return home to work one day.”
Zhao Zhong Xin, 29, nicknamed “Fat Cat” who shot to fame for his writing on “voices of Malaysian workers” believes that as long as Malaysia is safe, offers good transport system, no racial segregation and opportunities available for work as well as education, Malaysians working in Singapore are willing to return home.
“Many are without option and have to work in Singapore. Those who are in power please stop telling lies. Do not say Johor Bharu offers ample job opportunities.”
Until today, he said he has yet to notice Malaysia offers sound job opportunities. He hopes those in power run the country well and do not see Malaysian working in Singapore as “lost souls” or a group of unpatriotic citizens.
He encourages Malaysians to return home but they are to be mentally prepared that they would not be earning as much as they used to be for some time.
Posting by “Fat Cat” on Facebook
“Of course, I encourage Malaysians to return home. But the remark of working for additional four hours to earn RM2,000, I do not agree. Not all jobs offer additional income for working additional hours.
Since returning home end of 2014 until now, this is entering my third year. I have never slowed down. This is the promise that I give myself and also friends on social media.
When many asked about how I am and when I am returning to Singapore to work, this is actually very simple. Based on my capability, earning the salary that I used to earn in Singapore is actually not easy in Malaysia. Exclude the two factors on lucrative exchange rate and the salary increment in a new work environment.
To many who have since returned to Malaysia, basically, the first choice that they have to decide is whether one is willing to accept a lower salary for a period of time rather than the lucrative income one used to make. In simple words, based on the reason of drawing same amount of salary to encourage Malaysians to return home is actually an absurd remark.
To those in power, please don’t tell us that one can draw the same amount of salary by returning home. This is because many who opt to return do so not because of the similar amount of salary that they are earning. Those who opt not to return would take this comment as a joke.
Don’t tell us the act of delaying check point clearance would deter more Malaysians from flocking to Singapore to work. Do not brand your greatest flaw or weakest point as your greatest effort in keeping talents at home. I am afraid you may end up as another joke at international level.
Finding excuses for your inefficiencies in management and labelling Malaysians working in Singapore as unpatriotic are those who are shallow in thinking. Why not think carefully, what do tens of thousands of Malaysians working in Singapore want?
Those Malaysians have no home to return? Why do they opt to take the trouble to work in Singapore by commuting daily? Please think.
I don’t believe when security improves, transport network is good, no racial segregation, job opportunities and education opportunities are ready one day, and Malaysians are still unwilling to return home.
Malaysians working in Singapore do not regard themselves as high and mighty. They do not request others to return home. But to you who are running the country who do not handle the basic utilities well but regard those workers as “lost souls” and still do not respond to the wakeup call of returning home, I can tell you are the ones having day dreams.
Please stop making use of the issue in state assembly. Make sure you take care of your responsibility and manage the country well. Many Malaysians are actually without a choice but to remain working in Singapore. Please stop the lies of plenty of jobs in Johor Bharu for everyone and blame everyone for not appreciating those job opportunities.
Just look at those mega development projects in Johor Bharu. Which one does not belong to those groups from China? China even shipped its raw materials from home. Job opportunities would not be reserved for locals. You think we do not know these?
In addition, those active development projects in Johor Baru, which one is not property-related?
What would happen after the completion of those projects? Don’t we need to push for industries like the manufacturing sector which are sustainable and help in economic growth?
Okay, these are the views that I share with all. I do not care if those views would be acknowledged.
Of course, those are my views on brain drain. I am actually tired and my heart is probably blocked!