Malaysians being ripped off (2) – with photos

By Mimi Chih

Thank you for putting my article online.

The reason I enclosed those photos was to drive home the point how much more expensive those same items are in Malaysia. If you go back to Sarawak, they are even more expensive. e.g. even after conversion to RM, it is still more expensive in Malaysia e.g. Yoplait yogurt is SGD7.05 while in KL it is at least RM22, Farmhouse milk is 2 litres for SGD4.85…in KL it is RM10 per litre. Did you see how much the US imported cereals are selling for in Malaysia?

As for simple foods, look at how cheap it is, especially when you are earning SGD. You can still get kopi si peng is still SGD90 cents.

That is the reason why my niece sent out her resumes so many times since last year. She finally got a job in Oct, 2011 as an auditor (2 years experience). Her salary is gross SGD2600. When she earned RM2850 at Ernst & Young, she would never eat at Starbuck, didn’t even dare to look at Farmhouse milk or SPAM luncheon meat, and definitely, would never indulge in Yoplait yogurt. She is now able to enjoy all of those and more and she can send home SGD300. Her parents had to subsidize her when she was in KL even though she lived frugally.

Wait till I send it the article about the super efficient MRT, feeder bus and bus system in Singapore. Would you believe that it can cost SGD2 cents (yes, SGD2 cents) for certain routes? Would you believe for SGD80 a month, they can get practically all the channels that we have on ASTRO? Plus, the transmission doesn’t get interrupted when the sky becomes cloudy.

This is what Malaysia’s politicians need to be talking about…bringing benefits to the people. What have they been doing with the rakyat’s money? If economies of scale can be achieve with a 5.18 million population why is it not happening in Malaysia? Things should be even cheaper.

Malaysians are being deprived cheaper options to quality foods. In Singapore, people can get cheap and not substandard quality foods.

Is it possible to attach a few of the photos? Without seeing the glaring price disparity, the article wouldn’t drive home the point.

  1. #1 by cpwei on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 7:24 pm

    i am a penangite working and living in singapore..and when i first went i was amaze by all the products..its really way cheaper than msia and just like those pictures tell..when i am in penang, just only spend on cheap food and groceries..little savings left.but in singapore i can buy good food and still spend some for leisure and still have average amount of savings..not only me but alot of malaysian overseas also says that..why only in malaysia things are actually expensive and living cost i actully high if you think about it..but i really proud of penang and Mr.Lim Guan Eng..penang is so much better..even i came back and the airport is at least international standard! to last time i even feel ashame when i see our its really so good and nice..for penangites that come home once a while when working overseas, we really do see penang shine and change for the better..not just a little but its a huge if the goverment can actually see all this little things that we people feel everyday by a daily basis, even if is just the price of instant noodles, it really helped us alot..just my two cents of thought..

    • #2 by Apa Pun Boleh on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 1:02 am

      To CP Wei….

      Penang is very lucky to have Lim Guan Eng as their CM.

      We need leaders who can work towards strengthening the RM, lower the prices of quality imported foods and household goods, make the country’s transportation system efficient and get rid of all the ugly illegal advertisement buntings, banners and stickers that has made our country into a laughing stock.

      We need leaders who dare to be transparent in their dealings, and not just talk about transparency.

      This is 2011 – political parties should not be fighting for rights of the Malays, Chinese, Natives, and Indians.

      The parties’ key purpose is to fight for the rights of the rakyat to benefit from strong RM, cheaper food and household items, and not have to pay a bomb for outdated cars like the Proton.

      Malaysia needs a PM like Lim Guan Eng – a PM for the RAKYAT!

  2. #3 by shakarul on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 8:08 pm

    SGD7.05 x 130% (30% for local bumi partner under NEP) = SGD9.16 = RM22. Isn’t it a simple calculation.

    • #4 by Apa Pun Boleh on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 12:17 am


      Way to go! Sometimes it’s good to laugh so that we can move on to greater achievements.


  3. #5 by HJ Angus on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 10:44 pm

    What has kept the cost of living down for most Singaporeans are the widespread food courts and hawker centres where you can get basic food like rice, meat and vegetables for about S$3.00 and a drink for $1…..also NTUC does a good job with a good network of supermarkets.
    The lowest salary is about S$800 so most folks can survive if they live simple lives and enjoy the many open spaces about the island.

  4. #6 by Ordinary on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 11:12 pm

    Mahathir was not able to raise RM to be same value to dollar of Brunei and Singapore.

    We also see RM888 billion were taken out from Malaysia illicitly from year 2000 to 2008 during Mahathir’s time. Mahathir ignored this.

    We also see how corrupted the BN government and its components (like MCA, Gerakan and MIC and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu ) who support each other and support the corrupted UMNO (their managing director).

    This MD and his managers (MCA, Gerakan, MIC, are not capable. This managers the MD are not capable. The people of Malaysia Company (country) must fire them especially fire the non elected (wasted money) like Khor Soo Kun.

  5. #7 by Ordinary on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 11:19 pm

    It is the buying and purchasing power of the currency of Singapore dollar. You could see Singapore dollar could import Malaysian vegetable and poultry cheaper than we using RM.

    Malaysia Tesco sell the cheapest fresh milk of their brand is RM4.79 per litre. So, with our factory operator who earns RM600 per month compared to Singaporean S$800 buying the fresh milk, Singaporean is better off than Malaysian.

    The root cause: the managing director (UMNO) and his managers (MCA, MIC, Gerakan, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, etc.) must be fired and they must leave Malaysian Incorporated (the country).

    The root cause: corruption causes poverty – source from Transparency International.

  6. #8 by Ordinary on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 11:20 pm

  7. #9 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 14 November 2011 - 11:53 pm

    At a recent meeting involving the private sector and local institutions on jobs, a very prominent Bumi Boss lamented that on his visit to Singapore, he was told that nearlt 50% of the managers in banks are Malaysians. In fact, when my daughter first work there, she met a friend from our home town and they agreed to hold a get together among friends from Malaysia; litle did know that on the table of 12 very young executive 8 came from the same town! the most important psychological factor over there is you get what you are worth, even competing with their local scholars under their Gomen’s scholarship! Many below 30 executives made above 10k and some even 15k without bonuses. No wonder Dr. Chen said their per capital is 5 folds higher than ours! It certainly looks like we will never catch up! We will continue to waste most of our time and money on useless sloganeering and bent on political vendetta just to deprive someone of his right to lead the nation. The saddest part is there is still a portion of blinded Malaysians who refused to see the truth and still hide themselves under the rambutan trees and the lalang around it!

  8. #10 by monsterball on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 2:09 am

    Malaysians have been ripped off in so many ways….by the billions each year for decades.
    The problem is not many Malaysians understand that before…or want to understand it at all.
    The vast majority low wage earners think the crooks only rob the rich. They pay no taxes…or very little…so the billions stolen are from the rich.
    How wrong they are.
    EPF ..OIL income belong to everyone.
    And today…Najib’s 28 year old son can pay few millions to buy shares in a company …owning 70%.
    Just like Ling Liong Sik son….bragging he pays RM100 million income tax per year…exposing what he is…through parents help.
    Best of all…when Mahathir was asked by reporters… how his sons young sons..below 30 are so rich…..his answer is that they are smart people.
    These corrupted crooks dare to do as they like…because Mahathir made sure…all laws and police high ranking officers are protecting his party and members.

  9. #11 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 5:37 am

    Y ALL d PRAISE 4 d little red dot? Dis article, not true 1, don’t b fooled by propaganda against our great n capable UmnoB/BN leaders who look after d welfare of rakyat 1
    Foreigners who read dis blog, don’t believe in what U read here, all lies 1

    Where got poor ppl in 1M’sia lah? We r rich what, can always buy big diamond rings, nice branded hand bags, n can easily get handouts fr our friendly gomen 2 buy condos 1
    Even cowboys n cowgirls managing cattle farms hv a very high standard of living mah
    Come n talk 2 d RIGHT grp of ppl (UmnoB/BN kaki2) who will give U d correct picture here

    2 young rakyat: if struggling 2 live a posh lifestyle, U can immediately improve your economic n social status by joining UmnoB Youth or any of BN Youth or Wanita
    Better 2 b Chairperson of a branch, then all kow tim lor; can sell instant noodles or binoculars in bulk 2 gomen departments cheap cheap n make big bucks leh
    So, live smart here n understand Y some rakyat die die must also support UmnoB/BN
    Thanks 2 great leaders like MMK, AAB, NR, LLS, KTK, etc n guaranteed $$ masuk culture of UmnoB/BN, 1M’sia a truly great nation 2 b in mah

  10. #12 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 5:41 am

    Of course we’ve been ripped off. Especially if one’s talking of certain imported goods. First of all the comparative weakness of RM, then we have the tariffs and also economic rent (or monopoly profit) reaped by those in power and their cronies who ensure that certain goods may be imported only through their companies that dictate the mark up! Its corruption, and S’pore being very much freerer of this cancer & free port status and all that will be able to give you cheaper and yet better quality get cheaper Yoplait yogurt cheese milk etc…

    • #13 by Apa Pun Boleh on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 10:02 pm


      For those whose options are not dining at Starbucks, they can have very good curry mee at SGD2.50, nasi lemak with drumstick for SGD2, kopi si peng at SGD0.90cents to SGD1, or 4 dish chap png with meat for SGD3.80 at food courts. Even our stuffy roadside shacks can’t offer that kind of prices $ for $. Did you see the pictures of the prices of the local meals?

      You lived there – this is nothing new to you.

  11. #14 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 5:42 am

    However I am not sold on the argument that this necessarily translate to better living overall in S’pore (as you seem to imply) which is one of the most expensive cities to live in even if one consider the so called higher purchasing power from higher salaries/bonuses of certain jobs.
    On cost of living comparison see link -

  12. #15 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 5:42 am

    I’m not sure that your selective comparison of prices of certain consumer items like Farmhouse milk or SPAM luncheon meat, Yoplait yogurt or upmarket Starbuck say it all on the issue of costs of living vs higher purchasing power of Singapore Dollar. What about housing, rental, car cost & medical costs compared to Malaysia? It is not easy to compare. Our medical, Ron 95 and certain items are subsidized. In clearance sales we can also get 3 reasonable apparel/shirts at RM11! On Quality of Life that’s another big debate depending which angle you look at.

    • #16 by Apa Pun Boleh on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 7:37 am


      Do you see hordes of Singaporeans flocking to Malaysia to work?

      Malaysians buy cars out of desperate necessity – even then they are pay a fortune for crappy Proton Saga or a Viva.

      For those who have to use public transport, discomfort and unreliability are the norm in Malaysia.

      The prestigious Pantai Hospital at Pantai Hill, KL is the standard of service Spore’s govt hospitals offer to their people and many of OUR average income citizens. Would you go to our govt hospital or clinic?

      Do you know people earning RM2500 a month who think nothing of buying SEVERAL punnets of blueberries for their parents and siblings? They don’t even consider that as splurging.

      If you have the money to spend, the sky is the limit and Spore certainly won’t disappoint you in this department. But we are not concerned about the rich.

      The question we must ask is how come a Malaysian earning RM2500 has to miss out on high quality imported foods and daily consumable items?

  13. #17 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 6:03 am

    Got expensif food meh? Rakyat r eating well here, if not excessif

  14. #18 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 8:49 am

    This is the end result of eroding the value of the ringgit to bring in more foreign direct investment and jack up sales of manufactured products and commodities overseas. In the end the rakyat suffer due to a weak ringgit.

  15. #19 by dagen on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 8:57 am

    Expensive meh? Ask cintanegara. He earns thousands of % in profit by supplying things to the umno gobermen. Ask him. See whether he thinks things in malaysia are expensive.

  16. #20 by k1980 on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 9:10 am

    Malaysians are not being ripped off— they are being sodded by unmoputras, such as saifooool

  17. #21 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 9:31 am

    Yes I don’t see Singaporeans flocking to Malaysia to work but I know Singaporeans are going elsewhere. Because of S$ and RM exchange its perceived advantageous for Malaysians go there to earn and spend here. For others hateful of the institutionalized racism here, and with certain skills well rewarded in Meritocratic S’pore or money to give what they perceive a far superior education for their children, it seems logical they go there. Other expatriates, esp kweilo will also like there with expatriate pay cost of living allowance and condos with rent paid for by multinational will also like there: after a stressful work day relax over drinks in Clark Quay with Sarong party local girls thinking they are demigods. I agree with the part about S’pore public transportation – MRT – clean environment and the relative freedom from Crime etc. Apa Pun Boleh, why don’t you try living there several years and see for yourself. Have you?

  18. #22 by dagen on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 9:53 am

    masterwordsmith had a view. See here .

    And my comments:

    Singapore’s problems 25 ago was something that calls for nothing more than a pure economic measure. So that makes things easy for the PAP government. Even today, I am sure singapore could still respond well in economic crisis.

    Greece is a different kettle altogether. The greek government has to deal with human sentiments; and worse, a whole national culture that had grown out of and around the national economy. An economic problem demands an economic solution. That is do-able, with determination and some, maybe now loads of, hardship. But add to that a culture of dependancy and thereby a resolute reluctance to suffer hardship, then the problem becomes much much greater. The goverment has to deal with an economic issue and a social issue: Intertwine them together and we would see three maybe four or even more issues. This is the situation in greece and to a similar extent in italy too.

    Malaysia too is facing that same problem. Umno, umnoputras and the claim of untouchable and unquestionable ketuanan constitutional privilege is just as bad as the dependancy culture of the greeks. The umno government is totally unable to deal with any economic problem in the country without first sorting out/placating satisfactorily the unsatisfiable needs of umnoputras. So yes. I pronounce malaysia dead – living dead, is perhaps more accurate. And no, I cant see how umno can come back – certainly not for a long long time. The country may be in very very bad shape no doubt. When you are at rock bottom, things can only get better and so any genuine implemented would surely have a positive effect on the economy. I am more positive than the writer above.

  19. #23 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 9:56 am

    I have lived there for years -then I was not even staying a sardine cramped apartment/HDB Flat- and still visit my S’porean relatives there. I have S’pore friends who keep me informed regularly what’s life there now. I have dealt with S’poreans in business. I have talked to S’poreans abroad why they left that island. Decades back I was even offered scholarship by S’pore to be bonded to work for S’pore Govt. I nearly married and settled in S’pore. By choice I declined both. Here I have been robbed and burglared. Here too because of corruption and economic rent – just like at the plethora of APs given for all kinds of imported goods- of course many of imported foods and daily consumable items are as you said $ to $ expensive compared to S’pore. But S’pore is, cost of living wise, still the 2nd or 3rd most expensive place in the world to stay in. Everything that is available there requires money! What’s one’s disposal income after CPF, taxes, rent or property mortgage payments? S’pore is orderly and structured and here’s chaotic but there’s boring and here more exciting. You write like this in this blog : think you can do that in S’pore? No, I don’t go to Pantai. I had waited long queue for registration in our GH and University Hospital. I don’t have to dip into EPF or CPF to pay medical costs and I have no complaint about their diagnosis and treatment. I consider myself an average Malaysian. I have travelled to many other parts of the world. Of course if one has money, anywhere can be good. Yet all things considered I still find life here better and cheaper – certainly more exciting comparing to Singapore. That’s personal opinion.

    • #24 by Apa Pun Boleh on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 12:49 pm

      Already know how it is to live in Spore. No complaints.

      You are so, so blessed to have been spared the experience of living in a cramped HDB flat. If you are earning RM and you are travelling all over the world, it is safe to presume you don’t belong to the RM2500 a month category.

      The point is how many RM2500 earners here can afford to drink Farmhouse milk, not as a treat but as normal beverage and still can save up and pay in cash for a 2 weeks holiday package to NZ? In Spore you can CHOOSE not to buy a car. In Msia, for many, that choice has been robbed by the govt. A car is a must simply becos our transportation system sucks. Mati mati oso mst buy a Viva.

      You are right Jeffrey – Malaysia is an exceptional country, only that all the past and present leaders have treated this country like their personal goldmine and have looted it for all they can. How else can our First Lady parade around with her plethora of Birkin bags and decked in her countless eye blinding bling blings. Does anyone know what is our PM’s official salary?

      Malaysia CAN BE BETTER THAN SINGAPORE for what this country has to offer if we vote for the right people. Then there would be no be stories of how the rakyat has to bail out MAS or TNB multiple times.

  20. #25 by dagen on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 10:15 am

    And imagine folks. Imagine what life in malaysia under umno will become when

    1. subsidies are totally removed; and

    2. gst kicks in.

    Even if the country is not technically in recession we are going to feel as if the whole country in engulfed in one for things esp essentials would no longer be affordable to a lot of people.

  21. #26 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 10:20 am

    Jeffrey :
    S’pore is orderly and structured and here’s chaotic but there’s boring and here more exciting. You write like this in this blog : think you can do that in S’pore? N

    Yo, Singapore has moved on, have you?

    Of course you can write like this in Singapore as well and much more. Have you not seen any of the blogs there? Here are some sample sites:

  22. #27 by k1980 on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 11:00 am

  23. #28 by jus legitimum on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Malaysia is in the current state of backwardness because of decades of bad governance,corruption,mismanagement and a litany of negative reasons.To cite an example,Taiwan one of the four economic tigers in Asia,we were on par with this island state in the 1960’s.Taiwan only about 1/3 the size of West malaysia has a population of 23 millions.But it is a very democratic country and the taiwanese enjoy a free and independent msm.From Taipei to Kaoshiung just 300 km apart,travellers spend just an hour in their super train to reach their destinations.On the contrary we suffer 8 hours on the ’50 years never change KTM train’ from KL to Butterworth.They have bullet train but we are still lagging behind with our bullock cart train.

  24. #29 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 4:53 pm

    Yo, TheWrathOfGrapes, thanks for the links. I’ll look at them sometime.

  25. #30 by cintanegara on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Someone went there and acted shamelessly in insulting another state….What analogy would you use to describe that kind of act? It is like a child going to his neighbor’s house and talked bad about his parent…..just to get a little token from his neighbor…. and the neighbor is just smiling What a shame!!!

    BTW, just wonder…does Brig Gen Lee HL know that guy? I don’t think so…BG Lee is a smart guy…of course he would only deal with DS Najib who is the PM…

  26. #31 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 6:44 pm

    YB Tony Pua, can u also pls check if 1KRM milk has too much amino group, maybe from melamine. Is the milk from China? The last scare is still fresh in our memory.

    babies can die with tainted milk.

  27. #32 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 6:52 pm

    Farmhouse milk – I have never looked at it the second time. Just way above what i can afford. Bought a packet once – clearance sale on expiry date. That is what Malysians have to content themselves with these days. have u seen the flocks who squeeze and shove to enter clearance sales? It’s amazing how some rich ladies can afford RM24 million gems with their life savings when they have hardly worked and majority malayians who worked like hell have to go for clearance sales all the time.

    Can’t understand why roti canai is RM1 in Malaysia… just for some flour & a spot of curry.

  28. #33 by monsterball on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 7:15 pm

    I guess cintanegara want Tony Pua to mind his own business and not keep exposing too much.
    Reading the way he talk about a person visiting a house and expose make sense…not right thing to do.
    But that is not a house!!
    That is KEDAI selling substandard products imported from China.
    What kind of a brain he has??

  29. #34 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - 8:20 pm

    Singapore is proving to us that she boleh every time. She cannot afford to lose. Now she is the benchmark for us to follow. However, her currency is strong. Sing 1 dollar is equal to Ringgit 2.50. Will you drink this cup of coffee every time you feel the need to ? Malaysia does not only mean Malaysia in the west alone. Oh you West Malaysians, have you forgotten your family in East Malaysia ? Are they just Sarawakians and Sabahans ? Are they not considered Malaysians ? And it depends on where you drink the coffee. If it is just in some run down sleepy kopitiam where the taugay slaps on some flies flying here and there, probably that kopi O costs less even.

  30. #35 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 8:40 am

    Well, at least one thing I know of that is much cheaper in Malaysia than Singapore – rambutans. There is an abundant supply of rambutans as they breed like rabbits – just throw the seeds on the ground. And of course 70% of the farms must be set aside for growing rambutan trees.

  31. #36 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 8:43 am

    Singapore “has moved on” in the sense there’s more democratic space under Hsien Loong than his father’s time. Like it or not, the Internet and level of its penetration in S’pore means that they have to engage than clamp views critical of govt’s policies. Though both S’pore & M’ysia have all kinds of laws to regulate and censor – and there’s no such thing as absolute freedom of speech in alternative media- there are differences. Criticisms of govt’s policies in S’pore blogosphere, whilst pervasive, appear to me more measured in tone and language and certainly attempt to be more factual and rational based. Here we’re more ‘vibrant’ in one sense – more blatant, often irreverent in criticism of authority/government figures. Comparing, and looking at the language nothing is sacred in hurling names and invectives at them as evinced even in this blog. I don’t sense this the case in S’pore blogs.

  32. #37 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 9:02 am

    The self censorship here is more in areas touching on Race Religion and Rulers. In part its because of political opportunist (who are themselves racist/bigots) who are ever ready to create ruckus & gain political mileage at complaining and reporting about others to authorities. S’pore too cracks down on comments inciting of race and religion but it is bristling more on attacks perceived damaging to image of its government leaders and policies. In strict terms of enforcement S’pore is more rigorous especially via defamation cases and other laws : eg against Gopal Nair for challenging the courtroom statements of LKY and criticizing the judge Belinda Ang; against SDP’s Chees etc. Extending beyond to print media, S’pore has record of engaging against international media eg Far Eastern Economic Review, and more recently Alan Shadrake’s Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock”. If Malaysian enforcement were equivalent strict even ex- Justice NH Chan would be taken to task. This perhaps why the level of self censorship is higher in S’pore blogospere. That’s the way other perceive it as well. The red dot’s ranking in press censorship appears always a notch trailing behind Malaysia. Maybe we’re to an extent mitigated by MultiMedia Guarantee given by Govt.

  33. #38 by limkamput on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 10:45 am

    Both Mimi Chih and Jeffrey got the point. But I think what Mimi was trying to tell us is that despite the “handicapped” position of Singapore, the country still can progress and provide decent/high standard of living for its citizens. Malaysia, despite our resources and the enterprise of our people are not making much headway. Jeffrey, I think a better comparison would be what if Singapore government manages Malaysia, and Malaysia government manages Singapore. One would turn Malaysia into Switzerland of Asia; the other would turn Singapore into maga city slump, loses its independence and are now export maids to Middle East.

  34. #39 by limkamput on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 10:46 am

    ….. and is now exporting maids to Middle East.

  35. #40 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 11:09 am

    Jeffrey :
    Comparing, and looking at the language nothing is sacred in hurling names and invectives at them as evinced even in this blog. I don’t sense this the case in S’pore blogs.

    No, Jeff, those links I provided are for sites that are more cerebral, analytical and actually makes sense. Some are sarcastic. I have not bothered to include those which are rabid and downright scandalous, slanderous or libelous. Some of the accusations are out of this world and the words used will make a Hokkien soldier cringe.

    Sites like Singabloodypore is self explanatory.

    Take a look at:

  36. #41 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 1:50 pm

    I have no issue with Mimi on the fact that (i) S’pore Govt has better governance or (ii) or the fact that we’re ripped off by higher prices of esp imported goods where corrupt politicians here and cronies impose an economic rent via APs etc. I also have no issue with what Lim Kam Put that had Singapore style of governance be applied here with richness of our natural resources and talent of our people who do not have incentive to migrate, we would be Switzerland. I am only taking issue with Mimi picking selective prices per (ii) to convey what appears to me a blanket impression that S’pore is comparatively a paradise to live in as well as cheaper to live in which is not true. Its one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in and one does well there and have the best provided one were employed (say) by multinational, where inavuable skills are acquired, and income is good to support living standards weighed down by expensive basic inescapable costs of housing, rental, medical cars (if one is not relying on NRT) or even restaurant foodstuff (other than in Hawkers & Food Courts) and also spending power of expatriates going there. Like Hong Kong S’pore lacks space/land which put pressure on everything else so that living in Malaysia is still (but not necessarily so in the future) cheaper and to some, much better than they were there.

    • #42 by M Chih on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 3:59 pm

      Jeffrey, have you seen the rest of the prices of the OTHER 59 items this blog posted in Flickr ? From oranges to Dettol lquid bath soap, Sensodyne, Jumbo Kleenex tissues at SGD7.45, not offer price (in Msia it cost RM24.90),) and food prices at food courts? As many common daily consumable items were included.

      See other items:;jsessionid=0a2050e722b922cd18532ad24a67b73bac043687b174.e38LaheKah0Qci0Mah4Kb3qQbN0Oe0

      I haven’t even compared branded soft and absorbant bath towels and smooth 600 thread count Egyptian Sateen Cotton sheets, LCD HD 50″ TVs, luxuries for Msians but easily affordable in Spore.

      The selected ordinary (by Spore’s standard) daily consumable items is intended to reflect that even fresh graduates can enjoy blueberries and plums, US made peanut butter and use Dettol liquid bath soap IF THEY CHOOSE TO. For Malaysians in the same income bracket, this option is not available for them.

      As for clothes, on offer you can get high quality Baby Phat T-shirts for SGD15 ea. One does not need to settle for ‘reasonable apparel’ in Spore. It is possible to get Hush Puppies men’s leather working shoes for SGD19.90 at their warehouse sales. It’s not the junk damaged quality shoes by the way.

      GOOD medical services here are not cheap either but do we go to the hospital or clinics every week to get our day to day supplies? That’s another story.

      The largest work force in Malaysia is concentrated in the Klang Valley area. Hence, rental here is also expensive. Those who choose to stay further away will almost certainly have to get at least a Kancil (and pay for car insurance, road tax, petrol, parking).

      Cars are not cheap here too. Msians know they have been paying thru their noses for UMNOputras’ Proton Saga since 1983 and later, the Kancil since 1993. This was basically the govt’s sly tactic in coercing people to support the so called ‘projects to enrich the rakyat’ Proton & Perodua. Truthfully, it is the fat cats involved in these two companies who have been enriched further.

      People who buy this category of cars generally have no choice. Unlike those who live in Spore, these group of people cannot say they are OK with catching the trains and buses. The public transport system was and still is unreliable and crappy.

      Today’s Star (Nov 17, 2011), front page: Bus stopped. Thousands left stranded….are just such common headlines in Msia. Who is inconvenienced?

      Of course ideally, it would be awesome to have cheap and high standard everything. Would like to know which country offers that?

      Consider this :

      Singapore follows a progressive personal tax rate starting at 0% and ending at 20% above S$320,000.

      • 1st S$20,000 – 0%

      •There is no capital gain or inheritance tax.

      •Individuals are taxed only on the income earned in Singapore. The income earned by individuals while working overseas is not subject to taxation barring few exceptions.

      vs. Malaysia’s Personal Income tax

      • RM0-2500 – 0%
      • RM2501-5000 – 1%
      • RM100,001 upwards – 26%

      There is no denying Singapore can be expensive i.e. if you CHOOSE to get your groceries at Tanglin Market, CHOOSE to get a B&W sound system, B&O telephone, dine at Morton’s The Steakhouse or nibble tuna maguro at Tatsuya.

      The thing is, for people who earn S$2500, they can still get great deals on great stuff at Carrefour and Giant. Clerks can eat a huge portion of pan mee soup at S$2.80 a bowl – with generous toppings for the price.

      Certainly, there is more room for Singapore to improve. Doing away with personal taxes, providing free shuttles and free medical services would be really nice.

      Remember, overnight, this island Republic started with not even an operating government on Aug 9, 1965. There was not even a notice period given to the PAP leaders. Even employees get their one month’s notice. Spore only had 1.8 million people then vs Msia’s 9.3 million.

      Today Spore has 5.18 million people. Their govt has been be able to provide for their lower income people with RELIABLE and comfortable air conditioned trains and buses stopping at LOGICAL STRATEGIC locations, very reasonable prices for food and household items, very reasonable cable TV packages (S$45 a month for practically all the English channels on our ASTRO, (no interrupted service on cloudy days), and very cheap internet and handphone services.

      Before people even think about freedom of speech, their main concern first and foremost is to be able to eat GOOD food, have a decent roof over their heads and get to work on time on a day to day basis, and perhaps be able to go overseas (not just to nearby neighbouring countries) for 1 week or so. It is not uncommon for friends earning S$1600 – 1800 (who have no kids) to go for cheap holiday package in Korea or Hong Kong as a once a year treat for themselves.

      If a govt system can provide the above to the lower income group, it is an admirable achievement in any country. The half-month bonus for civil servants, RM100 for school children or RM400 duit Raya for Felda settlers are ad hoc exercises catering to a few segments in the population. What about the rest of the people who have also contributed to the country?

      BTW, Spore ranks 8th, not 2nd most expensive city in the world for 2011.

  37. #43 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 1:52 pm

    Singapore is a vibrant city state.The people there enjoy high income and live in safe and protected environment.Most Malaysians living in Klang valley despite earning meagre income are compelled to buy cars and subject to the hazards of daily traffic congestion and lack of parking space.Owing to our poor currency value,our cost of living is much higher than Singapore.Unfortunately everyday we also live in fear of being cheated, robbed and raped. In the 1960’s,Singapore,Taiwan and Malaysia were almost on the same footing although Malaysia was well endowed with natural resources compared to the other two.Today 50 years later.we are shamelessly trailing behind them.Maybe the government can still brag about our larger land size but they can never admit their lack of capabilities in administering the country for 54 years.

  38. #44 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 4:41 pm

    TheWrathOfGrapes : your Singabloodypore link is (what can I say?) an educational experience. All who believe profanity is a relief denied to the prayer of the Oppressed are welcomed to visit the link. Hahaha..Thanks.

  39. #45 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 - 4:45 pm

    Sorry I mean your link to “Talk Rock” which takes the cake from TalkCock that I once used to visit.

  40. #46 by Jeffrey on Monday, 21 November 2011 - 7:49 pm

    In terms of consumer goods, Singapore is a bigger more affluent market and so there is bound to be greater variety and competition resulting in prices being lower than in KL in some cases. But if you look at certain goods eg designer tags, prices in S’pore are higher than in HK, London and Paris. I don’t think that Singapore is a cheaper place to live in than Malaysia. Firstly real taxes are not that low in Singapore considering indirect taxes. S’poreans pay 7% GST on everything including utilities which rates are among the highest in the world. If you own a car, the taxes/COE will ratchet up your tax rate significantly esp for a middle income worker. And if you factor in rent or the amount one has to pay for a flat/apartment for a Malaysian working here, then it may not be attractive at all.

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