Which country do you like better, Malaysia or Singapore? Why?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 12, 2020 05:08 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 12, 2020 05:09 AM


I am from Malaysia and has currently lived in Singapore for 4+ years. Why? My opinions are as follows:

Good things about Singapore:

Safe. Although Singapore is not a 100% crime-less country, it is nevertheless a very, very safe country to live in. Walking on the streets at 1am holding two phones on your hand? No problems at all! You will also be rest-assured that if anything happens, the Singapore Police is quick to leap into action and makes sure that justice is properly served. In fact, I personally feel that Singaporeans have enjoyed so safe an environment that the Police has to keep reminding them at “Low crime doesn’t mean No crime”!
Public Transport. Singapore has a very, very good public transport system.
(1) Most of the major go-to places around Singapore can be conveniently reached by MRT and bus.
(2) If you want to take a bus, chances are you can find a bus stop within walking distance most of the time. If you do not know where to go, bus guides are conveniently available at the bus stop. Missed your bus? No worries, another will come within 5 – 10 minutes if you are not travelling very very very early in the morning or late at night.
(3) At most major places, you can actually walk from MRT or bus stop to your destination rain or shine thanks to extensive sheltering of walkways and pavements.
(4) Taxi fares are honestly charged and affordable— it is a well-known fact that the fare table posted in every Malaysian taxi is just a showpiece, and taxi drivers in Malaysia are world-famous for charging ridiculously high and arbitrary fares depending on your nationality, ethnicity, and familiarity with the area.
(5) Affordable fares. The bus fare from my home in Johor Bahru to city centre (roughly 18km) is RM3.60, while a trip of similar distance in Singapore costs around $1.65. DO NOT take currency conversion into consideration, as a job that pays S$2,000 in Singapore probably pays RM1,500 or less in Malaysia.
Idiot-friendly. If you want to go somewhere or do something, chances are that the information you want is readily available and is very reliable, clear-cut, straightforward, and understandable. For example, if I want to rent a bicycle at East Coast Park, all I simply needed to do is to google it, and I can get the price, Terms & Conditions, rental location, etc., etc. from the internet.
Friendly Banks. In Singapore (depending on bank, I guess), most of my banking transactions can be conveniently done online. This is in contrast to Malaysia where certain transactions still require you to pay a visit to a bank (Some even require you to visit your Home Branch — good luck if you live in Johor and your account was opened at a Penang branch).
Convenience. NETS and PayPass/PayWave payment options, 24-hour supermarkets, cash withdrawal at 7-Eleven, shops within 5-minute walking distance of your block, etc., etc., just to list a few.
Self-Service. In Singapore there are self-service checkouts at supermarkets, self-service food ordering at restaurants, self-service postal kiosks (SAM Machines), ticketing machines, automated self-service parcel collection and shipping, etc., etc. These may seem insignificant, but they actually give you some control over what you want from a certain service, and deliver it.
INTERNET. This is something that I think Singapore has done very, very well. I have a 4G mobile plan that gives me 4GB of data every month for a mere S$20, which also comes with 150 minutes of free local calls and a few hundred SMSes. In comparison, a 3GB plan with UMobile costs around RM28. Again, DO NOT factor in currency conversion, because a job that pays S$1,000 DOES NOT pay RM3,000 in Malaysia.
MORE INTERNET. In terms of home broadband, StarHub has a HomeHub bundle that gives you 500Mbps home broadband + TV Package + 1GB mobile broadband + home phone line at $78 per month. In comparison, TM in Malaysia has a 30Mbps broadband with TV package at RM179. Again, don’t consider currency conversion.
If you are looking for a cheaper broadband option without the TV, M1 gives you a 1Gbps fibre internet with UNLIMITED data at S$39 which also includes a home phone line, a cordless phone, and a 1GB mobile broadband. In Malaysia, you can subscribe to P1 (which played a role similar to MyRepublic) and at RM59 per month you will get a 1Mbps internet with 5GB quota. I used to be a P1 user and I can assure you that you will be very annoyed and irrated during rainy days.
(1) Libraries — They are everywhere, and have everything inside. I actually don’t mind paying the $42.80 annual fee as a foreigner because their collection of books are so vast and their convenience top-notch. I can borrow a book from any public libraries, use a mobile app to check-out, and return them to any libraries.
(2) Swimming Pools — Again, they are everywhere, and they are all well-maintained and charge very affordable admission. Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex in Singapore charges non-Singaporean rate of S$1.50 or S$1.70 depending on day, while a swimming pool of comparable size (smaller) in JB costs RM10 — not even cheaper when you consider currency conversion.
(3) Parks — Same as above. They are everywhere, well-maintained, and safe.
Better political climate. Singapore has a very secure and stable political climate — leaders who have the people’s well-being at heart, policies that all aim to benefit people and to make Singapore a better place for the people, diplomatic activities that put Singapore’s well-being at the topmost priority, and most importantly, a clean, responsible, accountable, and professional government. In contrast, Malaysia has been plagued by political and social issues such as chronic corruption, racial issues, religious issues, as well as politicians who sometimes have no idea of what they are doing.
On the other hand, there ARE some aspects that I find it better in Malaysia:

INTERNET. While most of Malaysia’s internet plan has a low quota, there is one thing that they are better at — how they deal with you when you exceed your quota. In Singapore, if you exceed your quota, you had better be prepared to be slapped with excess data charges, which can go up to hundreds of dollars. Most internet providers in Malaysia, on the other hand, do not charge excess data, they simply throttle down your internet speed, to something that is similar to dial-up internet. Although it is very inconvenient to use a throttled-down internet, it is still possible to send WhatsApp or Line messages without incurring extra charges.
MEPS ATM. The convenience offered by MEPS ATMs is really something that I think Singapore banks need to keep up on. In Singapore, most ATMs only accept cards from their own bank (DBS/POSB only accept a DBS/POSB), although UOB and OCBC accepts each other’s cards. In Malaysia, as long as your bank is part of MEPS, you can use your card at another MEPS bank’s ATM (such as using a RHB card to withdraw or transfer money at Maybank’s ATM). Recently, I have seen a lot of MEPS ATMs that are designed to accept ALL ATM cards from MEPS banks. However, MEPS charges a small convenience fee for cash withdrawals.
Some degree of flexibility. One good thing about the laxness in the Malaysian way of life is that you get to enjoy some flexibility. One such example is when I take a public bus, I can actually ask the driver to drop me off at a certain point along the bus’ route (such as at a traffic junction or beside a petrol kiosk). In Singapore, this is impossible as buses are by law allowed to pick up or drop off passengers at designated bus stops only. Similarly, I can flag a bus at any point along its route as long as it is safe to do so — something that provides great convenience especially when some bus stops in JB are located kilometres apart.
Less formalities. Something that I still like about Malaysia is the casualness in some aspects of your daily life.
Chewing Gum. Well, there is no way you can enjoy chewing gum in Singapore as you can’t legally buy them there.
Larger living space. There is no doubt that Malaysians enjoy a larger living space than Singaporeans. Most suburban or urban Malaysians live in terrace houses, which in most cases are considerably larger than the HDB flats that most Singaporeans live in. As someone who grew up in a terrace house, it took me quite a while to adjust to the living space in Singapore where everything seemed smaller and more compact. As a comparison, the living room of my home in Malaysia (just a very old, common, normal and affordable terrace house built in 1980s) is almost half the size of an 1970s HDB flat! (and flats in 1970s are much larger, mind you)
More privacy (in a terrace house). If you live in a terrace house (Singapore or Malaysia), you have access to the some degrees of privacy and convenience thanks to the presence of an outer gate. Believe it or not, if you live in Singapore and you have a car, you will be greatly grateful at the conveniences of a Malaysian terrace house, where you can easily access your car at doorstep.

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