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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Do YOU agree with ME?

Look at the following and see whether you agree with me.

I always hear people say don't convert the currency. For example, they say in Singapore the cost of living is very cheap, eg food, chicken rice only S$3.00, but in Malaysia is RM5.00. 5 is more than 3, so they say Malaysia is more expensive than Singapore. But I say if I convert S$3.00 X 2.5 will be RM7.50, more expensive than RM5. However, they always disagree with me, asking me not to convert. Keep saying $3 is cheaper $5 and they like to make the statement "you work there you spend there".

I can't accept this. I told them if UK selling at £2 (RM10), and Indonesia selling at 7000 Rupiah (RM2.24), meaning UK cost of living is lowest and Indonesia cost of living the highest? Cannot be right? But they still refuse to listen, keep saying you work there you spend there. Actually more 20 friends, relatives or family member always saying that. No one is on my side.

For me, we need to convert, but also need to compare with income. For example 12 years ago my friend with a degree started working,  got offer from Singapore with S$1,500 pay and his Malaysia job offer him with RM2000, doing similar job. Assuming now starting pay S$2000 , and Malaysia is RM2700, I don't know the figure, just assuming. Chicken rice S$3.00 is 0.15% of S$2000. In Malaysia RM5.00 is 0.185% of RM2700. A better way is to use Per Capital Income.

Then if you tell me Singapore cost of living is lower because chicken rice only cost 0.15% of salary but cost 0.185% in Malaysia, I will accept.




  1. singaporean more smarter. earn there spend in JB.more cheaper

  2. I agree.Earn in Singapore, go oversea tour also cheaper than earn in Malaysia doing similar job.

  3. I am a Malaysian working in singapore but i agree yr statement partially. One thing that everyone has left out was the inflation rate in both country. We are not comparing food item only, but also should compare the house price, daily groceries cost, clothes price, transportation cost, etc. Let me compare the basic necessity in SG and Malaysia (KL) to show who is cheaper (without currency conversion):1) Food - Yes, i do agree Sg is cheaper. I can feel the pressure of food price rising everyime i back to Malaysia. SG gov is appreciating the SGD frequently to tackle the food price increase in the country as their food was mainly imported from other countries.2) House price - needless to compare, SG houses are much more exp based on price per sqf.3) Daily groceries & Clothes - Malaysia is cheaper as we dont have 7% GST YET. SG shop rental are much more expensive than in Malaysia, thus the cost of goods are generally higher than Malaysia too.4)Transportation cost - SG is generally lower as owning a car/bike is not a necessity. The public transport here are much more convenient than in Malaysia (i mean KL, we are comparing apple to apply). 5) Phone cost - SG is much much more cheaper than in Malaysia. You can compare the cost of sign up a smart phone package in both country yrself.6) Broadband cost/Phone call - SG is cheaper by comparing dollar per MB/call per min and of course the quality of the broadband.Let the reader judge by themselves where is cheaper. 

  4. All the people who say "Don't convert currency" are staying and earning in Malaysia, right? If you ask people staying and working in Singapore, everyone will say "After currency conversion, ...". This is just behavioural bias.

    The fact is comparing cost of living and income comprises a whole host of factors. So comparing chicken rice alone, with or without converting currency, is too simplistic a model for any practical use.

  5. Cost of living in malaysia is exstemely high compared to many countries not only in singapore. In US food,daily consumers stuffs,telecomunication, petrol and cars are far much cheaper than your proud to lived in nation. If u have a chance u should
    stay and experience the differ inflationary shock. Agreed, u earn there and spent there is perfectly right.

  6. No one is on your side because you are wrong. You earn there, you spend there is absolutely correct....

  7. in the 80's SGD 1= RM 1. now SGD 1= RM 2.50.i can only agree with you if SGD 1= RM 1

  8. I think I"m a suitable person to compare , last time
    I work in spore and now in Malaysia .
    Cost of living in spore is definitely lower except if
    you wan to stay in landed properties . Yr friend only
    can get S1500 salary definitely is having a non recognize degree in spore . When I was in spore ,
    A fresh graduate singaporean engineer salary in spore is S2000 while a Malaysia fresh will earn RM1800. And all the food , public transport , electronic gadgets, household appliance is cheaper in the sense of dollar- ringgit numerical comparison . That's why people say you work there you spend there . I can go overseas , have a smart phone , go cinema and karaoke often when I'm a fresh grad and still save some money while after working a few years with higher salary and came back to Malaysia , I finish or deficit my salary when I try to maintain the same life style . So , you say which country have more lower cost of living .

  9. For people still working, cost of living needs to be converted to " % salary ". From this aspect, Singapore far far far cheaper.

    For people already not working(even if you are an investor), cost of living is the absolute amount. From this aspect, Malaysia about 2 x times cheaper.

    It depends your are looking from which side of the wall.

    I am working so I don't agree with you.

  10. i do agree with u to use % of salary as the gauge. we need to see the overview. For country like us and uk, have you considered their income tax? After you add them, then only u can compare. Just like owning a car in sg. All ppl said sg car is cheap, sg gov not not sucking money like my gov.. but have they include the licence to own a car in sg (aka AP in my) and year of ownership allowed (thus depreciation)? This is like buying an airasia ticket and mas ticket. when you travel oversea with family, then u will start to pay for luggage, pick-a-seat, convinience fee per trip per person & meal. yet, ppl still think airasia is cheaper.


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Dollar Cost Averaging and PEGGY Method. Sharing info on cheap (low PE) company with high growth, low Gearing or Net Cash and High Dividend Yield.



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