Long but valid rant below.
I am a Malaysian PR who has been working in Singapore for over 4 years now. Like every other Malaysian who is working in Singapore, I came here with only one thing in mind, hoping for a better future and able to provide a better life for my family back home. Now I am not so sure anymore.
Prices are increasing now. And I will soon to be a third year PR which means 20% deduction of CPF. At the time my disposable income will be even lower. Every month a whole chunk of my income is for the rents and I don’t know how long until my landlord would inform me of the rental increment. I heard the rental for some of my friends have increased as much as SGD900 per unit. That’s insane. My landlord has asked for a copy of my lease few weeks ago, I was so scared I told him I have lost it. I am currently making a salary of SGD3,400 but after deduction of CPF I am getting SGD2,800-ish. After paying the rental for my small room, all I have left is SGD2000. The transport, the food and the PUB have all gone up in prices. Other than that, I have to pay allowance to my family, insurance, phone bills and some monthly commitments back home. At the end of the month, I barely have two coins rub together. When I moved here from Malaysia, I told myself I was going to enjoy my life here, I don’t want to fill my life with works and only money. But now I have to choose money over life because having a life means spending money here in Singapore.
The government has assured the people that assistance will be provided but only for Singaporeans. What about us? We have left our homeland, our beloved family (some of us even left their kids back home) to come here for a better life and to contribute to the economy here. But what do we get in return? Don’t get me wrong. I will always be appreciative the privilege the government has given us the Malaysian as compared to other nationalities. But to be honest, most work pass holders and PRs are the most vulnerable under this climate. Sometimes I am really frustrated by all the chaos going on around the world that’s started by the top 1% most elitist group. They are enjoying all the resources that one commoner like us could only dream for. Yet they are still trying everything to make life more difficult for us who come from the bottom of the pyramid.
I know posting this here might subject me to some of the harsh critics from some readers. For example, what about the construction workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan or the domestic helpers from Indonesia and the Philippines. But this doesn’t mean my complain is not valid. As a work pass holder, we always face oppression from the employer. Because they knew we were expendable. They knew they could always get someone across the border to replace us, easily. Even though it the shut down of the border for the past two years has made employers’ life (only those who abuse this system) miserable. But the COVID is also another burden added on over shoulder. I remember me staying in my room alone during COVID breakdown, crying while everyone was shouting out from their unit for frontline workers. I felt so lonely and I miss my family. I am sure every other Malaysian who is working in Singapore shared the same emotion.
I am already getting words from some of my friends that they plan to move back Malaysia for good. I am not sure, I like Singapore so much but if the situation getting worse maybe I will look for another plan. I can’t imagine the life after GST hikes to 8% and 9%. It’s just so much uncertainties now.