Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I work and stay overseas

Note from the author of this blog:
This is taken from The Malaysian Insider written by Alex Yap.

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By Alex Yap
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2011

MAY 24 — Rather than harping on race issue, I am writing as a Malaysian not as a Chinese Malaysian. My point is to get the new graduates in Malaysia to see the bigger picture, and hopefully my article can help them get a direction in their career.

I am now working overseas in China (not because I am Chinese but because China has lots of jobs now due to the booming market).
I worked in Malaysia for more than 10 years in the retail market working for Chinese bosses (Singaporean/Malaysian), Indian bosses and handled brands like YSL and Hugo Boss and I have climbed to the level of GM in Malaysia. I have worked overseas under Singaporean/US bosses for more than six years now and been posted to the Solomon Islands, Vietnam and Cambodia and now China.

The reasons why I work overseas:

1. The money/currency

In overseas postings even if you work for Malaysian bosses/companies you can expect to be paid more than in Malaysia. Currently I am paid in US$ and British pounds. Thus, if you convert to ringgit, my salary can easily reach more than RM20,000 per month. That’s a lot of money in Malaysia. In Malaysia, I discovered some GMs are only earning RM8,000-10,000 a month. With inflation and cost of living in KL so high what is RM10,000 per month if you have a family to feed, house and car and other debts? Is it really enough?

2. The work

Overseas you will find that you are really treated well for your talent, skill, hard work and performance. There is no ceiling really when it comes to salaries… some expats from Singapore are earning on the average S$$30,000 (RM72,000) per month. If you are good, headhunters (international standards) will come looking for you

3. The exposure

You will meet people of different cultures and become more confident, open minded, etc. Now I do not have to look for jobs, I can rely on my network of foreign contacts. You will also look at things differently. Malaysia really is a tiny country and its economy is small. The Malaysian GDP per capita is more than 20 times lower than Singapore’s.

4. The culture

I am sad to say my years working in Malaysia I have encountered all sorts of unethical behaviour among Malaysian bosses and employees. They seem to be very concerned about people’s sexuality. I have encountered GMs who are actually mistresses of the bosses, etc.

6. The system and delivery of businesses are not efficient in Malaysia

The roads, the public sector services. Thus, it’s really frustrating working in Malaysia. Small issues or non-issues will always come up e.g. lost mail, cheques, slow Internet, poor service, poor or non-delivery of services paid. All are rent seekers and businesses do not really create values. Corruption is the norm.

7. Race and religious issues also will come in the picture and taint all business dealings.

People or businessmen will always use race and religion to justify business failures. Non-Bumi and Bumiputeras are always clashing with each other in business dealings. Performance and fair competition are not well regarded.

8. Tidak apa attitude/apathy

Now, Bumis and non-Bumis are hoping for God, the government or bomohs to help them in everything including businesses and careers.

The fighting spirit is gone.

9. NEPThis has caused Malaysians and Malaysia more harm than good (even to the Bumis). The country is no longer competitive.

10. Security

I do not see any future in Malaysia for anyone… it is a time bomb waiting to go off anytime. The country is not working.

I did not write this to condemn anyone, it is just my honest opinion about why I prefer to work and live overseas. This world does really belong to the fittest. Nobody will help you if you don’t help yourself.

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