Thursday, December 25, 2014

Why I Left Singapore For Malaysia

Photo By: Elin Chow

In 2013, I packed my bags, quit my job , withdrew my entire savings from the bank and left for Kuala Lumpur (KL) with my husband. To me, leaving Singapore was one of the most difficult decision I had made in my life. It was not a surprise that none of my family members or close friends could understand my decision.

I spent a year thinking deeply before I finally came to a decision.  But when I excitedly announced my plans to people around me, I received no positive responses. None of the people around me were supportive. Instead, many have asked me why I have chosen to relocate to Malaysia when most Singaporeans are leaving for countries with a higher standard of living like Australia, Canada or USA.

So, why am I leaving Singapore when plenty of Malaysians are trying to get into my country? Even my Malaysians colleagues are very surprised when they learnt that I am actually a Singaporean. I was even told by several of them that a lot of their Malaysian friends have actually renounced their Malaysian citizenship to become Singaporeans. No Singaporeans would want leave Singapore for Malaysia. Why I have not follow the norm?

Well, it all began with my Malaysian husband who desperately wanted to be back home permanently. Of course, we fought several times because of this issue. We could be in a long distance relationship which I think I can never accept. However, we never have the intention to break up. We simply could not because we just love each other too much.

So, we were left with only two options - Continue to live our life in Singapore or get married and settle down in KL.

After giving much thoughts to this matter, you would know that I have chosen to get married and relocate to KL with my husband. This is seriously the most difficult decision for me to make in the entire 22 years of my life. In this blog post, I shall be documenting my reasons that eventually led me into making my final decision.

Pros of Living in Malaysia

1. Transport system

Certainly, KL does not have the best transport system in the world. But at least, it is definitely efficient enough to transport me to most of the places in KL without frequent breakdown or delays. In fact, I always find the trains in KL to be more efficient than the ones in Singapore. Similarly, trains are relatively crowded during peak hours too. But definitely, not as crowded as in Singapore. I found it very stressful and mentally draining to commute in extremely overcrowded trains everyday when I was still in Singapore. It was even worst when trains started to breakdown more frequently than before as I have to spend more time on commuting everyday.

However, buses in KL tend not to arrive on time as traffic congestion can be pretty bad during the peak hours. So, waiting for buses in KL can be rather frustrating at times. I will try to avoid commuting by bus in KL as much as I could.

The bus services in Singapore are still far from being reliable or punctual either. Just like the trains, delays are common nowadays. Even when the buses managed to arrive on time, they are usually packed like sardine.

Singapore used to have one of the best transport system in the world. However, in recent years, I started to feel very disappointed with our transport system. I actually find commuting to work in Singapore to be more stressful than the work itself.

Now, I feel really glad that I have made the right decision to relocate to KL. Certainly, I would never want to experience the stress of commuting to work ever in life again.

2. Car ownership

In Malaysia, a country where public transportation is still lacking, living without a car is difficult and inconvenient. But luckily, cars are available at pretty affordable price in Malaysia, but not really cheap if you are considering the fact that the country actually manufacture its own cars. Unlike in Singapore, I am really glad that I do not need to pay a hefty price to bid for a piece of paper in order buy a new car in Malaysia. All I would need to pay for is only the price of the vehicle itself. Of course, not taking into the account of bank loan interest, road tax and insurance.

KL is often well-known for its terrible traffic congestion, no matter the time of the day. So, be prepared to find yourself caught in a jam for at least an hour if you are driving your way to work.


Most of the time, you probably do not need to pay a fee to park your car unless you are driving into major shopping malls, business buildings or city areas. If not, you could just park in any empty space which you could find around the vicinity. However, in certain areas, you would need to look out for any traffic police who may appear any time to issue you a summon for illegal parking.

Living with car in Malaysia has gave me plenty of freedom and convenience to travel around and explore the rest of the country. I find this so much better than having to squeeze into a crowded train or bus just to get to any shopping mall in Singapore.

3. Public holidays

Malaysia has one of the highest number of public holidays in the world, currently ranking number seven in the top ten countries after Thailand, Indonesia, India and Hong kong. Just in KL alone, I would be enjoying at least 18 days off from work a year for free. Undeniably, this is the most awesome part about working in KL!

Now, I believe many of you might start to question whether Malaysians do ever work. Of course they do. In fact, working overtime is quite common, but for me, I usually get to knock off from work on time at 5.30pm. The latest would be 6pm for me. Most of the colleagues, including my boss would probably leave the office by 7 pm.

Working in KL enables me to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Other than working in the office, I am happy that I actually have plenty of time for my family and personal life as well. I enjoy the slower pace of life in KL very much. Now, I am glad to have escape from the hectic Singapore lifestyle for good.

4. Compulsory CPF contribution

Put aside the conversion rate, the salary package is really not that bad in KL. Currently, I am earning so much more as compared to the times when I was still working in Singapore. Furthermore, it is not a mandatory for me to contribute to CPF (known as EPF) in Malaysia. Certainly, I do not mind even if it is a must for me to make a contribution to EPF too. Unlike Singapore, EPF can be fully withdraw after reaching the age of 55. It will become part of my retirement fund.

CPF vs EPF contribution & interest rates

In addition, I did a quick comparison between Singapore CPF and Malaysia EPF contribution and interest rates.

In Singapore, employed Singaporean citizen up to the age of 50 are obligated to contribute 20% of their wages into their respective CPF accounts every month. The employer, on the other hand, are required to contribute an additional amount equivalent 16% of the employee's monthly wage.

Whereas, in Malaysia, employed Malaysian citizen up to the age of 60, earning less than RM 5000 per month, are obligated to contribute 11% of  their wages into their respective EPF accounts. Correspondingly, the employer are required to contribute an additional amount equivalent 13% of the employee's monthly wage.

However for employee who earns more than RM 5000 per month or above, the employer are only required to contribute an additional amount equivalent 12% of the employee's monthly wage to their EPF account. For employees aged 60 and above, they may opt to continue to contribute to their EPF account at a reduced 50% rate, 

I would prefer the EPF system, where I would have more spare cash to spend. Perhaps I could do some long-term investment if I wish to. There may be a chance that I mismanage my finances and left me with little savings for retirement. But who can be sure of that? I would prefer to plan my retirement myself while enjoying my life. Undoubtedly, deducting 20% from my monthly wages is definitely going to result me missing a lot of things in life. The even bad news is that CPF cannot be fully withdraw even when employees have reached their retirement age.

Furthermore, CPF have been paying a fixed interest rates to its contributors, which has remained unchanged over the years. CPF interest rate for its Ordinary Account is fixed at 2.5% annually. As for its Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts, the interest rate is fixed at 4% per year.

EPF has a guarantee a minimum dividend rate of 2.5% annually, but usually, it is much more higher. A 6.35% dividend rate is declared in 2013, the highest ever payout in over a decade.

Which is the better system? I shall leave it for you guys to judge. I have written a detailed post summarizing the main differences between the CPF and EPF systems in both countries. If anyone is interested, please read my Singapore CPF VS Malaysia EPF post.

5. Cost of living

When compared to the cost of living in Singapore, KL is still an affordable city to live in. Although the cost of eating out in KL is higher than in Singapore, the price of housing, healthcare and public transportation remain at affordable levels. It is relatively cheap to rent a room in KL. With RM 600 per month, you could probably rent an entire 3 rooms apartment that is located outside of the city area. There are plently of rooms for rent in a semi-detached house for as low as RM 250 per month too.

A condominum that is located outside of the KL city would probably cost about RM 600k. Apparently, this is how much a 4-room HDB flat would cost in Singapore. If I have an option, I would definitely choose to live in a condominum.

The ridiculous high cost associated with raising a child in Singapore scares me very much too. How am I going to raise a child when I am struggling to feed myself?

6. Obsessed with paper qualification

Singapore is an extremely competitive society obsessed with paper qualifications. A thing which I always hate because it give rise to elitism in our society.

I am always not a very ambitious person. All I wanted in life is to have a job that will give me a decent and stable income. I once thought that completing university will help me to make enough income to lead a comfortable life. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Having an university qualification in Singapore is no big deal, especially for those that are obtained from a private institution. In fact, based on my personal experience, private diplomas and degrees are often not recognized by the government sectors.

Between work experiences and paper qualifications, I believe most employers in Singapore would prefer to hire the better educated candidate rather than the one who only have plenty of work experiences.

A local degree holder would naturally fetch a higher pay than a private degree holder. To me, this is absolutely frustrating because I seriously think that private university are no way inferior to the local university. Throughout my three years in private university, I spent two of the years working full time in the day and attending part-time classes at night. I gained experiences which are never taught in books. But that does not help me to start anywhere higher than those who actually graduated from a local university. I got even more frustrated to know that even a foreigner who holds a foreign degree from some unrecognized university is offered a better pay package than me.

Furthermore, being overly obsessed with chasing paper qualifications actually makes Singaporeans apathetic to changes around them. Singapore is an emotionless society filled with not really 'nice' people. I do not mean that Singaporeans are not nice and friendly. But rather, our niceties does not seem to go beyond the surface level. Most of time we are just too obsessed with striving for excellence that we forget about caring for others.

To put it in other words, Singapore education system is rigid and very result-orientated, which does not encourage innovative and creative individuals. I believe this is also the reason why Singapore has not been very successful in producing as much entrepreneurs as Malaysia.

I have never encountered such problem while I was seeking for employment in KL. Paper qualification is important too, but without relevant experiences, chances of you securing an employment will be lower. Most Malaysians I have met are very friendly people who I could easily start a conversation with.

7. Flexibility

In Singapore, everyone simply just follow what the higher authorities say we should do. Although we often question the golden rule set by these people, eventually, we will still do whatever we are told to do. In fact, we have become extremely reliant on the rules set by higher authorities that we started to lose our own ability to solve problems.

The society lacks the flexibility to handle new challenges. Singaporeans are generally 'trained' to follow rules. I must say that we really did a good job on that. But sometimes, I really feel that our society is just too structured and rigid, which does not really encourage creativity.

I would not deny that Singapore is indeed a very fast and efficient country. But it comes with a price. A higher quality of life will naturally leads to a higher cost of living. Did I asked for that? Not really. I just wanted a simple and not so stressful life.

Cons of Living in Malaysia

I believe every city has it good and bad side. KL is definitely is not exception as well. Having listed all the good aspects of living in KL, let us look at some of the bad aspects of this city now.

1. Ringgit - the weaker currency

Undeniably, the weakening currency is always the bad thing about working in Malaysia. To be frank, I was actually surprised by the price of goods in Malaysia. All of a sudden, I realized that I could no longer buy as much products as before. Yes, it is certainly very frustrating, especially for those who just love shopping very much. But at least, I have learnt to spend my money more wisely now.

My Singaporean friends often told me that the cost of living in Malaysia is very low, thus I would have nothing much to worry about. I always thought so too. But I would probably ask them to stop comparing apples to oranges now. Cost of living in Malaysia is low, but not as cheap as we assumed it to be. Without the high exchange rates between SGD and MYR, Malaysia, or particularly KL, can quite an expensive country to live in. Locals who are earning their income in Malaysia are struggling to make ends meet every month due to the high cost of living. Eating out is expensive where a plate of chicken rice will easily cost you RM 5. Then I will see people starting to convert the RM 5 into SGD and thought that is really cheap.

However, if you gave it a deeper thought, if you are earning SGD, I believe you will be spending your income in Singapore too. Thus, it is not very right to convert and compare the price of goods in Malaysia with those in Singapore.

The weaker Ringgit also makes travelling seems almost impossible most of the time. For Southeast Asia countries, except for Singapore, it is still fine. However, if you wish to visit Europe, I believe you would need to have at least RM 15k in hand.

2. Language barriers

In Malaysia, where unlike Singapore, Bahasa Malaysia is the national language. Thus, it is relatively important for one to be conversant in Bahasa Malaysia, especially when you plan to set up a business in Malaysia.

Communicating with the Malaysian Chinese living in KL is not a problem as most of them can either speak Mandarin or Cantonese. However, I find it difficult to engage in a conversation with the Malay population, who usually communicate in Bahasa Malaysia. Even so, I am glad that there is actually quite a number of them who are rather fluent in English language. But still, it is important and good for me to master some basic Bahasa Malaysia if I have decided to stay in KL on a long-term basis.

3. Higher crime rates

Crimes are pretty rampant in Malaysia nowadays, especially theft, pickpocketing and rapes. In Malaysia, I have to stay alert and be very careful with all my personal belongings at all times. I could no longer enjoy the kind of safe environment like I used to while I was still in Singapore.

4. Lesser career advancement & opportunities

Comparing to Singaporeans, Malaysians are less ambitious. Most of them are easily satisfied with a decent and stable job, thus job hopping is actually less common. As a result, there are actually lesser career advancement opportunities available in the workforce. Companies in Malaysia seldom send its employees for trainings too. Most of them would not see the need to.

To an extent, this is not an absolutely bad thing. At least I would not feel the pressure and stress to constantly upgrade myself to survive in the competitive society.


Do I see myself moving back to Singapore someday? Well, probably, but chances are not high. Currently, I feel really satisfied with my life in KL. But for certain, I do not have the intention to give up my Singapore citizenship. After all, Singapore is still my homeland.

I used to love my little red dot very much and feel very proud to be a Singaporean. However, life has become so stressful and tough in Singapore in the past decade. The Singapore which I have knew is changed. Will I be able to earn enough to even feed myself? I am not very confident with that. Even if I could, I am not satisfied with just living with the bare minimum, struggling every month to make ends meet. I also hate to share our limited spaces with all the foreigners who Singapore welcomed in with open arms.

We could have postponed our plans where we continue to work in Singapore and only relocate to KL once we have enough savings to provide us a comfortable life. But how old we would be when that time finally comes? It is better that we start everything anew when we are still young.

If I were to become rich someday, I might fell in love with this city once again. But now, I am satisified with my life in KL. Apart from that, I also enjoy exploring the rural side of Malaysia very much.

If you are curious about my life in Malaysia, please read: FAQ About My Life In Malaysia

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for taking your time to read my lengthy post.

  2. I think you are making a huge mistake but thats my opinion only. I do enjoy Malaysia but certainly for retirement planning, accumulation of a weaker currency is not interesting.

    1. apex property investment, how much do you know about retirement, especially the authors retirement plan? I guess not so much. I have seen people struggle with their retirement in first world countries as well as in third world or developing world. It seems wherever you are, you will still struggle with retirement if you are not prudent. Your view is very broad judging from your weak currency argument. Suggest you drill down a bit if you want to give sound advise in the area of investment rather than a broad and general view. I guess that will help you to justify the name you used, 'apex property investment'. By the way, I have seen more Malaysians investing overseas despite the weaker currency.

  3. You've written a very good essay. There will always be naysayers (in particular, people only look at things from an economic viewpoint and people who do not know you well) but you've made the decision to relocated for yourself which important. You haven't made your decisions based on other people's opinions. As your Apex Property Investment's comment, I would just ignore it as he does not know you personally and I think he has made a ridiculous sweeping statement. All the best and hope to read more of your posts

    1. Thanks for reading my blog. Well, I agree with you. It is not a surprise that Singaporeans tend to look at things from an economic viewpoint and always have the perception that Malaysia is inferior than Singapore. Yet, Singaporeans are not happy and complain almost about everything. Singaporeans may look rich, but in fact, we are poor. We have no house, no car, no life and worst still, we cannot retire when we reached our retirement age.

      To me, happiness is not measured in monetary terms. I am satisfied with my life and am glad that I live rather comfortably now. Work-life balance and family life are the most important to me. I have found these in Malaysia.

  4. Hey Elin! I'm Jordan, and I am a Malaysian from kl that had lived study and worked at Sg. I had an SPR but I chooses to still come back and leave the Singapore life-Malaysian dream. I could totally relate to what you mean as overflowing non positive responses on your decision to go to kl. I want to share with you my reasons for choosing Kl.

    1.I can't stand Singapores high population density and relative lack of space. I felt contained like a guinea pig when at therewith so many other people. It's stressful and draining at times.

    2. Society and culture of Singapore which look down on being different/out of norn. In Malaysia I could do more and express myself more as most people are open.i feel there's still the human touch from it in Malaysia. Try going for a road trip out of kl to meet the outskirts people and see. They are simple and genuine.

    3.More nature and more space out here. I'm the kind who occasionally will drive out of kl to a far remote beach/forest escape/waterfall to be away from city life for few days. Need that!

    Just some food for thought for you 😊 Take care

    1. Well Jordan, you may need to improve your command of English. My 2cents.

    2. a hongkie could possess up to three (3) passportsDecember 4, 2015 at 5:26 AM

      @jordan tan: If so inclined, you may like to copy-&-paste this phrase on an internet search bar in relation to your situation:

      " good baggage pests milked kindness regime wayang routine suck tarnish fight Chee JBJ rats sinking ship consolation sore thumb ".

      "a hongkie could possess up to three (3) passports".

  5. You know yourself and your needs best, and writing it down is certainly one way to convince yourself better. Personally I have been away for nearly 20 years now and if I ever doubted how Singaporean I am or feel, I certainly haven't done so for a long time now. I always say you can take the Singaporean girl out of Singapore but not Singapore out of her. Singapore is the fibre of my being, be it my upbringing, my way of thinking, the way I live out my convictions or my principles. I certainly do not think only in economic terms seeing that no matter where I am my education and confidence stand me in good stead. What we have in Singapore is special and unique to us - a very small population. We are both pragmatic and idealistic; we are both East and West; we do things properly and strive to do our best. At the end of the say, we cannot please everyone but as long as we can live with ourselves and look at ourselves in the mirror, we would have done well by our own standards. The fact that you still hang on to your red passport attests to how it still gives you a backdoor, a certain sense of security. It is fine to follow your heart, to enjoy the less stressful life (though others may prefer to live by it), afford larger accommodations (personally having lived in villas in so many different countries I still have great fondness for HDB flats) or be able to buy a car (though in more developed societies they are actually trying to cut down and go greener). You are still young after all and life should be experienced and lived out. Having the courage of your convictions is also being Singaporean. And if over time you should discover that KL wasn't your cup of tea after all, making a U Turn is not a problem either. As LKY said, if it didn't work, we were not afraid or embarrassed to admit it, discard it and try something else. Majullah Singapura!

  6. I made the opposite switch, so as you might expect I disagree with you. Here're a few more things you didn't touch on:

    1) More stable financial situation. The government consistently runs fiscal surpluses. AAA credit rating means the odds of a Eurozone-like crisis is low. Singapore's economy has also proven to be more resilient to global recessions.

    2) Low unemployment rate.

    3) Low inflation rate.

    4) Better healthcare system.

    5) Better infrastructure (roads, high-speed internet, no blackouts, etc.).

    6) Tax rate. Singapore's tax rate is one of the lowest in the world.

    7) Singapore labour force is generally better than Malaysia's. Singaporeans as a whole are better educated, work harder, and more motivated.

    8) Superior government. Singapore government is obviously less corrupt than Malaysia's.

    9) No racial tensions.

    10) No threat of shariah law.

    These are just some of the things I find Singapore to be much superior to Malaysia at - you touched on a lot more. Some responses to those too are warranted:

    1. Public transport system. People criticize Singapore's public transport system but it's the best that I've ever experienced (and I've been to, among other cities, London, Birmingham, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver, and Kuala Lumpur). It is light years ahead of Malaysia's. Among other things it is reliable, has wide coverage, is quite cheap, and is punctual. Service outages are the exception not the norm, and waiting more than 15 minutes to get a bus is a rarity. Every other public transport system I've used fails one of these. London's comes the closest but every now and then the tube goes on strike. I don't find travelling on Singapore's public transport system stressful, either.

    2. You may treat having a car as a necessity, and if you live in Malaysia it probably is, but in Singapore it's a luxury. Singapore's public transport system is good enough that I don't need a car. The fact that you need a car is a disadvantage, not an advantage.

    3. Public holidays are bad for the country + company but good for the employee. If you care about your country or company you should desire fewer public holidays. If you don't, then you're being quite selfish, aren't you?


    1. 4. If you mismanage your finances and don't have enough money for retirement, who will pay for your accommodation / food / medical expenses? You may not like CPF, but the government has its reasons for having the system the way it is. The effects show: Singapore gets away with fiscal surpluses, Malaysia runs fiscal deficits.

      5. You must balance the cost of living with the income earned. A fresh graduate in Singapore for example could earn maybe $2500-$2800 a month. The minimum cost of living is about $1000 (less if willing to share accommodation). This means after CPF contributions and the (negligible) income tax a fresh graduate in Singapore might have $1400++ disposable income. Against that a fresh graduate in Malaysia might earn RM 3000 a month. That means his entire monthly salary before expenses is less than the Singapore graduate's disposable income, after accounting for exchange rate.

      6. Again you view this as a weakness yet I view it as a strength. You spent three years studying, of which two were part-time, which translates to essentially two years of study. You got job experience in the exchange, but you didn't say what that experience is; if it's not skilled job experience then it's probably not worth much. Against that your competitors who also went through the education system might have studied four years, gained research experience or teaching experience, and may even have worked part time as e.g. a research assistant to his or her professor. Who is better qualified? Who should command a higher salary, who should get the job? The point is that the fact that you think you're qualified doesn't mean everyone else thinks you're qualified (see Dunning-Kruger syndrome).

      You also say that Singaporeans tend to be apathetic and uncaring. I can honestly say that I don't feel that. You might think I'm apathetic and uncaring too, since I show no pity for your situation. Nonetheless, I particularly admire how Singapore forces its people to do well and fend for themselves. Singapore may not have produced many great entrepreneurs, but it did produce a highly-productive society with one of the world's highest GDP per capita.

      In the end everyone has a right to his or her own happiness. If you find yourself happier in Malaysia, by all means stay in the country. On the other hand I see much more opportunity in Singapore than in Malaysia, and this is where I'm staying. Best wishes with your life - I'll take care of my own.

    2. To the Anonymous above,
      You said that public transportations in Sg is good enough i do agree but I can't imagine taking my child to school daily with public transports and then to work. Or even carrying heavy grocery bags on the train all the way home.

      Like in the UK, basically need a car to be able to get to most places. If you live in London capital, surely you may not need one but to get to certain place you may still need a car to get there.

      I personally can't accept myself living in such a small room or flat space in Singapore, to me and my family, space is really important. In Singapore, even you earn 6000SGD you still unable to afford a house! House is better than a flat too, where house there's land and you invest on it. The house is yours, but flat is just like an empty box, that's all you get.

    3. Try to byy yourself a double story house or just a condo with your SGD5000 salary...then get yourself a car..let see if u can manage to have those with the amount of salary. I doubt u can afford that.. my salary in Malaysia just RM4640 plus some allowance will be around RM52++. I can mange to buy myself a double story house located in JB and own myself a car, including some saving around RM300 for my future, some insurance around RM400 for me and my child..if u can do that ok la..

    4. I dunno why you'd say you can't imagine bringing your children to school on public transport. I see school-age children taking public transport alone all the time. And if you're buying groceries, you probably don't have to take public transport because one of the marvels of Singapore is that there's almost always a supermarket nearby.

      As for housing, land is obviously scarce in Singapore which is why a full-fledged house is going to be expensive. If you can't afford to buy a house, rent. To the person above, if you're managing all that on a salary of RM 4640, you're probably loaded to the brink with debt. You have a large appetite for risk. No comment beyond that.

    5. I do not quite agree with you that there is no racial tension in SG [9) No racial tensions.]. On the contrary, I would say that in MY, people are more vocal and free to express their racial differences. It is a fact that the bumi usually win in MY but at least, people in MY can express their thoughts and sentiments more freely. More importantly, people in MY are more united in their own race, unlike SG, i.e., Indians are united in their own community, so as for Malays and Chinese.

    6. By Anonymous Alice.
      I totally agree with above. I think SGP much better than Msia (both in the short run & long run). I've never heard of SGP having bad transport. SGP is clean, safe & efficient.

  7. To the Anonymous above,
    You said that public transportations in Sg is good enough i do agree but I can't imagine taking my child to school daily with public transports and then to work. Or even carrying heavy grocery bags on the train all the way home.

    Like in the UK, basically need a car to be able to get to most places. If you live in London capital, surely you may not need one but to get to certain place you may still need a car to get there.

    I personally can't accept myself living in such a small room or flat space in Singapore, to me and my family, space is really important. In Singapore, even you earn 6000SGD you still unable to afford a house! House is better than a flat too, where house there's land and you invest on it. The house is yours, but flat is just like an empty box, that's all you get.

    1. Living quality can be improved living in a small apartment, it's how you live, not the space that makes you happy. If you need lots and lots of space to feel happy, I think there's a bigger problem behind such emotion. There are a lot of people, millions, living in cities that are happy with their apartments.

      My father-in-law used to own a terrace house that unfortunately had to be sold off to pay his debts. You CAN have a house, but if you don't know how to manage your finances, it's still the same. You can still end up poor and miserable. Having or own a house doesn't automatically make you happier. You can be absolutely happy living in an apartment, you just gotta know how to do it and a lot of us city dwellers figured that out. Have a nice day!

  8. Bravo!!...Well said...welcome to malaysia

  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, welcome to malaysia

  10. Hahaha... don't carry handbags, might get mugged. Then there are kidnappings, rapes, robbery, murder, so you have to practise constant vigilance! No more holidays overseas or imported goods, weak currency = low purchasing
    power. Oh, try to avoid public toilets. Government agencies work slowly. Racial discrimination is warranted because you are a pendatang, your husband, your kids and grandkids too.. doesn't matter they are born in malaysia. Well, you'll find out the rest soon enough. Good luck!

    1. Singapore is not as safe nowadays, especially with all the foreigners the government is welcoming in. Malaysia is not as dangerous as what most Singaporeans think. Do you think that the whole country is made up of rapists, thiefs and kidnappers? This is an educated society too. It's just that we have to stay more alert and careful when we are here.

      I do go on overseas holidays very often. In fact, I will be flying thrice just in this year alone. Lower purchasing power does not neccessary mean you cannot afford to go on an overseas holiday. It's mostly depend whether people want to or not. Malaysians are nothing like Singaporeans. Even they go on an expensive holidays or buy branded products, they don't tend to go around showing off everywhere. Malaysians are not poor. In fact, I think Singaporeans are poorer.

      Don't go around converting SGD to MYR and assume that Singaporeans are richer. You earn SGD, you spent in Singapore. It is true that the government gives priority to Malays in Malaysia. But that is what makes the Chinese stronger here. And no, i do not feel that I have been discriminated in Malaysia. Talking about discrimination, Singapore isn't any better than Malaysia too.

    2. Singapore crime rate is one of the lowest in the world. See: I quote: "Last year [2011] had the lowest recorded crime rate in more than two decades - there were 80 days in which not a single robbery or "snatch theft" was recorded.". I doubt Malaysia comes close.

      Also Singaporeans are richer. As calculated above after accounting for taxes, living expenses and CPF contributions a Singaporean might have $1400-$1500 disposable income every month. A Malaysian might have RM 2000. The price of a Big Mac in Singapore is about $3.53 USD, according to the Big Mac index. In Malaysia it is about $2.11 USD. Feel free to finish the calculation - a Singaporean can buy more Big Macs than a Malaysian can. For goods like iPhones, Singapore's stronger currency has a bigger impact as well.

    3. I did not say Malaysia is safer than Singapore. In fact, I actually mentioned that the crime rates are higher in Malaysia. But why are you using 2011 statistics when we are already in 2015? It seems funny and inaccurate.

      When I say richer, I don't mean it in monetary terms only. I am sure that Malaysians are generally happier than Singaporeans, which cannot be bought by money. Happiness cannot be measured by the amount of wealth. This is what makes Malaysians richer. But again, you are converting the currency. Who cares how many Big Mac you own when you can't even live comfortably in life?

    4. Unfortunately I don't have 2015 statistics, which is why I used 2011. If you have them do share. I was also responding to your statement that "Singapore is not as safe nowadays". Maybe - but Singapore is still one of the safest countries in the world.

      I converted the currency but it balanced out: I used the respective prices for Big Macs. As for happiness, Singaporeans are clearly unhappy; in fact the same article I linked above shows that Singaporeans are the world's least happy people, less happy than people in Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan and Syria. However, I believe that happiness is something that's fairly easily controlled. One can simply choose to be happy. Comparatively, one does not exercise that amount of control over health, wealth or crime rates.

    5. Anonymous above, you obviously are a typical cynic Singaporean, and obviously you have not worked, lived in Malaysia. With so many Filipinos in Singapore taking over jobs, and doing so much better at customer service than what local Singaporeans can do, I am surprised by your level of happiness living there.
      For one thing, I am sure happy living in a landed property in Malaysia where I can drive and park and my driveway, unload my groceries straight into the house.
      I dont have to lug a trolley with me to the shop, even if it's across the road, and climb flights of staircases with my shopping bags, if the lift is under maintenance ( happen to me a few times when I stayed in HDB in Spore).
      For safety, stay in landed, guarded and gated residence.
      We Malaysians don't have to wait for COE prices to come down, to buy a car, hoping and waiting for the impossible.
      I have to agree with the author as she is living her life and finding it more balanced. In Singapore, people are so materialistic and concern on travels and buying expensive stuff which mostly people can live without, and my guess is because these are an outlet to get away from the harsh realities of life there. You may be proud that you have stronger currency, buy more things, and travel more often, but at the end of the day, you'll come back to the pigeonhole. I do feel sorry but I do find Singaporeans generally think they are high and mighty, but they don't realize that they have been brought up to think that Singapore is the best place in the world to live and always looking down on their neighboring countries.
      At the end of the day, Malaysia will still have the best beaches, best kampung retreat, normal and sincere folks and simple lives.

    6. Just FYI, I'm Malaysian living in Singapore, and I'm in Singapore because I genuinely believe it is the better place to live.

      You can say you like those things, but I'll equally say that my family's neighbourhood in Malaysia banded together to install checkpoints and hire security guards a few years ago, and I'm unaware of anyone doing that in Singapore.

      I also stick my neck out and say I generally prefer people who are materialistic, because people who aren't often want to have the cake and eat it too. Your comment about Fillipinos is an example. If these people take over all the jobs AND they "doing so much better at customer service than what local Singaporeans can do", as you put it, then obviously they deserve the job. They're producing better work! Instead of complaining local Singaporeans should work harder and match the Fillipinos. They are not disadvantaged in any way; in fact they are probably advantaged since Singapore's education system is stronger than the Phillipines'. If Singaporeans are too lazy to do so, then by all means emigrate to Malaysia.

    7. "If Singaporeans are too lazy to do so, then by all means emigrate to Malaysia"

      As a Malaysian I find your comment offensive, and from your comments can see how negative and egostical you are; you only care for your own Goddamned self.

      What Elin said is not wrong, she has lived in Singapore all her life, she can see the good and bad part of it, and being someone who just moved to KL she can see the pros and cons, which is not all bad.

      I am a Malaysian who worked & lived in Singapore before my company transferred me back. I was once like you too.

      Yes, your family has to set up checkpoints in Malaysia, no one in Singapore does that but do you know that housing system is different in both countries? Did you know how well staffed Singapore's security forces are?

      With your attitude like that I'm not surprised if your family has to hire bodyguards.

      All your comments just show you are bootlicking Singapore blindly without realising the logic of Elin's comments.

      You are Malaysian immigrant to Singapore, do you know that in Singapore, all males have to do National Service? Something which you did not have to do, maybe that is why you are taking Singapore so lightly.

      Emigrate to Malaysia? Who the F are you to tell Singapore to migrate to Malaysia? That is their country, their right! Who are you to tell them to migrate? They welcomed you in, learn to respect the locals abit. Its their right to live there, its your right to live ONLY if you are hardworking.

      And let me give you a reply to your statement. "If you are too arrogant then someday you will have to emigrate back to Malaysia"

      Hardwork is useless without humility.

    8. For all that mattered, perhaps the Malaysian working and living in Singapore anonymous should remain there and never come back, since it is a better place to live. Congratulations you have found your calling, but don't look down on others who make the opposite switch as you may have to lick your spit should anything happen and you realize that you need to come back to Malaysia. A lot of immigrants always behave like this, grass is always greener on the other side. The Earth revolves, and what suits you today may not suit you in 20 years time. Just remember that materials can only make you happy for a while, but not forever. Suit yourself, if you like to be served by foreigners there, you are a foreigner yourself.

    9. Tim Ngim, my family didn't hire bodyguards. My neighbourhood did. Someone called a meeting to talk about all the crime that had been happening recently, and by consensus (as much consensus as there can be, since some families refused to participate) they decided to hire security guards.

      Of course I'm aware Singaporean men have to do national service. It is the only major Singaporean policy I disagree with (I think Singaporean women should also have to do national service, on the grounds of gender equality). And if you're Malaysian you should know that Malaysia also has its own Khidmat Negara program (suspended at the moment). How do you know I didn't have to do that?

      Like everyone else Singaporeans are free to migrate to whichever country will accept them. I don't TELL them to migrate, they decide to (like Elin). It is their life and they lead it however they want to. If they decide to migrate, they deal with the consequences (have to find new home, adapt to new culture, etc); if they decide not to migrate, they also deal with the consequences (have to deal with foreign competition, Singapore's public transport system, etc). If someone really feels the grass is greener in Malaysia compared to Singapore, by all means, migrate. I certainly am not stopping him or her.

      My relationship with Singapore is a symbiotic one: I contribute to the country, and I stay here. If one day Singapore decides it doesn't want this relationship anymore, I'm happy to leave and go somewhere else.

      My ideal country does not discriminate between nationalities, race, gender, and similar things. If I am hired to a job, it should be because I do it best (or I do it best for a given amount of pay, etc). If I am not the best person for the job, fire me and hire someone better. Some people complain about cheap labour from the Philippines and other countries outcompeting them to all the jobs; I don't care about this and in fact welcome all competition. I am not inferior to foreigners and can match them. If I were governing Singapore I'd happily bring in all the best foreign talent. The country benefits, and the complaints of people who have been outcompeted are irrelevant.

      This is not a popular way of thinking, and it is very harsh on oneself. Nonetheless my life is comfortable today in large part because I think this way. I do not expect my government, employer, or anyone else to spoonfeed me. Singapore does a great job of encouraging / forcing its people to execute at a high level. That is something I admire about the country, even if certain people find it too stressful.

  11. I'm a Malay and totally proud of multiracial Malaysia. While there are abundant of weaknesses in Malaysia, there are always room for improvement and it motivates me to contribute something even on minuscule scale. I always dream of better Malaysia, so positive people like you are always welcome. Welcome to Malaysia Elin ;)

    1. Please don't ask me to balik tiongsan when I make negative comments about Malaysia.

      Anyway, I generally agree with Elin Chow. Welcome to Malaysia but I will soon be off to a third world country nearby. That is not to say that Malaysia is not good. We have great food n decently good people even though more n more ppeople are getting nastier.

      Between Malaysia n Singapore, it will always be Malaysia for me.

  12. Nicely written....

  13. I think this is a fantastic article. You have laid it out ..

    Malaysia remains my favorite place (although I am not from there and I live in the US now)
    For those who think otherwise - :) all I can say is money and denominations in other countries get you only that far.... Holistic living is a whole other ballgame...

  14. Hi, you might like to double-check on the EPF contribution, which to my understanding is optional for foreigners and employers are compelled to contribute a flat rate of only RM5 and not 12 or 13%. I might be wrong.....

    1. Yes, I am aware of that. But it depends whether your company is willing to contribute more for you. My company is actually willing to make EPF contribution for me, but I did not wanted to. I will do so once I obtain permanent residency in Malaysia.

  15. I'm glad that you found Malaysia a pleasant place to live in. As a Malaysian who have studied in Singapore for 5 years I realised each country has it's own perks and we should appreciate the beauty of each country instead of comparing their shortcomings.

    I would marvel at the achievements and the progress that Singapore has made over the past 50 years. It is an impressive feat and I felt that the citizens are truly blessed to be able to witness the outcome. But in order to achieve that one have to made sacrifices i.e. influx of foreigners, regulation of vehicles, competitiveness

    But for me the experience of driving to a distance place for a nice meal whenever I want, getting on a road trip with friends, having a good time with your loved ones till late without worrying about cab fare is far more enriching than taking public transport day in, day out.

    I would say that you'll be happier and more relaxed staying in Malaysia as compared to Singapore. Towards the end is the happiness of yourself and your loved one that counts and I think it is easier to achieve that in Malaysia as long as one is adapted to its culture.

    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
    Abraham Lincoln

  16. It is not true that government only favors Malays. 90% of business Agriculture grants given out to Chinese owned businesses through NKEA Agriculture initiatives alone, year-on-year. There are many other initiatives under NKEA. 90% of government procured items come from Chinese owned but purchased via Bumiputeras agents. So many Chinese controlled businesses applied for Facilitation Fund grant from UKAS that government have to reserve some for Bumiputeras. 12 out of 13 licensed meat importers into Malaysia are Chinese-owned. Many more things can be mentioned, but you get the idea.

    Living in Malaysia is not all meritocracy, true. But it allows everyone a piece of the pie. After all, Chinese still employed Bumiputeras as workers and vice-versa.

    Don't complain if you can't get into government universities if you do poorly in Bahasa Malaysia and History because those 2 are prerequisites.

    Government just need to encourage genuine partnership between all ethnics and the rest should take care itself. Chinese too cannot take short cut by engaging politically connected Bumiputera intermediaries.

    If the Chinese vernacular schools are better, why not share the best part of learning with national school? It is all about give and take. National Schools have acquired the Malay culture because 90% of students are Malays. They never got a chance to learn about other cultures and vice versa. Hence, the perpetual animosity made worse by politicians.

    1. You are very typical Malay in Malaysia who has no appreciation of the other races and who has enjoy the discriminatory policy that you do not know the hardship that other feel. The fact that people have to purchase via Bumiputra already shown discrimination. Why can't they purchase from someone else. Why only bumiputra be the middle man who make all the money by doing nothing ? There are other that are for bumiputra only. Is this not discrimination. By the way, who is bumiputra ? Malay are immigrant from Sumatra too.

      Malay might be national language but it should not be force on other races. Why must non-malay be ask to pass Malay to go to university especially when you study engineering or science ? Why do you only ask chinese to share ? Why not Bumiputra share the government with the non-bumiputra ?

  17. Welcome to malaysia & wish u have wonderful living experience over here!

  18. Hey there, I'm a Malaysian and am currently studying in Singapore. I do agree with you tho. Putting aside economical and political factors, Malaysia to me, is so much more relaxing. It's only my first year in Singapore but the competitiveness here is already bringing me down to almost nothing. The stress level is amazingly high. Well, of course this is just my opinion and certainly I would say Malaysia is a nice place to live in coz it's my home, like how Singapore is yours. I do hope you'll enjoy Malaysia as much as those Malaysians living abroad like me. The people in Malaysia are also very much friendlier and would give you a warm welcome. Wishing you and your family all the best and with much happiness and joy. Also, welcome to Malaysia my friend :D

  19. Dear Elin,

    I believe that your views would garnered a number of agreement and disagreement. Nonetheless, I guess what matters most are the things you found here that make you feel happy here at the end of the day :) I'm a SPR from Malaysia who always have internal struggles to have this desire to return back to Msia despite I'm comfortably earning SGD which keeps getting stronger. If not all, most points you brought up came across my mind all the time. Very well said, Elin. I might need to visit your blog post once more when I need to weight my decision to come back for good again :) thank you

  20. Patriotism aside, I think you found Malaysia as fit for your personality, which is what everything is about. A country's social and political system tries to accommodate as much as possible to the aggregated ambitions and aspirations of its people. In Singapore, it was all about survival after independence, which translated to the need to do things right. It earned the admiration of the world, going from 3rd world to 1st. Just like Japan, Korea and a lot of other ambitious countries, there is a price to pay for that progress, in the form of lost freedom, space etc.

    You mention, "All I wanted in life is to have a job that will give me a decent and stable income.", and indeed, places like Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, smaller US cities, and lesser known countries would suit you. If you were more ambitious, like some of the commentators here, by all means Singapore -- where the system works -- is more suited for you. It is great that you had the choice and found a place that suits you. Not many are so lucky - many Singaporeans still have to go through the hectic choking city life, just like many Malaysians who want to achieve, but is held back by a racially biased government.

    But if you take away the macro views (systems, statistics, generalisations), and to the personal view, both Singaporeans and Malaysians need to manage their bills, their daily life of getting the groceries, doing some work in exchange for the ability to feed and play, then Malaysia, despite the lower ambitions and righteousness of its government, higher crime, probably offers better payback for the amount of work needed to achieve those goals.

    1. probably the most rational comment so far

    2. ".....then Malaysia, despite the lower ambitions and righteousness of its government, higher crime, probably offers better payback for the amount of work needed to achieve those goals." Wowwww... You don't even live here and yet dare enough to comment like this... Fairly said, you are the one who racist...

  21. stress are not good for health and your family......just saying
    welcome to Malaysia. :)

  22. your article is shit. you left singapore for malaysia because you made the choice to marry your husband and follow him to kl. thats it! all those other crap you wrote is irrelevant. what a waste of internet space.

    1. LOL @ you..... Ouch! The truth hurts! Sakit ka?

    2. Mate that's really offensive. I'll bet you can't string two non offensive words together let alone a paragraph like the writer here. Theres some really stuck up people on this thread reeking of national and racial superiority ideas here, its good to be proud but not in front of the kids. See, they need to work together across national boundaries to move forward after us, we really don't need to giving them insular and inbred ideas that will only work for so long on how to keep your country strong.

    3. HAHAHA...this is hilarious!...very rude, but to the point and pretty accurate in my opinion. Clearly, it was mentioned the husband is probably the one and only over-riding reason for the decision. What follows is an unnecessary and laboriously contrived effort to justify the decision. There is no need to, it is your own decision and your own right. Everything has its pros and cons.

  23. I won't say you made a right or wrong decision, but you definitely know what you want. Wise choice !!!

  24. Sorry I m Malaysian and English no good,hope u don't mind
    I feel u can still be Singaporean and living at Malaysia with ur husband, why need convert be a Malaysian?
    Singapore is better then Malaysia too much, but I still love Malaysia because I born here, and my mother is still Singaporean,still can have EPF,can buy car too,so weird why you be a Malaysian?
    Anyway, welcome to Malaysia, hope it can be more stronger...

    1. I'm Malaysian too and I think your eyes really failed you.

      Did she convert to Malaysian? No. Read again, she still maintain Singapore citizenship and hold Singapore passport.

      Malaysia govt has something called "Spouse Visa" to show that she can stay long term in Malaysia (not a tourist) and its pasted in her passport. Same as Singapore. There are many Singaporean women who live in Malaysia with their Malaysian Husbands too.

      This is called globalization, thats why countries have embassies in other countries.

      Is Zang Toi a US Citizen? No. Is Jimmy Choo a British Citizen? Also no. Are they both living in Malaysia? Also no.

      Same point.

    2. Haha sorry I failed,I no read to the end,then OK what, living at Malaysia feel good and can learn protect yourself , government suck only

  25. Elin you're no ordinary girl. You're an intellect & chose how to live your life without anybody telling you what's best for you. Good on you gal all the best to you & your family.

  26. If you like a less stressful place to stay, you should definitely go check out Penang. Who's with me?

    1. I prefer west Johor (Muar, Batu Pahat). Plain fried rice at stalls only RM 3.50 also every year can meet Sultan Johor, walaoweh not easy to shake hands with royal bloods woo! XD

  27. Good sharing. Well every country has good n bad. Did u guys above seeing what she mention pro n cons? Lol, some noob didn't see contain through. Well, the keypoint what she did mention "work life balance" and not only that, we are require happiness is heart not only just money. If u see Malaysia have poor as well, struggle with gov etc but yet some are patient n happy what they have.

    Anyways chill work smart, control emotion n hv a good day.

  28. Only the LESS smarter Singaporeans "jump over" to Malaysia.

    If you were borned a Malaysian, then I bet you will prefer to be in Singapore.

    1. are u amos yee? LOL

    2. "Only the LESS smarter Singaporeans "jump over" to Malaysia. "

      Well she did prove that she has something more than "smartness" than you. She moved because she loves her husband.

      If you were borned a Malaysian, then I bet you will prefer to be in Singapore.

      Same way, she was borned a Singaporean thats why she prefers to be in Malaysia.

      Borned in Malaysia but migrate to Singapore? You don't have to do NS thats why you don't know the pain.

      Both countries has its ups and downs.

      Trust me, I'm Malaysian who mixed with Singaporeans long time already.

    3. Well, sir...
      Just want to let you know , I'm Malaysian...
      But, I prefer to live in my country than Singapore...
      Why? Because I found my country are the best!
      If you think Singapore are the best country, well go ahead...

    4. Lol a comment by one of the 'less smarter' Singaporeans him/herself. Evident at first sight with pathetic English.

  29. I think the number 1 pull factor is the husband. If she is single or with a Singaporean husband then maybe this post won't exist.

  30. I moved to Malaysia in 2002 bought 2 bungalow in Mutiara Damansara andlast year sold of 1 unit. I made awesome gain and the government dont tax me for the gain i made. Its different down there where the gov will find ways to tax me.

    1. I heard if you want to buy a car. Lets say the car is 50, 000 currency. You have to pay 100, 000 currency? I meant 50k for the car, another 50k for a piece of paper? Something like that if I not mistaken. Crazy system, buy something also taxed.

    2. Yes, that is Singapore. Whenever you made a gain, they will always try to find ways to tax you. And price of cars are crazy in Singapore. Cars are supposed to be cheaper due to the stronger currency, but then, that piece of paper made it quite unaffordable for most people.

  31. As an Australian Pr about to return to Malaysia, I find this post really encouraging. like you I had a lot of people screaming at me about my decision but in the end it's what makes you happy. to me family is important and so are friends and food! Ironically I found the uber relaxed pace in Australia too much. I need come speed in my life.;-)

    1. I am glad that you actually found my post encouraging and happy that you are coming back to Malaysia. And yes, food in Malaysia are definitely so much better than in Singapore!

  32. 'I also hate to share our limited spaces with all the foreigners who Singapore welcomed in with open arms'

    I believe you hate urself too since you are welcomed into Malaysia and stay with among us.

    1. Have you lived in Singapore before? Do you know the amount of foreigners in Singapore now is really that big?

      Malaysians in Singapore and Singaporeans in Malaysia? They don't really qualify to be called as "foreigners" due to they can blend in due to cultural similarities. (Both countries know what is Chicken Rice & Nasi Lemak)

      Its hard to tell a Malaysian in Singapore from a Singaporean and vice versa.

      Whereas in Singapore, the foreigner situation is so bad that you have Mainland Chinese complaining about Curry, and you find that sometimes its like you are in Little Beijing or Little Manila.

      In Malaysia at least even the foreign workers have to learn to speak Malay and it still feels like Malaysia.

      Ever had hawker food in Singapore? Certain Singapore hawker centres, the food and service make you feel as if you are in China. Yes, too much MSG.

      Thats what the author meant by Singaporeans overrun by foreigners. She? She is different, as culturally its the same and she is staying in her husband's house, which her husband is also a Malaysian.

  33. LOL. you guys comment as if you have lived in both cities before. THIS AUTHOR DID. stop showing your stupidity with your statistics found from the internet. get a real life then you talk.

  34. Used to live in Telok Blangah Cresent. Used to have many multi ethnic neighbourhood like malays indianand chinese. Now its different ethnic. Mostly are chinese pr and banglas working at Sentosa Island. Each unit can have about 20 or more ft. Telok Blangah now is a Foreign state

    1. I am still living in Telok Blangah Cres.

      I dont see any such major change in ethnic as you claimed.
      There's racial/PR quota in all neighbourhoods.
      This is a mature central estate, not all new immigrants like to pay the premium to stay here.

      If there're more Malays and other ethnics minority race that choose to move out of this place, it likely because they cash out to live in JB or cheaper area.

      No difference from Mt Austin or Bt Indah.

  35. Welcome to Malaysia!
    Enjoy your stays and hope you can spend more refreshing moment in our beaches, islands and highlands.....
    Afterall, your precious moment with family is priceless that beyond any amount of $$$ can measure.

    I am glad that I made a correct decision to come back KL from Singapore to spend my day & night with my love ones.

    Best wishes to you and your family!

  36. From a Freudian perspective, you are justifying your move to M'sia by calculating the pros and cons of each country AND then deciding that the pros of M'sia outweighs the cons of Singapore just to make yourself feel better for the switch. How do we know this? You get pretty defensive over people who disagree with you and who say that Singapore is better. Well, I hope things work out for you and your M'sian husband. As long as you are a citizen, Singapore unfortunately would still welcome you back despite you dissing her for all to see.

    1. Well said, I get this feeling after reading too.

  37. Is all about happiness.. it doesn't matter where you are. You can be the richest, the most powerful and the smartest but your daily life sucks to max... that is not life is all about. Do you want your short life, say 70 years on earth being unhappy?

  38. So many smartass Singaporeans and Singaporean wannabes here. I laughed at how hard you are trying to prove Elin wrong.

    It's her life, people. She made the decision for herself. Why are you trying so hard to prove her wrong about it? From a Freudian perspective, you're making Elin wrong or analysing her with your prejudice to make yourself feel better for choosing to stay in/go to Singapore. How about that, shooting yourself on your foot?

    And for people who have no kind words to say just because you don't agree with her view, you are really just living examples of Elin's point that Singaporeans are only kind at the surface level, and you show up otherwise under the cover of anonymity in the Internet.

    And for the commentator who tried to prove how Malaysia is NOT favouring Malay, what are those irrelevant examples for? I don't think she would appreciate the lack of racial quota for licensed meat importers and how many Chinese licensed meat importers are there... We all know the undeniable fact that racial quotas are in so many government policies that matter to the people. Anyway, that's another topic on its own.

    Back to the post, I really want to commend your courage and boldness, Elin. It is definitely a decision that raises brows of many and I can imagine how hard it is to go against the 'norm.' I want to acknowledge you to have well thought out about it before deciding.

    There is no one decision that can please everyone. It really doesn't matter how they think. I hope you are not discouraged by so many voices against it in your life and in your blog here.

    To me, having the regret for doing a wrong thing is never worse than having the regret of NOT doing it. Maybe someday you will regret for this decision, but at least this regret can be rectified and handled by doing something about it. But if you regret to have not done something at the right time, you will never have the chance to go back in time to do it again.

    But of course, I truly wish you to have no regrets for this decision in the future. :) And congratulations because you won't have the regret for not trying.

    Footnote: I am Malaysian and I love Malaysia despite of her shortcomings. It is not that I think I should live with that, but it is because Malaysia is my home. I'm hopeful and will continue to do my part to make her better, in the ways I've always thought she deserves to be.

    1. Mr K,

      I am Malaysian who has lived & worked in Singapore before, before being transferred back to KL by my company, and now divide my time between KL & Singapore.

      Just to give my opinion, your "So many smartass Singaporeans and Singaporean wannabes here" Is very wrong.

      Those trying to prove Elin wrong? They are not real Singaporeans nor Singaporean wannabes. They are Malaysians who migrated to Singapore or even if they are Singaporean, they are ex-Malaysians.

      I have mixed with Singaporeans before and true-Singaporean like Elin won't bash Malaysia. They have never tasted Malaysia (visitor as compared to born & bred) before and therefore don't have much "ill" feelings as these ex-Malaysians. For their own nation (Singapore) however I have seen their dissent with it, dissent with how the current ruling PAP is letting in so many foreigners (PRCs, Filipinos) and how they can only get their CPF at an old age (No 1 Gripe of Singaporeans) and many other gripes about Singapore.

      Most of the time, Malaysians who migrated to Singapore like the guy who was bashing here are quick to refute those gripes calling those Singaporeans "ungrateful" and that can cause friction both in cyberspace and in real life.

      Just like True Born Singaporeans, True Born Malaysians who migrate to Singapore too have not experienced Singapore fully compared to those born and bred there so they sing praises but they have hurts from their previous nation (Malaysia) which is why they seem to find shortcomings about Malaysia. Same with Singaporeans like Elin, they have hurts from their past nations. (Malaysians who migrate to Singapore don't have to do NS, something which they may not be aware of)

      So, my point is, not so say who is wrong or who is right but there is a point known as "One Man's Meat is another Man's poison". If you have been eating sweet all your life surely you will want to try something salty and if you have been eating salty all your life surely you will want to try something sweet.

      But as the "in-between" people, we have to reduce friction between these 2.

      By the way I mentioned "real-life" as in my organization I have many Singaporean colleagues-Singaporeans like Elin who married Malaysians and have settled down here-only during holidays do they return to Singapore to visit their parents.

      And nearing Singapore's national day in August, thanks to them I do get invited to Singapore National Day celebrations hosted by their Embassy in Jalan Tun Razak.

      And yes, once in a while you get a Malaysian colleague who is disgruntled with life in Malaysia (like those who are bashing-Elin) coming into friction with these "Expats" from Singapore and as colleagues you do have to separate them.

      Oh, and Elin's story? Its not surprising to me. Go and look at some organizations in KL like Genting, and of course banks like OCBC, UOB, you'll be surprised that there are lots of Singaporeans working in KL as well. Their accent and eating preferences gives them away, as well as their phobia for crossing the road "illegally"

  39. Interesting post.
    I've seen many couples with one part foreign.
    One of you just have to move to another.

    I've been living in sgp for a long while.
    Have many friends who moved from SG to other cities, and some like you to malaysia.
    and i have many foriegn friends who choose to come to singapore to live and/or work.

    It could not be easy to generalise their profile, but in sgp, you need need to work twice as hard if you wish to have a good material life. However even those not as well qualified could comfortably stay in HDB and take public transport if they live within their means.

    there's reason why a certain place is cheaper to live in.
    There's a price to pay for everything.

  40. Why do you need to justify your reasons for moving? Are you feeling insecure & thus the need to keep making up excuses for yourself to everyone around you? You were born & raise in Singapore, yet just simply because you choose to move over to Malaysia gives you the right to rant of your "so called" negative side of Singapore. Yeah maybe you were right & the rest of people still living in Singapore are simpletons who never see the light like you did. Well good luck to you having found a greener pasture. Please do not ever acknowledge yourself as a Singaporean in front of anyone ever as we sure don't need someone like you back here. Have a good life!

    1. Why are you criticizing her move to sharing her thoughts? Do you belong to the group of whiney teens who only blog when he's insecure, yearning for attention from the public? Are you saying everyone on the internet who makes a list are troubled? Linkedin has tonnes of influencers publishing opinion piece on leadership; does that mean that these reputable influencers are having problem managing the team, hence resort to creating a list to reassure their choices?

      Is it entirely wrong for her to blog because she intend to share her experience, so others would do the same? Why must you be so negative, she never claimed that Singaporeans are simpletons; merely sharing her perspective to assist others who would like to do so. If you have a husband who intend to move back to his country because of whatever reasons, who would you consult when all your friends are telling you not to?

      When the day hits you, you'd be glad that someone like elin has written a guideline to help others. Geez.

    2. To the one who said Elin has no right to rant:

      She isn't ranting, she's just sharing her experiences when most others do vice versa, to wake people up that yes, Singaporeans do work in KL as well.

      There are expats in KL from other countries, why not Singapore? Then what is the use of having Embassy for? Its to serve them!!!

      And she is just posting her feelings.

      You have a problem with that? Why not YOU start a blog? Then we can "patronize" your blog as well.

  41. There is no point debating. What is more.important for all to.recognize is that we often make the best decision amidst whatever circumstance at that point. Should use discover malaysia does or no longer does in the future, u can change and relocate again. The world is global, we are mobile. I have Singaporean friends who settled in malaysia because life fits them. They love dogs and is able to afford a large landed home and keeps several dogs which they can't do in Singapore. So, if it fits u....Then it's fine...there isn't no need from justification nor approval.

  42. No right, no wrong, follow your heart. :)

  43. Hi Girl ,
    Everyone is willing to trade off certain things , living standed in malaysia is not high due to their structure of their country, maybe you can enjoy your life there for a few years there , not everyone is comfortable to be able to keep pushing forward with no stop line. I do agree with you , there is not-thing in singapore. But i will not trade off my security for a slower life style, maybe we see things differently. Alot people push forward but you like moving backwards.

  44. Hi Elin

    I would like to congratulate you for taking such a bold step as in emigrating to a whole different country, and then making it work. It take great courage and great responsibility for anyone to commit to such a move. Kudos to you.

    Whether one migrates from MY to SG, or SG to MY, the challenges are great, and the will and heart must be strong to see it through.

    Similar to you, I too, have taken on this emigration challenge a few years ago, when my family and I decided to make the move from SG to AU. Fraught with challenges and difficulties of our own, including not having a job on landing, we managed to make it work for us. Whilst the initial bit was tough and daunting, we have now settled down comfortably, and are enjoying the benefits of the big open spaces of Oz.

    From the crowded public transport in SG, we are now enjoying having 2 cars in Oz. From a tiny SG$400K 99-year 4 room HDB flat, we are now enjoying a AU$450K freehold 4 bedroom, hall, family room, theatrette, study, dining room, kitchen, alfresco area with garden house 20 minutes drive from the city. The kids are attending a school just walking distance from home. My job pays nearly twice what I was paid in SG, and I only work from 8:30am to 5pm, 5 days a week - and no overtime!! Work life balance is fantastic!!

    Don't worry what the naysayers are saying ... your choice is yours. It's good that you blog about this and share your experiences, so that others who are thinking of migrating can have a point of reference.

    As many wise people have said, it's better to have tried and failed, than not have tried at all!


      Workers are overpaid but underperformed. Too much being paid to bogans. Economy only revolves around agriculture and mining.

      Australia? No, thank you. ASIA is the new deal.

    2. Congratulate Elin and Fomer SG for finding a place that you can call home now. Just don't give a shit on what other has said.
      Their comment came from their own perspective, you have you own life to live!!!

    3. Well done former SG on settling down well in OZ. Do remember that u had a strong SG to begin with so u could practically swap your HDB for a hose in Oz..for Malaysians who migrate this is much tougher with AUDRM at 2.75... That said, i am sure Oz provide many things that SG do not...but i also have many SG friends who migrated to Oz return to SG to work n settle...So really to each his own

  45. Welcome to Malaysia. I think as a human we no need to compare so much with other. Like Buddha say, everywhere could be hell and heaven, that depends on your attitude toward life.

  46. malaysia over singapore any time any day.... those people from malaysia who thinks singapore is better, obviously never lived in singapore

    1. My point exactly.

      Malaysian who is based in KL but has to travel frequently between KL and Singapore

  47. hi elin chow

    i warmly welcome you to Malaysia and the life here and congratulate on your decision you made, it was a huge step to take, if you still require any further knowledge and how the culture continues to change around just feel free to ask. i myself once made a decision to further my studies outside the country and experience a different culture, learn new things and never regretted it.

    1. Dear Elin. I think you did the right thing, following your husband to live in Malaysia. I'm a Malaysian but I give up to follow my husband and children who are SingaporeN. Of course things are different, Singapore std of living compared to Malaysia is very expensive, stressful and stressful for my children in school as well as trying to live the pace of life in Singapore. Take it easy and enjoy your life in a Malaysia, so much to see and do and nature too... Bless you.

  48. Thank you for sharing this. It certainly opened my eyes to a number of things. Interesting read and I hope you don't take to heart the negative things people have been saying to you. You know yourself best. All the best! :)

  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Good riddance! Why should Malaysia keep people like you?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. U see me good, I see u good la.

  51. Knn.. why I use my company email to comment? Shi+

  52. Hi. Am from Indonesia.
    If i observe some of your reasons to move to Malaysia the you might as well move to Jakarta
    Cars are cheaper so is petrol. You can park anywhere as long as you pay 20 cents an hour. You don't need to pay taxes as well

    You missing few points in Singapore
    Are the medical services and education subsidised for locals hence making it cheaper?

    And Singapore still gas thr best transport system in South East Asia
    And the traffic is very bearable
    I have stood in the middle of the street in Geylang east central and took deep breaths for few minutes before any car passed by!
    Yes in the middle.of the street it's so quiet ( except for thr birds chirping)

    The city is in perfect order like how a city shuld be unlike the chaos we live in called Jakarta

    Being a Singaporean you have apparently missed on.finer points that perhaps me a Jakartan can see.

    Good luck on your new life in KL

    Being a Singaporeans perhaps you have failed

    1. What you say is not wrong except "Being a Singaporeans perhaps you have failed"

      Who are you to judge her? She married a Malaysian, not an Indonesian which is why she came to KL.

      And advantage of KL over Jakarta to Singapore? Its easier for her to go back home if she misses her parents. Either a 1 hour flight, or overland travel-5-6 hours.

      With Jakarta there is only one way-flight.

      Not to say Jakarta is bad though. I travel to Jakarta too though not as often as Singapore. (I am from Kuala Lumpur) and the street food there is great.

      Traffic? Chaos? At least your motorists there learn the value of patience compared to the motorists in KL.

      And your Transjakarta-Customer Service is very good, always a smile for passengers by the staff.

    2. Hi i was told by my friend in Java that ron 95 is Rp.8900 per litre, which works out to be RM2.53 ..But here in KL it is RM 1.93...So how can petrol be cheaper in JKT?

  53. Sorry, I don't quite buy your argument on public transport being better in KL than it is in Singapore. Transit is more than just trains. It's also buses, taxis, and so on. But most important of all, it's about integration, accessibility and connectivity, something which KL lacks in very many parts.

    1. I think she means the positive part. Yes, Public transport in KL lacks integration but at least its less break down and trains are faster, as well as less crowded.

      I travel to Singapore often, MRTs there come every 4 minutes, but the price to pay? The MRTs can't move that fast otherwise they may collide into a train in front. And the enormous amount of stops can make it really monotonous with the crowds on board.

      Compared to our KTM Komuter which is less frequent but it can move fast like a high speed train. (Yes, its made in a hsr plant in Zhuzhou)

      And yes, there was once I took an early morning flight to Singapore for a meeting which unfortunately delayed me due to the MRT from Changi Airport broke down during the peak hour (and yes, it was very crowded and uncomfortable) compared to trains in KL which normally won't be so sardined.

      Recently too there was a fire which knocked out the whole Bukit Panjang LRT Line.

      So each has its pro & cons.

  54. Hiya Elin, snap here as well. I crossed the border in Feb 2010 and deep into Selangor. The decision was not difficult since I lived for a period of 8 years in England which to me, is home. And moving to Malaysia was met with disgust and a chorus of disapproval from family and friends. Yet it has been a most enriching experience with a new set of thinking, opportunities and a completely different way of living. I have to agree with your Pros of living in Malaysia. There is a bone of contention in the Cons since it is equally unsafe in Singapore with crime far more regular but the most unsafe thing is the fear of dying in a road accident. Recklessness seems to be the norm on Singapore roads. Anyway, I am contactable at 0163340001 (Smudger) if your other half and you "wanna yumchar".

  55. I admire your love for your husband. I travelled extensively and stayed at many countries. Singapore will always be the most desirable country to be in cos of meritocracy. The reason why ypu can uproot and live in any country in South East Asia is because you are Singaporean in the first place, given a really good head start. If you were born and raised in Malaysia, I am sure you will not have this option now. Just wish that you can show more appreciation for what Singapore has given you. Wish you all the best.

  56. Have lived and worked in Singapore for almost 18 years, relocated back to KL in early 2000's. There are obviously pros and cons be it in Singapore or in Malaysia. The basic question is what we want out of life ? Firstly, does Singapore or Malaysia offers the type of lifestyle you wanted ? Also consideration of spouse and family members, ............ My advice is listen to your heart, not so much of the mind, or the feedback of someone else, as their needs and yours are totally different.

  57. Welcome to Malaysia.....KL or Malaysia its not perfect but i believe you'll manage. Honest review. Regarding language...don't worry its not a hard language.... :)

  58. I never read blog before and I hate reading.
    But unbelievable, I finally read your blog until finish.
    And I agree with you, I might have the same destiny with you.
    I was in KL for 4 years and I enjoyed living in KL very much.
    For me, life should be not so complicated and nor making so simple.
    I agree KL is better than Singapore.
    I might have the same destiny with you. My girlfriend is Malaysian.
    Thank you for your sharing. I love it.
    Anyway, I am Indonesian. Cheer up!

  59. Welcome to Msia. I just came back to Msia after working in Sg for years. Sadly to say, a part of me regretted coming back to Msia, but I had to because of personal reasons. I would prefer Sg to Msia now unless the Govt of Msia is taking serious consideration of it's nation. I'm not sure if anyone is noticing that Msia is going "backwards" slowly to a third world country...with the current "ruler".

  60. I am Malaysian, used to visit Singapore twice..but didn't plan to go there again..nothing to do in Singapore except to spend on things that are mostly expensive..and the city not much things to wonder many Singaporeans get into Malaysia as their gateaways because they can find the mind peace over their weekends and also they can spend more due to lower cost of living in malaysia, which they hardly find in Singapore..

  61. "It is true that the government gives priority to Malays in Malaysia. But that is what makes the Chinese stronger here. "

    I am Malaysian. I agreed with your this statement.
    How many entrepreneurs borned in Malaysia because of this issue. Unfairness in the past decades.
    And this make the Chinese in Malaysia stronger now and make the economic go up.
    However, Malay (with strong racism mind - UXXO party) in Malaysia was used some dirty tricks to grab the business of Chinese in Malaysia. Most popular example is "Sugar King" and "Gardenia" brand.
    That's the reason of the weak currency as the business "passed" to a "relaxing styled" of businessman.

    Also, the "Sugar King" started to purchase many lands in Indonesia and enormous planting the oil palm farm to monopoly the mainly imported market - China.!!

    In fact, if you want become millionaire or billionaire in Malaysia, some advice here.

    Go for illegal jobs. Go take risk. (Corruption make use)
    Vixxxnt Txx in Msia was using some tricks to "cheat" some loans from banks. (How he do it? It was an "investment tricks")...Then, he started focused on the bad habits of Chinese - Gambling. Start with gambling ferry, lottery, get mcdonald franchise, developer and now he worked in light from dark... (They did believed in Karma, that's why businessmen usually are the philanthropists)

    Maybe some of the millionaire in Singapore was using same kind of tricks to get rich and now their future generations no need to worry about the living life style, just keep spending their grandparents or father money. (That's why i saw many sport cars on the road of Singapore)...

    I not said all of them. But mostly.

    I still like Malaysia even though a lot of my friends were being attracted by the currency exchanged rate.
    Everyday forth and back or stayed in rental room (4 in 1, 3 in 1 room)
    Because they are still young mind. I personal believed that, most of them will regret one day.

    One day they want to back Malaysia, how old already? how many commitments they got? Malaysia network gone. Everything were new for them, the government systems, the bank systems and so on.
    Unless they want worked until 60 years old in Singapore. But, please make sure they were competent in Singapore and make sure the factory would not transferred to more low-cost labor countries.

    To conclude that everyone had their own opinions and own choice to live what kind of lifestyle they want.
    Don't admire, don't envy, don't criticize...
    Go for your own choice and being responsible on your choice.
    In past decades, a academic qualification is important to have a comfortable job.

    But now, academic qualification is still important, another thing for every readers, human networking and explore the blue ocean business would make u get rich and no need to make the sentence like "He look rich because his parent rich mah"..."No need educated also can become boss, u educated worked for them bah"...

    Go live for the lifestyle u want. Life is too short.
    Once in a life time, go chase your dream.
    No dream, go to think about your dream in your life.

  62. I have wasted 18years of my life in KL, should have work in Singapore when I had the option then. at least after 18years I would have more cash in pocket then now. Malaysia Ideally for ppl came back and retire, or after age 45...came back to a simple working life ...

  63. Salam.

    I'm Malay living in Penang and over here, there are also plenty of wise and hardworking people like you but they are also happy happy happy people, not like many of you.

    Its heaven on here in this small island famous for its delicious Char Koay Teow, Laksa and Ikan Bakar that you can't find it elsewhere on earth.

    No doubt, the houses here are getting more expensive, but with less than SG5k income, you can still afford to buy a landed property just minutes away from your work place. There are plenty of super-condos, double and tripple storey houses where you could bring your whole "abang + kakak+atuk+nenek" to have a good times together at weekends ..

    I love shopping but I hate when I need to carry along shooping bags on public transports ... but I salute Sigaporean for where they are now ..stressfully rich.

    Good day everyone!

  64. For word to describe: "Family"

  65. Hope you made a right choice. Because the current government of Malaysia is full of racists and corrupts. 1 SGD is going to be RM 3 soon.... Not joking.... A lots Malaysians are so desperate to leave Malaysia where you are optimistically move in to Malaysia....

    Well.... GOOD LUCK then.

  66. Great article. Interesting to note from the comments that most Singaporeans still feel the need to defend and argue the case that Singapore is better than xyz. 'Methinks the lady protests too loudly'. Time to wake up to the reality that nobody else really cares about this. Choosing a new country to live in is a very complex journey and cannot be achieved by mine is better than yours.

  67. Hi Elin

    Its so annoying to read the comments here. Its true what you said there are plenty of naysayers. The part about the racism seems odd cause its in the constitution of Malaysia for bumi privileges. Having said that I'm a minority from Singapore and it took me 7 years to get a proper job cause of rampant racism as well. So much for meritocracy when most job ads keep mentioning "Mandarin Speaking wanted". Best part when you do speak Mandarin they still sideline you. I finally got a job by recommendation from my chinese gf. I'm not saying all are racists but I think you can get racism anywhere.

    Anyway my point here is I feel that you have written a very balanced article. I like how you have listed down the pros and cons and contrasted it with your lifestyle. You have just won yourself a new fan.


  68. On the issue of malay means nothing to me as a malay in doesn't help...if it indeed helpful most malays would be more well its more slow need "kelam kabut"...unlike spore always kelam wise i agree as msians i don't feel be on alert most of the time...buts its okay...small matter...even in sydney crime is rampant from my experience...esp in kings cross...try to live in the rural area they have a homestay...very affordable...kampung feeling...

    1. Yeap. Well said. Whats the difference in Spore? What happen to the Malay community there? Spore has become a little China. At least here in Malaysia the Chinese and Indian are still free to do anything (within the law).

    2. "safety wise i agree as msians i don't feel be on alert most of the time...buts its okay...small matter"

      For me safety is the first priority, and it is not a small matter when this issue could hurt my families, my kids and my friends

      Agree that crime exist in all countries, but the crime rate in Malaysia is on high side which make us Malaysian worried ....

  69. A very popular topic for debate among Malaysians and singaporeans but it is refreshing to know that you've made a choice so different from the norm, not least when you're a Singaporean yourself.

    I'm a Malaysian working in Singapore but will be relocating back to Australia soon. Having been born and bred in Malaysia, worked for a few years in Singapore, and eventually still decided to leave, I could probably relate to some of your arguments for leaving your home country. Although I have never at any point had the intention to settle down for good in Singapore, my experiences here sort of reinforced my decision to leave.

    My general feeling is that, this is a highly advanced, fast-paced, competitive country where efficiency and end result are valued more than anything else, most times at the expense of the more humane aspects of life. I've lost count of the number of times I've encountered people (and I don't mean only local Singaporeans) bickering in the train or bus over the tiniest of matters where in most cases a small gesture of kindness and tolerance would have made everyone's day much better. The recent survey where people in Singapore were confirmed as the most "emotionless" bunch of all is only testament to that. If compassion, selflessness, and kindness are values you hold dearly, this is probably not the place for you. Having said that, I was fortunate enough to have met some of the nicest people around during my stay here.

    In terms of income and affordability, there's no denying that the strong currency means you have a higher spending power outside the country and can afford an annual luxurious vacation which would have been otherwise impossible. But put aside the exchange rate and just compare what you can afford in both countries with the respective income, suddenly living in an apartment in Msia seems equal to buying a HDB in Singapore. Not to mention that if you decide to own a car you would have to pay through your nose. The true advantage of earning SGD instead of RM comes only when you're spending it outside the country, not when you're planning on staying put and starting a family here.

    Education-wise, it's easy to understand why many Malaysians are migrating over to Singapore for their children's education, especially if you've been through the Malaysian education system like I did. The education system here has produced some of the brightest minds in the world and is widely regarded as one of the best. As good as it may seem, it can actually be rigid and one-sided, depending on which type of student you are. In short, the education system here is academic-orientated and it tends to cripple creativity and the artistic mind. If you don't end up as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or banker (unsurprisingly the most highly paid professions in the country), you could easily be deemed as a failure. There is intense pressure on every kid to excel academically in the hope of landing that high-paying job upon graduation. Meanwhile, toddlers aged a mere 18 months are put into nurseries to fast-forward their learning.

    Having made all the points above, Malaysia is not without its own flaws. An incumbent and corrupt government, mismanagement of public funds, unsafe streets, greedy leaders, poor public amenities, marginalising of minority races, and an ever dwindling economy just to name a few. But given a choice of the two, I would have still returned to Malaysia.

    Of course, there are many who would have different opinions and everyone can agree to disagree. At the end of the day, it's one's priorities that decide his/her path. The saying of "one man's poison is another man's cure" can't be more true. There is no one perfect country to relocate to. One where you can lead a happy life is the right one to be in.

    All the best in the discovery of your newfound home.

  70. “Happiness cannot be measured by the amount of wealth.”
    Well said!
    I truly feel that the goverment-controlled media in SG has been exaggerated when they found something negative in neighbour countries to report.
    In M'sia society, there is these precious thing called 人情味(humane?)which you can't find it in SG.

  71. It is very brave of the author to make such a decision. As I see there are more challenges ahead of her. But isnt it what life is about: thrive in difficulties and if you dont give up, you will be stronger and happier (if you survive the difficulties).

    But do you think about your children? About the hard life they may face.

    To some people safety and good educational system are important, but of course it also depends on individuals.

    Anyway since u are young and energetic and capable, I wish you good luck with your journey ahead. No matterwhere you live, tye important thing is whether you can grow, build happiness, and have a meaningful life.

    1. I am thinking of moving north like Thailand or Vietnam

  72. I think you have overlooked the high income tax rate in Malaysia. The CPF contribution is way lesser than the monthly income tax deduction PCB. That will actually leave you with lesser spare cash to spend. Probably you have not feel the pain yet due to you haven't complete a year of working in Malaysia.

    1. Not to mentioned that refund takes forever and claims (deduction) can be voided and disapproved

  73. I remember an oldie Malaya famous song ..... " Bengali 1 so long, Melayu 1 potong, Cina 1 pendik, India 1 hitam dan panas ..... ".

  74. I was about to have plans in settling in Singapore but... After reading this post, it made me consider thrice. (yeap. THRICE. Which is a good thing, though)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! And welcome to Malaysia xD

    1. Hey, don't stop planning to settle elsewhere, it may not be suitable for others but it may be the best part of yours there :-)

  75. The point is not which place is better, but the fact that you write and contribute and share such important information needs to be applauded, somewhere out there, someone will surely get something out of this, and isn't that what life is about, sharing. Welcome to Malaysia, and hats off to you for writing as you think.

  76. I think you are still very's okay to try try...
    As an Uncle who has been will be glad to come back to Singapore again to appreciate Singapore...Because you have not gone through troubled times...

  77. Dear elin, I know malaysian PMETs here who will never settle in singapore. You are not quite correct to say most Malaysians will want to come to singapore. One of them has been here since secondary school. He is in essence a singaporean, yet he only needs one reason. Even with his senior engineer pay he cannot retire here. That sealed it for him. Many fallacies above from what I read so far. I didn't know shariah law applied to non- muslims. Another malaysian said, who gives a damn about income tax, when you only need rm1 to see a doctor and rm 10 to give birth, what else do you want? I might disagree with KL since even they feel it's more dangerous than JB, but you have got the right idea. The old fogeys are still living in the past , there is no future with them. The only bad is you should have at least worked 5 years in singapore, get some savings first. Other than that, enjoy it. Very rarely do you see the very old working there.

  78. If you think KL is nice, you should try to go to the smaller towns like Seremban, Ipoh or Penang. Those places are better to live in and less stressful. With lower cost of living and a less stressful environment, it's a good trade off for the hustle and bustle of KL. There are many choices and that's also another Malaysian advantage. Sometimes, it's not just about money and fame. Quality of life is also important.

  79. Hi Elin, I chanced upon this article when it was shared on FB. While your assessments are mostly accurate, I might disagree with the point on EPF:
    1) Although the interest rate is seemingly higher, the purchasing power at the end of the day is similar (between EPF and CPF), due to the strength of the SGD.
    2) 90% of my family live in KL. All of them will be dependent on the next generation to pay their medical bills because of the flexibility of this system. Already this is happening and we are feeling the stress of it. The medical system leaves much to be desired, unless you can afford private services.

    I agree that one may more likely find work life balance in Malaysia, but KL... I'm not too sure judging by the lifestyle ofmy cousins. I do enjoy Malaysian company however our family has decided to trade that for the psychological stress of high crime rate in KL.

    Lastly, and I apologise if I'm being rude, it is a little hypocritical to comment on Singapore's foreign immigrant issue when you are as well a foreign immigrant in Malaysia.


    1. Check this out:

  80. Please drop by if you happen to visit Penang. :)

  81. Singaporean wants comfortable and freedom life, Malaysian wants money and better life (better government I guess?), no country satisfy people 100%, but I am glad you are living happily in Malaysia. :D

    1. Malaysian living in Singapore wants money and better life, Malaysian living in Malaysia loves the Malaysia and haven't reach the point to drop everything and seek better life elsewhere. Singaporean living in Singapore cannot seems to let go what they are having for a comfortable and fee life, while those that moved out from that space is happily kicking (except for some bullied terribly by their foreign spouses)

  82. Hello,

    Here is another Singaporean living in Malaysia for the past 18 years.

    Hated by many Malaysians that we are here to compete, eating up their resources, do things the ethical way and some Singaporeans felt that I am ungrateful. Only the Malaysians living in Singapore and the Foreigners living in Malaysia could accept this move.

    You have a long way to go...

  83. I had spent the past 15 years working in Malaysia. I felt the need to look into opportunity in Singapore because of the stronger currency for the future of my 3 children. If a kid manage to score good grades in SPM (similar to O levels) the chance for foundation courses in university is low for non bumis. Most probably the need to take up form STPM (similar to A levels) which is 2 years. After form STPM the % of eligibility for good courses in public university is still low even with higher 3 pointers CGPA. Many of my friends' children were disappointed when they do get the courses they want even with excellent grades. I foresee the need to enter into private college or private university eventually. If I would to plan for overseas, with 3 kids definitely is going to take up all my savings from now until 55. Sigh.. I can only hope for something to change with the education system or consider to migrate elsewhere like Singapore or Australia for the sake my kids education.

  84. As a Canadian who has been to both Singapore and Malaysia a number of times (albeit as a tourist but with full cognizance of life as a resident in these 2 countries), I can agree that you have made a well-informed decision. Malaysia is a PHENOMENAL country in my experience (and not just KL), I've been all over (except Borneo). Almost everyone speaks English, and everyone is so friendly.

    I don't see a heaven and earth difference in the quality of life of these 2 countries, really; especially if you are a professional.

    Remember, Singapore was once a Malaysian (Malayan) city. It is barely a 30 minute flight from KL.

    Malaysia does have challenges (they have thousands of Cities and Towns to cope with), while Singapore is a city-state - but all in all, it's a superb place to visit and in my estimation, live and work in.

  85. born and lived in Singapore for more than 30 years , lived in KL for more than 10 years. Hope I am qualified to comment. Malaysians moved for a better life in Singapore but there are sacrifices and also hard work. Singaporean moved to KL usually because of job or spouse but never to have a better life. I can only say that I lost on monetary (due to the drop in Ringgit) but gain on other areas like more work-life balance and opportunities to enjoy the nature and also bigger breathing space. Anyway, if I want to enjoy Singapore, it is just 4hrs drive away.

  86. Hmmmm reading this article made me wonder how Singapore would be like if they had similar resources as Malaysia considering how well their government managed their country. Personally I think most of the unpopular policies are due to the many restrictions they have. Land scarcity-> control of housing and vehicles, heavier reliance on public transport to clear roads. Dwindling population -> heavier reliance on foreigners to attract foreign investors. Although I'm envious that Singapore had a good government, I still like to be able to go diving and play paintball at affordable prices.

  87. Elin, how is living in Malaysia now? When I read your post, I felt like you were blinded by love. I am not saying it's a bad thing. It is totally your own choice. I admire your bold move and certainly your courage to share it online. Good luck.

  88. Hi Elin, I am Malaysian and actually considering moving to Singapore which we feel is nearest to Malaysia and make us easier to travel back to visit our parents here ...

    We never consider moving out from Malaysia until we have children and start getting worried about Malaysia safety .... Kids can be kidnapped even just outside school entrance, and it happened frequently which we can read from newspaper.

    Monetary, transport, living cost etc, we can at least find a way to overcome these, ex. changing our life style, spend wisely or maybe earn some part time income if possible. But safety perspective, we can't do much except make ourselves always stay alert to surrounding.

    I am not sure how safe is living in Singapore, but I heard from my friend who working in Singapore that a girl can have no problem to wondering around at night in Singapore, is that true?


    1. You typed so much, but there only consists of one short question. So here I am answering your question on behalf of others who live in Singapore. Be ready for the answer ok?

      Yes. It is true.

    2. It is true, then me and my family shall seriously consider moving to Singapore, at least for our kids safety ...

      Thanks for the sharing :)

  89. There's no right or wrong choice. Home is where your heart is. You choose where you want to live.

    Every country has it's on pros and cons. It's where you want to live is more important than anything else.

    I chose to live Singapore because I make decent income and save decent money for my retirement. I left Malaysia because I saw all those unfairness towards non-bumiputra while I was young. I struggle in my early life because I am not a bumiputra and have no special privilege in education, scholarship etc like those bumiputra.

    Anyway, as mentioned, each has his/her own reason to migrate and everyone has their priority. As long as you are happy, who cares about what other say or do.

    Enjoy your live there.

  90. Great sharing. Welcome to Malaysia.

  91. I lived for 3 years as an expat in KL before I recently moved to Singapore. In my opinion your picture of Malaysia is completely wrong. Here are the following facts about Malaysia:

    - All non-Malay citizens are discriminated against by the ruling Malay majority. All the public administration and jobs within the government organizations are exclusively occupied by Malays. One would think that such regulation would bring efficiency in their work. But this is not true. If you ever have to deal with any government administration (including car registration, immigration dpt, taxation dpt...) you will find it impossible and totally unprofessional. Their bureaucracy takes stupidity to a next level, something that a healthy person would find impossible to comprehend.

    - Malaysians have no idea what efficient and professional service is. This is true for either small or big enterprises. Service in restaurants, taxies, internet providers, plumbers, car mechanics... put simply: everything is unprofessional and half-way done in Malaysia.

    - Regardless of the fact that you can afford your own car you will find the traffic in KL impossible. Since the police in Malaysia is so lazy, you never see them anywhere when you need them (or when you don't need them). The whole city smells like sewage and I never met any expat in KL (and I met them a lot) who didn't suffer from some kind of food poisoning.

    - In recent years Malaysia is becoming more strict with their sharia rules which me, as a westerner, found unacceptable. Malay Muslims are privileged by all means. They have a lot of kids (they get money and schooling benefits for 5+ children) that are often left out on the street after age of 13. They roam around on their motorbikes and they are a violent bunch of idiots. However, police gives them a slap on a wrist simply because they are all Malay brothers. Put simply, if you get attacked you are on your own so my suggest to you is: get yourself equipped with pepper spray. A lot of my friends have been attacked violently in KL.

    - Street violence is on the rise. Over the last year or so there are increasing number of street fights in popular clubbing and bar areas. White people are the primary target. I am not sure why... Possibly something to do with solidarity with extremist brothers in middle east (?)

    - There is no such thing as "1 Malaysia". It has never been. The ruling class is Malay only and, in my opinion, they are not mature enough as society to run an efficient, ordered and safe country. You will find this fact in ANY aspect of your life in Malaysia.

    All in all, I wish you all the best. Having said that, I give you 1 year in Malaysia before you pack your bags and run back to safety and order of beautiful and religion-free Singapore.

  92. well done to all your comments !

  93. Thank you for looking up highly towards Malaysia. But no the country is rotting and going severely downhill... leaving for good should be a best choice now, at least for me.

  94. Thank you for looking up highly towards Malaysia. But no the country is rotting and going severely downhill... leaving for good should be a best choice now, at least for me.

  95. I would like to congratulate you on making such a brave decision followed by action and that it is very refreshing to hear a Singaporean girl make a decision clouded by love instead of the 5 or 6 C's.
    I sincerely hope you feel the same way in 10+ years.
    Over the last 10+ years I have spent time between both places and I would have to say both Singapore and Malaysia are both great for many different reasons.
    The negatives of both Malaysia and Singapore rest within their respective Governments as shown by the short difference in history of 50 years.
    One is too controlling while the other is too corrupt, I will leave it to the reader to qualify who is who.

    The 1969 New Economic Policy (NEP) Bumiputera technically ended in 1990 and was supposed to help the average Malay population, but even Millionaire Politicians benefit from it.

    I will say that Penang seems to have recently made great inroads to reducing crime since the change of local government there.

    Singapore's problems would be eased if the little island had double the land available, maybe Malaysia could sell them some territory...... ;)

  96. A Related Joke..

    Singapore's problems would be eased if the little island had double the land available, maybe Malaysia could sell them some territory...... ;)

    as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's could do with the Money for legal fees.

  97. Hello, I really enjoyed reading this blog! And I must say that I do agree with you on most of your points.

    This is going to be a long sharing. And i apologize in advanced should my point of view offend anyone. I sincerely mean no harm but just to share my thoughts.

    I am a Malaysian living and working in Sg. Ive moved here 9 years ago. And honestly, I am dying for a PR. And I would give up my citizenship in Malaysia for a Singaporean citizenship. But bare in mind, if Malaysia would improve, why would i not want to go HOME? I'd love to.. Theres so much in Malaysia one cant find in Sg. But if not, I would stay put in Sg.


    Let's put standard of living, and stress aside as you have very very good points on your views above.

    As a malaysian chinese,and also for indians, (sorry in advanced should i offend any other races) we do not get alot of priorities in life. We have to work 300% harder than the rest. Its either we keep working hard (thats why we have alot of entrepreneurs like u said) and make it or we give up and live the simple life.
    In our studies, we can study like crazy and get straight As from day one til the last day but NEVER to get accepted into local unis. Why? because we are chinese. Our countless applications would be rejected with no reasons at all. Therefore, many chinese end up paying a hefty price to get into private unis or get govt loans of which sucks the life out of us. Theres never such thing of better rates, better discounts, better offers, lesser tax, lesser anything for us. the only "lesser" we get would be the benefits. Grants, priorities, benefits in all forms are always given to them and never to us. Homes, cars, business models at extremely low rates are given to them and never to us. We are the 3rd class citizens in our own country. We get discriminate. We get attacked. and the racial tension is so bad right now. Tax money goes to their own pocket. Of course, it was not like this many moons ago. We lived harmoniously and we were all family despite the religious, race and background differences. we were ONE Malaysia. Truly Malaysia.

  98. CONTINUE from the above... sorry its so long... haha...

    In sg, your tax goes to a safe country, clean, well maintained, good roads, good pavements to walk, sheltered walk way, sheltered bus stops, racial equality, better opportunities and many more. yes, i totally und your point of view as a s'porean. i really really do.
    I've stood on your (and many locals) end to feel the pinch you guys feel. Sharing this crowded little red dot with many foreigners, like myself (sorry!), having to COMPETE with FT in your own home land, having FT snatching ur rice bowl. Having rude FT mistreating your people, having FT acting like its their own home. Trust me, I hate those FTs too. Thats why i vowed never to be like them. I am in deeeeep gratitude towards the locals here and your govt. And then, the extremely competitive education. kids at a young age of 12, commit suicide simply becos they failed their exams! WHAT?!!! when i was 12, in malaysia, i was running around the back yard and had totally forgot about my home work from school. I had a CHILDHOOD! and here, 12 years old, not wanting to live becos of school stress? childhood has been taken away from them so soon! but do know that sg started out with almost nothing before independence. and there was nothing sg could offer the world. No natural resources, nothing. So your govt had to do stg to offer the world. EDUCATION! MANNERS! GOOD PEOPLE! SAFETY! so investors would come in and invest in sg so sg could grow. sg could protect itself. i know many of you dont wish for sg to be 1st world n living such a stressful life, i know. i understand. but then again, your founding father had to make a choice. hard it was, but he had to so that sg can survive! if not, sg would be one of the 3rd world and maybe living in a very troubled state. and then!!! having a child in sg! oh gosh! like seriously, having a child in sg is like as if buying 5 ferraris or more at once. except u have to pay for it for at least 18-21 years. and then they have to go through life like u did.

  99. CONTINUE 3/3

    And then buying a property today is almost impossible. when we malaysians can easily buy a landed property. in fact, its the norm for kid in malaysia to own a car by age 17, and then a property if not early, age 30-35. but of cos, becos sg is small. very small, and u need to make full use of your land. so instead of building more landed, u build high rise. but because the demand is SO SO SO high, the price shoots up like nobody's business. in malaysia it is cheaper, way cheaper because the demand is not there. investors dont just flock into malaysia like they do in sg. because it is not as stable n as worthy to invest in malaysia.

    Cars, tell me about it! :)

    unless one is rich, it is quite impossible to retire in sg at age 60 let alone 50 when it is possible in malaysia. doing gardening at the back yard, while ur grand kids run around. in sg, its almost impossible. my heart breaks everytime i see the elder people collecting card boxes, scrapping metals, digging tru the bins, selling tissues, cleaning the tables at the food court. it breaks every bits n pieces of me.

    in sarawak where i am from,( lets not compare KL - the main capital), everything is so expensive now. having a decent meal would easily cost RM10. its approx RM1000 a month for FOOD ALONE. my salary was only RM1100 before epf deduction. Yes, no rent. no bills, lucky for me as i lived under my parents roof. but what about food? petrol? car loans? THERES NO WAY to travel SAFE and to reach many places via busses in sarawak. sarawak isn't houses on trees and boats on rivers hey. :P its very much like johor too, except slower, smaller, safer. in KL u can get a nice blouse at bukit bintang for RM25? in sarawak, wait long long. a decent blouse can easily cost up to RM100 plus in dept stores and in boutiques, at least RM50 per piece. (but there are alot of rich people in malaysia lah! so no prob for them... lol...)

    but at the end of the day, it depends on what we really want as a person, in our lives. if living in malaysia is better and happier for u, why not? life is short, go where we want to, live how we wish to, and give our best shot in all that we do. live life to the fullest. and dont let anyone tell u otherwise.

    for me, i would still love to call singapore home. unless, unless... i can be appreciated, recognized for my hard work n efforts, treated equally, given the benefits the same everyone else gets, have clean and fair govt, then, i would really love to go HOME. i came to sg not for the money/currency. but for the equality, for the appreciation, the growth in my career.

    I thank u again for ur blog of which made alot of senses to me and it further expanded my understanding towards the thoughts of another singaporean. I wish u everything in life that makes u whole and may life in KL be much more rewarding! :)

  100. Hmm , i only can say this , those people who start out from singapore and earn SGD at first point in their life or so and have capital can only survive in malaysia , those people like me , who start out with a poor family status and have NO capital , and to START OUT in malaysia , can never go anywhere in malaysia , since the pay in malaysia is so dead , and the money value is poor and drop like nobody business , now currently the rate it is almost 3.0 , from MYR to SGD , and food costing and all that all raise up , and normal employees with normal spm certificate start out with only rm 1.2k-rm1.5k with poor labour law ? and still need to own a car , house , and all that ? gotta be kidding me ... just saying .. i do hope most singaporeans get the message what i am trying to say here..

  101. Hi Elin,

    Thanks for sharing, I understand where you are getting at.
    I am thinking to relocate to Malaysia and retire there too.
    I had put aside the form to apply for PR which is harder for me than to be a citizen,
    Since my dad is a Malaysian, and to be one is easier for me than to apply for PR.
    Your post get me thinking, you cannot have the best of both worlds...the world that I was born to is no longer the better one for me.

    1. Hi,
      My dad is a Malaysian too. But trust me. It does not make it easier for you to apply for PR.

  102. Hi Elin, what the anonymous above is trying to say is correct - since his father is a Malaysian, it is easier for her/him to apply for a citizen than to get a PR in Malaysia. Anyway, this is good read and this has really helped me make up my mind. I am a Malaysian having worked in SG for a year now (though i have been travelling to SG for biz trips often, before i decided to accept the relocation last year), and is seriously thinking of going back to MY. Though i earn quite a lot here in SG (4.5 x more than what i use to earn in MY if i were to convert), i realized what matters to me is my happiness and sanity - being surrounded by warmth of Malaysians and genuine good hearted people are far more riching than being monetary rich but lonely and bitter (everyone's complaining to a point that it gets too tiring to hear their complaints; for God's sake just be grateful for once!) Anyway, to those whom commented that Malaysia is not as fast paced as Singapore, you are not entirely wrong - but you are not fully right either. At least in the industry that i am in, I believe the pace is almost similar (sometimes i feel working in MY is more fast paced than in SG). But there is more pressure here because dealing with Singaporeans (not all but most that i've dealt with) are just too difficult at times. They are too rigid, and defensive and closed minded. Malaysians I find are more flexible, relaxed and open minded - they are more open to feedbacks and criticism - in general (as compared to Singaporeans - in general). The thing that i'll miss about SG though is the safety and peace of mind when it comes to unlocking your door / walking alone / carrying handbags freely on the street etc. How I wish Malaysia would improve on safety & security first and foremost, then currency economy etc. (of course, gov. needs to change first before any other change can take place). Anyway, i am happy that you do find the good in Malaysia and is not biased towards either. Your highlights are on point both about Malaysia and Singapore and i am glad i found your page. I was 80% sure i wanted to moce back MY and your article had just raised the assurance level up to 90%. Thank you. And welcome to Malaysia.

  103. I can truly understand and relate to your views cos I am also a Singaporean gal who shares the same situation as you. I have uprooted myself from Singapore and move to a foreign & yet familiar Malaysia for more than a year after marrying my husband.

  104. MOST of the Singaporeans still couldn't be subdued from those "LCLY" genes in them aren't they ? UTMOST PITY ,why they have to be that darn boastful ? Yes , Singapore is undeniably a MORE advanced country than Malaysia. But that's exactly what makes Malaysia a better place to be and retire . I found these comments to be obnoxiously absurd and meaningless . Cheers.

  105. People, people. Just look at all your comments. Elin the blogger just state her preference which may and may not apply to some of you. Both countries must have its own fringe benefits. Else, one these 2 countries will have empty population but that's not happening right.... They call Durian the King of Fruits but I tell u some people will vomit by just the sight of it. The moral of this: you are responsible for your own happiness...

  106. Dear Elin,
    Choose what your heart says and live what you feels is comfortable. You are not wrong to live in Malaysia to get that kind of life you wanted. Money can be earned, but happiness is not easy to earn till our last breath.Crime could be high in Malaysia. People should not compare Malaysia over Singapore, as Singapore we are only 5.3mil. Imagine if Singapore is of 40mil people? Will the crime rate be the same as low? I have the same sentiment as you. Singapore is not what it used to be during my younger days. Every where now in Singapore, you take the MRT, you take the bus, you que for 4d, you que for the best food in hawker centre...really stress. Have to wait a long que. Worst still if the MRT gets breaks down. I have to take 2 taxis as I have 4 kids plus my wife and myself. Owing a car in Singapore is so expensive. Btw, I am 50 years old now. Even after upgrading myself on education at the age of 42 from my 2k salary for the sake of my 4 kids just to feed & educate them with my current monthly salary of 6k, I am still struggling to get my dream landed house.Still staying in 3rm pigeon hole HDB flat in Singapore. I felt demoralised when I first work in the construction industry with a pathetic pay of 2k wheres my superiors who was foreigners earning more than 3-4k. I was motivated by this foreign trash to upgrade myself and proved them that I can even earn better. Thanks to their motivation. However, there are still challenges in the job industry in Singapore as more and more foreign trash are coming with sub-standard diplomas & degrees to take away our jobs who cant even speak proper english. Worst still, they even get gov't jobs so easily because of their own country diploma & degrees. You were right, its really very stressfull now in Singapore. Alot of the new younger generation don't understand how tough it is to live in Singapore when you are not born with the silver spoon and without natural resourses in Singapore except for human resourses. I am really sick of Singapore now and looking forward to another country just like you, to stay, work and retire comfortably and enjoy the beauty of nature and less streeful life and live to my last breath. Still searching my dream home and peaceful land.......

  107. do enjoy reading this . always curious about the differences between SG and Malay haha . I really learnt a lot more after your post . from Vietnam

  108. I am Malaysian living in Stockholm. What I can say is that I fear 'Malaysians' are turning 'Singaporean'. Especially on being obsessed with paper qualifications and working like a dog just to be on the upper hand in the social hierarchy. Yes they can get successful, but people are less happy. Society became cold and self centered. everything is about themselves.

    I was an IT Manager in Kuala Lumpur. Earn quite well. But I loss my life, health and happiness. My job almost destroy my relationship too. I work day and night, even on weekends. Then I realise that there is no point earning so much just to splurge later to buy 'happiness'.

    I dont know if you make a good decision. Time will tell. But what ever it is, avoid being pulled into that trap again, even after you move to Kuala Lumpur. The way I see it, KL and Singapore is more or less the same. You may find yourself in the rat race once more.

    If I can change KL (or singapore), I would copy Stockholm. People here dont really work hard. They value their own time, especially family time. Office looks deserted at 4.30 in the evening. They are not obsessed with paper qualification. Everyone is equal, there is no such thing as smart or stupid students based on grades. Must importantly, they WORK TOGETHER as a team. There is no Kiasu attitude. But yet they are very industrialize and advance nation as well as cultured.

    1. Hi, Its Stockholm in Sweden? Easy to get a job? How to we apply for a job to become a PR?

  109. Welcome to malaysia. Your article will going viral in here. Interesting article

  110. I'm actually in the same situation as you. My Husband is from kl too and we are thinking whether to move to kl or stay in sg. Just wondering for your children's education will u consider to send them back to sg for education?

    1. No. I will not consider sending my children back to Singapore.

    2. No. I will not consider sending my children back to Singapore.

  111. i make a wrong move 4 years ago, when i decide to send my whole family to penang. Penang was a right choice, but timing was not right, well still never regret it no doubt many unforeseen incident happen, you made a right choice to malaysia, but i made a wrong timing. Choice is right, timing is wrong. Consider Singapore and Malaysia....... i prefer malaysia no doubt i am a singaporean,....... whenever i passby to custom to malaysia from singapore, there is a kind of stress relieve when i stay into malaysia land, just a bridge away, but i feel so streeful when i am in singapore, i love malaysia

  112. hi elin! i am a singaporean and the title of your post is very hard for me not to read. a good read, i must say. it was nice reading your post based on your perspective. very brave of you to make this switch. i do believe there are countless pros and cons living in any country depending on how an individual sees it. living the life the way you want depends on what your priorities are in life too. im sure the major deciding factor was the fact that you value your relationship more than anything else (which is a good thing!). as long as you are happy and safe, its all good. :) cheers!

  113. Hi Elin, do you have to apply for any work permit from the Malaysian Immigration office or you applied for a spouse pass?

    1. Hi,
      You will not be allowed to apply for a work permit when you are holding a spouse pass.

  114. I googled "Moving back to Malaysia" and stumbled across this post.

    I was born and raised in Malaysia. When I was 15, my dad got a job transfer to the USA and I've been here ever since. I am 33 now, with an engineering degree and American citizenship. However, I wish I kept my PR and Malaysian citizenship because lately, I've been having strong thoughts about moving back. I want to experience living in Malaysia in my adult life. I am starting the research for this move.

  115. I googled "Moving back to Malaysia" and stumbled across this post.

    I was born and raised in Malaysia. When I was 15, my dad got a job transfer to the USA and I've been here ever since. I am 33 now, with an engineering degree and American citizenship. However, I wish I kept my PR and Malaysian citizenship because lately, I've been having strong thoughts about moving back. I want to experience living in Malaysia in my adult life. I am starting the research for this move.

  116. Great post.. I had few friends from Canada who working in airlines.. all want to move to Asian countries one day like Thailand and Malaysia, because they think the Asian economy are getting better, lower taxes and high quality of life with affordable cost but they don't know why asian people want to move to USA, canada, Euro... they told me, once you see yourself the real life of these first world countries, it is better off at your own country..

  117. Hej Elin!

    I incidentally caught up into your post above whilst researching for a better place to bring up my 2 daughters of 7 (Sophie) and 1.5 (Natalie). I have been moving around for the past 15 due to work - Morocco, Tunis, Abu Dhabi, Gothenburg as well as short stays in quite a number of different cities in Eur, Middle East & Apac including Beirut and Kabul. Back in KL for now.

    Well, its all about following your heart! And believe me, priorities change over time. Even cities. There ll be no perfection, as everything will be dynamic over time. You can only control those that are within your control.

    So, maybe stop worrying too much (judging from such detailed considerations and comparisons you hv done above). Have faith and make the most out of whatever and wherever you are in at any time.

    Hope you will find yourself and happiness in Malaysia. God bless...

  118. Hi there, I am a Malaysian and i travel to singapore for business and meetings.. When I was in Sunway college ( private institution ) studying ACCA year 2001, My classmate a singaporean rich girl, daughter of Gulati Silk house owners gave up her Singaporean citizenship... I thought she must be stupid..! Of course she listed every pros and cons available, more importantly although her mom separated from her husband, she decided to renounce her citizenship!
    Thats something for Singaporeans to consider....

    As im typing this I just arrived in Singapore... My heart says only 1 thing... Go where u r happy... if u like Singapore go ahead... if u like Malaysia go ahead... Money can be made anywhers, and I am not worried, may I dare say that I make more than an average Singaporean 5 figures per month in SGD.... in Malaysia.. conversion is not an issue... one can succeed anywhere... its just a choice.. Everybody migrates to find their pot of gold!!! The richest people in the world do not reside in U.S.A., many of them are still residing in China and India where there are countless of problems...yet that is what make them tick..The working class always migrates, but in my opinion the business owners rarely migrate...

    Another thing I saw today,many old people are working, many are unhappy and many people in Singapore are getting poorer... and some of them are slightly mental...

    Where are their childr3n?

    1 thing society must look in is fzmily.... In Malaysia you will never see this happening because we look after our parents even though its difficult, but it is a shared cultural values amongst the races, if u find old people, then it is mostly in Chow Kit street people or ex Addicts....

    I know my rambling isnt orderly, however,,peolle give it a thought and to my fellow Malaysians better buck up in many areas like Singapore, or fuck up and be left behind..... kanina cibek Government!!!!

  119. I left MSIA for USA at 19 to pursue UNDERGRAD degree and stayed until now (Has US Green Card). I really CANNOT imagine moving back to KL.

    My friend's house in Taman Connaught bruglarised at 4am in morning (while 8 ppl sleeping soundly). Armed (parang) robbers sawed down the front door. After they set up barricade, girl friend is robbed again before she reached the gates. (Credit cards, cash, car keys) all stolen. BEING robbed is a "way of life". Isn't this stressful?

  120. ELIN CHOW. I think you are very young @25 when you write this blog. You are feeling "euphoric" because you just got married and excited in your new environment.

    Why don't you come back to tell us your "real" experience in Msia in 10 years. I bet you'll be much more matured then. HAHAA...

  121. well said. reading your blog in my afternoon tea gimme so much information about singapore and malaysia. thank you so much for sharing :)

  122. Singapore's public transport isn't that horrid. Ocassional breakdowns and having to squeeze a little for the ride with fellow passengers can't be worse than having to be stucked in hours of traffic congestion everyday, isn't it? At least you don't have to get out of the house way earlier to seat in the congestion.

    As for the having to pay a hefty amount for COE, I guess it really isn't all negative. It's to deter people from buying too many vehicles. With lesser vehicles, it leads to less traffic jams. Since we're facing global warming these days, why not consider this as a contribution to curb the environmental problem? Look at it as for the greater good LOLOLOL.

    And it isn't really a necessity to own a vehicle in Singapore. In other words, you'll get to save on buying the vehicle and paying for the fuel. Isn't that better?

    I may be totally biased in my opinion,since I'm a Singaporean. Correct me if I'm wrong. Since you've already made your decision to move over, wish you best of luck.