In the early 1990s, there was a huge demand for Filipino skilled workers in Saudi Arabia for manual labor. As they struggle to nourish their families and give their children a proper education, Filipino parents would often remind them of "study hard and get a good job"Soon after, it was believed that working abroad would help Filipinos alleviate poverty, so the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) trend began. People then began to see huge improvements, especially from OFW families, and the government continued to praise them as modern character of the Philippines. With the recent economic factors worsening the living conditions of the masses, Filipino parents would remind their children of the same phrase … with a little tweaking – "study hard and get a good job abroad,"
One of the most promising countries for work abroad is located approximately 1500 miles southwest of the Philippines – Malaysia. Their workforce often requires a potentially huge workforce, where Filipino workers often compete with workers from neighboring countries such as India, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
However, they still want to work in Malaysia for various reasons, which our country, the Philippines, does not adequately provide or makes impossible to achieve through hard work and determination. As one of those employees who previously worked in our hometown, going abroad sounds like a pretty natural answer to this problem. Regardless of what profession or skill set you have, many things here can make you say "Yes, that's exactly the reason why I'm going abroad!"
So, without further adoration, here are the top 10 reasons why you might be better off working in Malaysia than in the Philippines:
10. Different culture
Once you step on a foreign land, you will notice that everything you put your eyes on is different from your home. You can suddenly pay attention to the women they are wearing Muslim shawls Known as hijabIn addition, when roaming the malls you are so used to when you were in the Philippines, you will notice that there are specific prayer rooms in some floors that they call surauwhich we are not used to because we belong to a different culture.
People are generally curious creatures and we, as Filipinos, do not deviate from this behavior. We tend to be fascinated by these different perspectives, including the simple difference in religion and celebrations. In addition, as millennia, we embrace change so much that we enjoy living out-of-the-rule and share our experience on social media.
As such, we respect these cultural standards, we respect them and, if possible, meet in the middle because we have an obligation to go to church every Sunday and spread the word of God. And whatever you do, believe me, they will also respect what you believe in.
9. More options
Although Malaysia is a developing country like the Philippines, working here opens the door to countless opportunities. In our country it is obviously difficult to find a job, even if you have the most impressive resume in the city. In Malaysia, however, you can get an interview call in an hour, provided you have the appropriate skills and experience that a foreign agency or a headhunter needs.
If you have plans for improving your career (especially in information technology or engineering), working in Malaysia is a boost to your hard-earned confidence as HR often takes into account the way you deal with your foreign bosses. It is a huge plus for the applicant to have experience in managing excellent working relationships with foreign clients.
Also, if you have other goals from a life event like immigrating to first world countries such as Australia, Canada or New Zealand, processing the necessary documents is relatively easier, faster and safer in Malaysia. Although you need to return home to collect documents for a long list of immigration requirements, it's still better to "just do it" in Malaysia because you have a financial advantage, right?
8. Delicious cuisine
I am now turning 6 months in Malaysia at the time of writing and I have to say it out loud that Malaysian cuisine in the simplest sense is incomparableNo matter how I get up "foodsick"(no, that's not what you think – I mean this as missing food at home) while I live here, yet every Malaysian dish I try completely satiates my longing and satisfies my tummy, even though I go to the toilets ( because I can't handle some spicy dishes).
Due to the different cooking traditions and practices of the three main ethnic groups in Malaysia – Malays, Chinese and Indians – Malaysian cuisine is so much soaked with a variety of spices that it makes food so much better than those at home. The popular everyday foods you find here in Malaysia are Nasi Lemak, Mi Goren, Rendang or Bak Kut Teh and a little hot Teh Tariq On the side.
On top of that, everyone is cheapThe fried Nasi Lemak in the picture costs about RM6.70. With a huge plate and lots of servings on the side, you can't get this type of food for P80 in the Philippines unless you live in the countryside. Even with GST (Goods and Services Tax), newly introduced this year, you can still eat on a budget by buying from wet markets and cooking on your own. That way you can eat at an even cheaper price and be able to cook Filipino food the way you want.
7. Improved lifestyle
Once you arrive here in Malaysia, you will automatically be called a foreigner or an exileIf your job does not have free accommodation, you will have no choice but to rent condominiums or landed properties. Often the rental rate in large countries such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor is higher than usual.
Housing units in Malaysia, however, are usually equipped with aircon, automatic washing machines, refrigerators, boilers and induction stoves that will most of all make your life easier. If you live in the Philippines only with an electric fan and cold water, then your lifestyle in Malaysia will definitely improve.
If you choose your place correctly, you can access others engaging in lifestyle such as going to the gym, shopping at malls, or maybe swimming in condominium pools. Whatever your job, I promise you, your life will be better, if not a little, a little better, but it will still be better than before returning home, probably with your parents.
6. Easy journey back to your hometown
With the boom of low cost airlines and the accessibility of Asian countries to the world, it was now very easy to book your tickets online and fly back home. Tourists and travel tourists from all parts of the world easily fly daily to Malaysia, including our own OFW (Overseas Filipino workers).
If OFW gets so much at home that she wants to be with her daughter during a school awards ceremony or her 7th birthday, she can just hit the keys on websites like AirAsia or CebuPacific, book flights and book get on the plane on the date of the trip to see her children. With discounts on flights that continue every month, she can definitely travel back home and still be on budget, making it a win-win situation for any OFW in Malaysia. Plus, it takes less than four hours for the Philippines, so it's not such a big deal.
However, if your work partially restricts you from leaving the country (probably for helpers), you can still connect with them via social messaging applications such as Whatsapp (very common in Malaysia) or Messenger and video chat via Skype.
5. Tourist destination
As Malaysia strives to live up to its tourism brand – Malaysia Really Asia – and to remain a strong contender as a Top 2 in Asia's top tourist destination, it has always been on the list of every traveler in the most sought after travel destinations. Being a Filipino can testify to the beauty of Malaysia and its great tourist attractions, as I saw it first hand.
If you are free on weekends, you can always travel to famous tourist destinations such as the Petronas Towers, Genting Highlands or Petaling Street easily by train and bus. You can also travel a little further to places like Melaka or Penang, especially during long vacations, as it is certainly very far from the city, but I promise it is definitely worth it. You do not need to go by taxi if you do not know where they are because you can navigate fully in Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur, through web mapping services such as Google Maps.
On the other hand, if you are not sure where to go, you can check out TripAdvisor OR you can check it out here in Roumery as I will be posting guides in Malaysia soon. Stay tuned for more updates!
4. Low cost of living
Some economists use a more bold exchange rate theory, called the Big Mac Index, to introduce a global standard for measuring purchasing power parity. In a layman's words, it can be used to estimate, though not accurately, the cost of living in a particular country. If the base rate is USD, then the Malaysian currency, Ringgit, is undervalued by 63% for the said index. This means that the Big Mac in McDonald's Malaysia is cheaper than most countries and therefore has a low cost of living.
However, you do not need to consult an expert to measure the cost of living, as we do it ourselves automatically without knowing it, Often, for the first time, OFWs always turn Ringgit into Pesos every time they buy something and make a conclusion from their daily groceries if Malaysia is generally cheaper than in the Philippines.
In my opinion, food and transportation are usually cheaper in Malaysia since oil is one of Malaysia's ace cards for its economic growth. Unit rents are higher in urban areas, but mostly normal in the outskirts of large cities. Overall, Malaysia still maintains a low cost of living (if outside Kuala Lumpur) compared to the Philippines or Singapore for that matter.
3. Faster internet
According to this chart, you will see that in 2014, Malaysia has an internet speed index of 5.5 Mbps, while the Philippines has an internet speed index of 3.6 Mbps. If you are a Filipino reader, you can agree and certify that this is the case not trueThis is one of the reasons I work in Malaysia – because they have faster internet than the Philippines.
I was in the Philippines in 2014. The average home DSL (or WiMax) plan through any telecom operator was to 1-2 Mbps as advertised and it did not consistently gain at least 500 Kbps download speed even at 2pm after midnight (for which 100 Kbps is usual). They also did not have an optical network until recently when PLDT Fibr was introduced. The price varies from P1000 to P1500 (RM 222 to RM 333) for this plan type. As I heard, new plans are already moving forward have data restrictions in accordance with the rules on fair use of networks.
Here in Malaysia you can order for 10 Mbps a plan that effectively exceeds after midnight (about 20 Mbps) and is consistent in the morning. This is already linked to the fiber network located on the condominium (or underground house) and can only vary from RM 100 to RM 150, In addition, it is unlimited by without a cap and you may be terminated (though with a minimum of 2 years bond) after leaving the country. If you look at the comparison, Malaysia still leads the internet race compared to the Philippines in this aspect.
2. Better transport
If you have worked in Metro Manila like I do, chances are you have to drive the MRT once or every day OR, depending on where you are coming from, you should first exchange from the LRT station. There are already many stories on the Internet that describe their misfortune when traveling daily through these trains. I would not describe it here anymore, but let me tell you it is very stressful, time consuming and dangerous to go to MRT every day.
In Malaysia, railway infrastructure consists of interconnected inter-city rail services, express transit services, monorail and airport rail services. It's a train journey does not stress because it's easy to buy tickets from ticket machines instead of waiting for a long queue, it doesn't take long as trains arrive faster than you think safe as there are security guards at every train waiting point and locals are very disciplined that thefts do not appear to exist at the stations.
As one of my wise colleagues put it, "a developed country is one where rich people use public transport."
1. Higher pay
Undoubtedly, the main reason you may want to work abroad is and always has been money, Even if you have the nine reasons above, if the salary discussed at the time of signing the contract is not what you expected, work abroad may not be possible.
Sometimes, if you are in a desperate situation, you will accept the offer to work abroad, regardless of your salary. On the other hand, your work colleagues would often advise you that if you are going to take another job, the salary you have requested should be twice what you currently have. However, for me, part of the reason to take a job abroad is lower income tax in Malaysia (about 5 to 10% per month depending on salary) compared to the Philippines (approximately 32% per month). It also helps that when you tune in to news from the Philippines, you will see that there are often reports of graft allegations and corruption by your own tax-paying politicians, which most Filipinos pay.
But in all aspects, your pay should also meet your expectations, because that's the main reason you want to work abroad, right? As an IT consultant and with conversations from some of my Filipino colleagues here in Malaysia, the pay will always be higher of what you earn in the Philippines. Since most of us are contractual, it is true that agencies have pay standards depending on your work experience and skill set. It's also true that some agencies give you higher pay than usual, but it usually comes down to your negotiating skills, although you can barter a bit more because of the volatile Malaysian currency (I gave you one tip – good luck!)
These are the main reasons to keep in mind when you want to work abroad in Malaysia. There is always a job search for expatriates, but recently there have been attacks by illegal workers Please be careful to whom or what agencies you trust (especially those who want high accommodation fees). However, there is news of free hires for incoming foreign workers in Malaysia, so if you are ready, then by all means, go to apply and work abroad here in Malaysia. Cheers!