Friday, February 18, 2011

Singapore Malay families seeking economic refuge in JB

I have been coming across several Malay families who are renting out their HDB flats or even selling their HDB flats and living in Johor Bahru and commuting to Singapore. Each family had the same reason to give. They are unable to afford the cost of living in Singapore.


A few days ago, a friend of mine who is a senior professional in logistics industry claimed that around 40% of the Malay despatch riders live in Johor Bahru. However I am unable to verify this. However when I asked others in logistics industry, they did agree that there are large number of families, where the breadwinner works as a despatch rider, have indeed relocated to JB due to cost pressures in Singapore. These despatch riders earn less than $1000 per month and they are unable to cope even when they have two children.

It does not seem to be the case that all the families that shifted are having a single income earner. There are indeed families in which both the couples are working and yet they are unable to afford to live in Singapore. The few families that I managed to talk to have a household income of less than $2000 a month. They shared with me that given the high costs they face which come along with work e.g. lunch meals,
transport, clothings etc etc they are left with little to afford the other family expenses such as grocery, electricity etc.

Another group of Malay families who make up this trend of Malay families shifting to JB include those who are unable to service their HDB loans. Apparently some of these families are having problems paying their HDB mortgages and out of desperation not to loose their HDB flats they rather rent it out and shift to JB.

The last group of Malay families that I came across are those who faced life shocks such as retrenchment, illness etc and they were unable to ride through the financial turblence that came along. Hence they shifted to JB to keep afloat.


I am inviting, not challenging, all 12 Malay MPs who repeatedly claim they are leaders of Singapore Malays along with their associated Malay agencies to do an assessment of the situation and resolve it by facilitating the Malay families to return to Singapore.

These families are almost like economic refugees seeking refuge from astronomical costs in their homeland. LKY not too long ago asked if Malays will share their last grains of rice with non-Malays in Singapore. I am sure these Malay families may not be able to do that since they are not even located in Singapore and secondly they unlikely to have any last grains during such catastrophic moments. My question is if LKY will share his current godowns of rice supply with these Malay families in current normal circumstances?

Malays in Singapore are repeatedly questioned on their allegiance and fidelity to the nation. Stop asking what they will do for the nation. Lets ask what the nation did for these Malay families in desperate circumstances.

The PAP Malay MPs constantly claim the Malay community have progressed under their leadership. Well at no time in history before 1959 was there ever a moment during which significantly number of Singapore Malay families had to seek economic refuge in Johor.

No where in first world do you see the poor in one country running to the next to commute to work to save costs. US costs are much higher than in Canada and Mexico, yet the poor communities along US borders dont commute from Canada or Mexico to save costs.

This essentially is not really a Malay community problem. If not for the language issues, I am sure many other Indian and Chinese families who are stuck in similar circumstances will also be commuting from JB. This problem is essentially the failure of:

1) fiancial security mechanisms in Singapore
2) elected MPs
3) community agencies such as MUIS, WAREES, MENDAKI etc that sit on large amounts of community endowments but yet not expend for those stuck in rainy days
4) government agencies whose role is to help such families



Anonymous said...

And Malaysian despatch riders in KL earn more than RM1000.00 per month and can afford a low cost flat in KL?

Anonymous said...

Apasal hal sibuk ngan rakyat negara lain?
Yang kat KL tu, melambak rakyat sendiri hadapi masalah lebih teruk.
Suka-suka main tulis saja tampa otak fikir dulu.
Otak apa tu?

Anonymous said...

mee nospitenglis wat u talk cock about

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting article but I must add this is one of the several dimension in the dispora of the Singaporeans. For years we have heard of Malaysians migrating to Singapore but I believe the government will not acknowledge this but the flow has been reversed now. It might not be the working population or those who are economic refugees as stated in the article but those who are not able to retire in Singapore. Many, including Chinese have taken their CPF money and settled in places like Ipoh and Penang. I myself will leave this country upon retirement but hopr fully they will not hold back my CPF till I die

Anonymous said...

Malay use to be able tp buil house at Kampung eunos and kaki bukit . All land was confiscated . Now malay loose thefree school fees privilege. We are native Singapura . Non is fighing this right.