What’s deterring me from returning to Malaysia

Here’s another one for the ‘Australia or Malaysia?’ series.

This time, I’ll lay out the reasons that could potentially deter me from returning to Malaysia.

1. Spending Power

It is in my opinion that by staying in Australia, I have greater spending power than if I had gone back to Malaysia. Indeed, in certain areas, things are more expensive here in Australia (like rent, insurance, property prices), but generally, I dare say that you’ll be able to spend more in Australia.

Let’s assume that if I work in Australia, my starting pay is AUD4,000 and also assume that if I work in Malaysia, my starting pay is RM4,000 (which I think is hard to get anyway).

Now, let’s compare the prices of some ‘luxury’ goods (I’ll compare the prices of necessities in my future post). In this instance, we’ll look at a few items. Here they are.

– Toyota Yaris ($20,000 in Australia and $107,000 in Malaysia)
– Nikon D300 SLR Camera ($2260 in Australia and $4650 in Malaysia)
– Nikon 18-200mm Camera Lens ($1029 in Australia and $2685 in Malaysia)
– Nokia E71 ($575 in Australia and $1000++ in Malaysia)

Why am I comparing ‘luxury’ items? Well, once in a while, I will be purchasing these goods right? When that time comes, my spending power will be more in Australia.

2. My trading activities

I am highly involved in Contract-for-Differences (CFDs) trading here in Australia. In Malaysia however, CFDs are not available. If I want to be able to trade CFDs again, I need to open up an account in Singapore. I had a look at their website and the requirements to establish an account is in itself very stringent.

In other words, fair to say that if I return to Malaysia, I might have to start again from square one, trading wise. Definitely something I’m not looking forward to.

3. Slow internet connection

Australia’s internet connection is immensely quick. Compare that with Malaysia’s snail pace broadband connection. I think 100% of Malaysians studying in Australia will agree with me on this.

Here’s an example. To launch the charting software on my CFD platform, it took me a matter of seconds in Australia. In Malaysia on the other hand, I couldn’t load it at all. Using the world wide web now becomes a chore.

4. Property Investing seems to be easier here

As far as I know, the process of purchasing properties in Malaysia can be very slow. I’ve never bought a property before here in Australia but based on the stories that I’ve heard, the process seems to be much simpler here. Anyone who has any stories on this, do share yeah?

5. Traffic Jam

Malaysia and its traffic jams. I don’t think I have to elaborate on this.

6. Public Transportation

Malaysia and its public transportation system versus Australia’s public transportation system. I don’t think I have to elaborate on this either.

Alright, that’s all for now. Share your thoughts below.


Disclaimer: This article is not a specific nor general advice on managing or investing your money. This article does not constitute a recommendation nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation nor particular needs.

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About nadlique

This blog is about the journey of a 28-year-old Malaysian towards financial freedom. This blog was started back when the blogger was 21 years old. However, his journey towards financial freedom had begun way before that. Materials such as investing, business, entrepreneurship, equities, and real estate are presented. The author also posts his thoughts and observations on life in general.


  1. I’m especially concerned with point 1 too. It’s the evil of the exchange rates that let those in developed countries enjoy higher purchasing power parity.

    Myself planning to work somewhere abroad for a few years to pool some fund. At some point returning home of course is a must right.

  2. i was reading your blog title and when it comes to its content, my eagerness starts asking me to read more. wow! wuts a difference! the way you are comparing both country..is it malaysia that horrid? but still, d malaysian get 2 know d outside world with ‘Malaysia’s snail pace broadband connection’..considering u’ve spent ur days growing in both country..hmmmm..i just cant wait to read more.dont get me wrong mr. who-know-more. same as you..im giving my thoughts too.

    • @Amir F

      True, at the end of the day, we all want to come back to Malaysia. I love Malaysia to bits 😀


      Mr. who-know-more? I sense a hint of sarcasm there. No, Malaysia is not that horrible. I love Malaysia. However, at the same time, I can’t deny that Malaysia has its flaws. Regarding the snail pace broadband connection, nobody can deny that fact right? Perhaps not all will agree with me, but just google about that topic (which I’m sure you have done before) and you’ll be served with a lot of discussions, forums, and etc. In fact, there’s even a facebook group with the title “TMNet Streamyx Sucks”. I can live with a slow internet connection but it’ll most definitely cripple the things that I’m doing at the moment.

      Just wait for a couple of days though. A continuation of this article is forthcoming. I’ll list out some of the reasons why it might be best for me to return to Malaysia.

  3. Look on your points. Australia is definitely a better place to live. 😀

    • spBlogger,

      True, but I still love Malaysia to bits 😀

      Dude, your blog is amazing. I’ll definitely set aside some time scrutinising your blog 😉

  4. Zainol Rashid says:

    your views are reasonable. however am not sure when u compare prices u used $ sign for both australia and malaysia. let me point out Austalian $ is not = to malaysian RM. There are situation where prices in malaysia is cheaper than australia. though salaries in malaysia is lower than australia but the purchasing power is also better than in Australia. it would be interesting if u spend some time giving longer listing of price comparison.I have the opportunity to travel to countries in the Americas, europe, middle east africa and the asean and Asia. I still think Malaysia is Not Bad, meaning OK lah, and maybe better in some aspect than the developed countries. try to get hospital service when you are sick in australia without health insurance etc. Dont you know that Indonesian and other immigrants to malaysia enjoy better hospital services than in their countries, thats why they come to malaysia Brother in droves. The trouble my dear brother you are born after merdeka therefore you are born in good times , I bet you never understand what poverty and hunger is all about. Try to be poor and destitude in Australia and western countries.

    Of course I would like to see the better side of Australia in malaysia. Then It would be nice, this I would agree.

    Regarding your views on purchasing properties in Malaysia I think its not that difficult. the Difficulty is the long processing of Bank loan Application maybe about 3 months minimun at least thats what the developer time period given before they charge late payment. you have to push the incompetent lawyers or theier clerks to be exact to work faster,i.e process your loan application. I think this poor private sector service is due to exploited and underpaid clerks..

  5. Good to hear from you Zainol.

    There’s a reason why I used $ instead of RM and AUD. Yes, I am aware that RM is not equal to AUD. It would be dumb for me if I didn’t know that after spending 18 years in Malaysia and nearly 5 years in Australia 😛

    The reason I used $ is for the purpose of consistency, so to speak. What I am trying to portray is pretty much:

    “If you earn RM4,000 in Malaysia, how much can you spend and save Vs. If you earn AUD4,000 in Australia, how much can you spend and save.”

    Referring to one of the examples I have given, it takes much longer to save up to buy a simple Toyota Yaris in Malaysia than in Australia. Note that this is just an example.

    Plus, what are the odds of a recent graduate getting RM4,000 as a starting pay in Malaysia?

    Regarding your view of purchasing power, I’m afraid I have to disagree. Working in Australia has much greater purchasing power than in Malaysia.

    Yes, I do intend to give a much longer list in comparing prices between the two countries. That’s an entry in itself for the near future.

    “Dont you know that Indonesian and other immigrants to malaysia enjoy better hospital services than in their countries, thats why they come to malaysia Brother in droves.”

    – I do realise that but I don’t see the relevance of that in my case.

    “try to get hospital service when you are sick in australia without health insurance etc.”

    – Thus the reason why having health insurance is important.

    “The trouble my dear brother you are born after merdeka therefore you are born in good times , I bet you never understand what poverty and hunger is all about. Try to be poor and destitude in Australia and western countries.”

    – Again I find this a tad irrelevant. What has this got to do with me deciding whether I should get a PR and stay in Australia or return to Malaysia? Also, the presumption that I do not understand poverty and hunger?

    Regarding property purchases in Malaysia, it is pretty lengthy in my view. I have been involved in a property transaction before and it did take a while.

    P.S. Please don’t take offence to my replies yeah?

  6. I think some of us are confused of the purpose of the “Australia or Malaysia” articles. Please take note that I am not comparing which country is GREATER or MUCH BETTER per se.

    In the “Australia or Malaysia” article series, if you read the first article, you would understand that the purpose is for me to decide whether I should be returning to Malaysia to work or continue staying in Australia and get a PR. So, I am comparing factors relevant to my individual circumstances.

  7. Australia or Malaysia…well, as long you are determine to make your life a comfortable one, any countries will do. I’d been back to Malaysia almost 4 years now. 3 years working in Brunei, NZ and Oz.

    Reading your reply to Zainol…
    “Working in Australia has much greater purchasing power than in Malaysia”….. I must say that I agreed to Zainol’s statement. You cannot compare AUD to RM as apple to apple comparison. There are other factors involved other than supply vs. demand in price determination.

    While working in OZ/NZ, I found that the governments became my partners… taking almost 40% of my earnings before the money reach my pocket and also helping their hands into my bank accounts via state government duties, account keeping fee, etc…and that greatly diminish my spending power. Not to mention, a big hindrance to reach my financial freedom goal.

    Perhaps you might want to explore other countries first before coming back to making the decision whether or not you want to stay in Australia. Don’t let waves of bad news/jobless news influence your decision, go and do some exploration first.
    I got friends ended up in the remote region of Peru and they are happy there. You will never know how the dots connect later. 😉

    So far, except for the daily dosage of stupid political news, I’ve no regrets coming back to Malaysia.

    • Talking about purchasing power, I understand fully that it’s a more delicate issue than what I have covered. I am not talking about purchasing power in the strictest sense and I am not comparing AUD and RM. What I am comparing is, how much will I be able to spend and save if I return to Malaysia versus how much I will be able to spend and save if I stay here.

      Like the example of luxury items I have stated above, isn’t it true that it’ll take much longer to save in Malaysia than to save in Australia before I’ll be able to actually buy those items? Let me give a real example yeah. For the past couple of years, I have been saving like mad to be able to establish this new business venture (i.e. buying equipments). Within couple of years, that goal was realised. If I was in Malaysia and I save the same amount of money, just that it is now in RM, I still wouldn’t be able to buy those equipments that I mentioned.

      Indeed, there are many things that are more expensive here in Australia (including the tax rate) than in Malaysia but it is also true that the prospect of getting a higher salary is higher here in Australia. Like I’ve said previously, getting a starting pay of AUD3,000 to AUD4,000 can be regarded as easy here in Australia. Compare that to Malaysia. I’ll be starting off with RM2,000 if I’m lucky.

      Here’s another example. Fuel Price. Aussies have to pay only $1.10 per litre for their petrol while Malaysians have to pay $1.70 (it’s $1.70 now right?) for their petrol. Broadband connection (which is very important for my current line of work), it’s around $150 per month (this is Streamyx’s top of the line broadband) for Malaysians and around $70 per month for Aussies (and Aussie broadband is much superior).

      Also, another thing to point out (this is actually a post to be uploaded in the future), apart from achieving financial freedom by 30, I want to go for my flight training as soon as possible. If I do it here, it’ll cost me around AUD70,000 while in Malaysia, it’s around RM250,000. Even if I was lucky enough to start off with RM4,000 in Malaysia, how long will it take before I get to RM250,000? Contrast that with earning AUD4,000 in Australia. Minus expenses and tax, that goal of AUD70,000 seems to be much closer.

      With regards to place of work, really, it doesn’t really matter for me actually. I have considered China, India, New York, and even Vietnam before. In fact, if the prospect is good, then I might be going to one of those places. Just that for now, I am only considering two places, Australia and Malaysia. So, for me, it’s not about the location, but it’s the prospect.

    • By the way, yes it is true that I can’t compare AUD and RM as apple to apple comparison. However, like I said, I am not comparing AUD and RM. I am comparing “How much I’ll be able to spend and save in Australia” and “How much I’ll be able to spend and save in Malaysia.”

  8. “but it’s the prospect.”…..then it is time for you to do some prospecting.

    • @Boo

      That’s exactly what I’m doing right now. I’m comparing prospects between Malaysia and Australia.

      Anyway, it’s pretty much 50-50 at the moment. Each has its own sets of pros and cons.


      Well, who said that Malaysia is that horrible? I certainly didn’t. I was merely comparing between the two countries for the purpose of me getting a PR or me returning to Malaysia for work. Here’s an entry of me talking about Australia by the way >> http://www.nadlique.com/2009/05/05/whats-deterring-me-from-staying-in-australia/ . Yes, Malaysia has its flaws, but so does Australia. Again, I never stated that Malaysia is horrible.

      You see, when I was comparing internet connection, I was referring to my own circumstances. I’m doing a lot of trading on a specalised Online Trading Platform as well as other things that require fast internet. As I have stated in the entry above, that online trading platform can’t even load when I was in Malaysia (and yes, I do live in the city). It can be a pain sometimes.

      With regards to traffic, you want me to stay in Terengganu? Perhaps when I retire I’ll consider that. Hehe.

      I have an apartment in Kota Bharu by the way, so yeah, retiring in Kota Bharu is certainly a possibility 😉

      Barang-barang tu pulak, memanglah tak beli setiap tahun. Cuma nak tunjuk je, kat Malaysia, kena kumpul lama sikit baru boleh beli. Saya ada cakap kat komen kat atas yg ditujukan kepada Boo. Dah dua tiga tahun saya kumpul duit nak buat bisnes baru saya. Sekarang peralatan bisnes dah boleh dikatakan agak complete. Kalau saya kumpul kat Malaysia, entah bila baru boleh cukup.

      @Zainol Rashid

      It’s good to differ in viewpoints Zainol. It’ll certainly give me the chance to learn new things, that’s for sure.

  9. natasya says:

    Well I agree with @itei. Malaysia is not that horrible. Internet connection is not that bad. At least if you choose to live in city. I don’t think we have the snail pace connection. Of course it not as fast as aussie. But, tempat sendiri lagi baik. Hmm for traffic, if you choose to live in Terengganu, I don’t think we have that bad traffic jam. But of course you want to choose KL life style; unfortunately it comes with traffic jam. Hahaha. Hmm consider it as chance doesn’t always come in convenient packages. Well we need to choose but still there always pro and con. Enjoy your life in Aussie.
    Hmm I got offer to work at Yemen. But my parents tak bagi pergi. So sad…huhuhu. I want to explore the world too….
    hmm for those things you want to have. beli kat sana and balik malaysia la pastu. well barang-barang tu, bukan beli tiap-tiap tahun, beli sekali blh pakai lama apa camera, kereta.

  10. Zainol Rashid says:

    There is not much disagreement just differences in viewpoints I guess. I think its nice to hear Malaysians looking forward to working in other countries. Its good we can have malaysians overseas who can actually work with malaysian in malaysia to expand businesses and economic opportunities.

  11. azizul zainal says:

    like others, i bumped into your website by accident (available via google search first page, great!) initially looking for more info on ASB investment

    now, as to why i decided to comment on this page, instead of the ASB, is due to the nice telephoto picture that you attached on this page.. plus noticing you mention in detail the specific nikon camera model & lens type, being an avid photographer myself (just starting)& the discussions on ‘purchasing power’.. as i couldn’t have afford the camera equipments i have now with me, if not being in the UK for my 5th year now

    keep up the good work & the good pics! =)


  1. […] Previously, I wrote about the reasons that could potentially lead me to stay in Australia. […]

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