Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Letter from A Malaysian living in UK

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 inflation.

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 M$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'll give you
some examples below. Maybe you can understand.

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
RM$200,000. In UK, 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. The same also applies to buying a house in
Seremban, 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 is about 300 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 for itself.

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 wholeday.

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.

3) Petrol.
For a UK person earning 2000 pounds, 80 pence a litre/gallon is
cheaper than RM$1.52 paid in Malaysia. If you don't convert, it is
like paying 80 sen a litre in Malaysia

4) Shopping
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)

a. Virtually non-stop heating the whole day only 20 pounds a month.

(Only 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
b. Electricity, I use my electricity maximum only 20 pounds a month.
(Only 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
c. My water bill also comes to about 20 pounds a month (Only 1% of the
2000 pounds earned)
d. My internet - I get 2Mbps for about 25 pounds (Bulldog DSL) (Also
slightly above 1% of the 2000 pounds earned)
e. 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
i. Tenaga Bill comes to RM$200 to RM300 a month with 3 air-cons. This
is more than 10% of the RM$2000 earned)
ii. Water (Puas) comes to RM$40 (This is about 2% of the RM$2000 earned)
iii. Astro RM$100 (if you take Chinese package) (This is about 5% of
the RM$2000 you earn)
iv. Internet Streamyx 512K RM 88 per month (This is about 5% of RM2000
you earn)

6) Books
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.

7) Education.
I think it is about RM$20,000 per year to do a degree in Sunway Monash
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. The British are very unhappy that the grants have been
taken away.
Previously, it was virtually free for an English man to send his kid
to university but now, since the grant has been take 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.

8) Luxuries
Panasonic Plasma TV in Malaysia about RM20,000. If you are earning

RM$2000 a month, memang mahal! You have to save 2 years your monthly
salary to buy
it. In UK, the same Panasonic ironically, Panasonic plasma is made in
Japan and Japan is close to Malaysia, so the plasma should be cheaper
in Malaysia) is only 2000 pounds.

9) Health
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
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 call them.
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
wasted. When I was unemployed in 1997, the government via 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 for 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.


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