I have lived in Malaysia all my life - 40 years of it. We are all bracing ourselves for a tough 2014 - electricity tariff is increasing, so is toll rate, petrol, sugar, GST is coming .. all these are bound to create a lot of hardship for the citizens. It's almost like we are going backward, back to the olden days when life is hard for everybody.
But the strange thing is, we are seeing a lot more foreigners in our country. We are importing a lot more skilled workers. Talent Corp is getting Malaysians from abroad to come back to work for the country.
I often wondered why skilled foreigners and Malaysians want to return here to work? Is it the opportunities .. or is it the weather.. or is it because Malaysia sounded exotic and how often does one get opportunities to work in Asia and experience the culture?
A word of advice - the country is generally safe but there are many petty snatch thieves around. I'd think that things could get worse in 2014 when life is hard. One mistake Malaysia did was the influx of unskilled workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Nepal. But on the other hand, somebody has to clean the toilets. If Malaysians don't want to do it, then we need these unskilled workers. But then our problem is that there are just too many of them. You can't go into a restaurant these days and speak English or Bahasa or Cantonese and be understood. It is that bad. At times I wonder if I am in a foreign land.
But the snatch thieves are generally not by these foreign workers! It is by the same Malaysians who refused to do these odd jobs. We have jobs they refused. The jobs is taken by other people, so they resort to violence. What's happening?
This is one reason I thought minimum wages is important and it was successfully implemented in other country. But minimum wage will cause products to be more expensive because labour is expensive. And if things are more expensive, living expenses increase and Malaysia will not be attractive to other investors and therefore the jobs opportunities dwindles.
It's not easy to run the country.
It's not easy to live in a country run by someone who can't lead.
Have a good 2014!
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