Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Malaysians now have higher spending power than Singaporeans: Updated UBS study

While Singapore may boast a record 14.7 percent economic growth last year, the domestic purchasing power of ordinary Singaporeans has decreased, that it now lags behind the Malaysians, according to an updated version of the authoritative UBS study – “Prices and Earnings”. (download updated study here)

In the UBS study, domestic purchasing power is measured by dividing the average annual salary by the total price of a selected basket of goods and services, the higher the figure, the higher one’s purchasing power is.

In the 2009 UBS study, Singaporeans have a low purchasing power of only 39.9 which is only slightly more than Malaysians living in Kuala Lumpur (39.5).

However in the updated study published in August 2010, the order is reversed:

The domestic purchasing power of Singaporeans drop to 38.8, falling behind that of Malaysians (39.3).

Domestic purchasing power is now widely accepted by many economists as a more reliable and accurate economic indicator of prosperity on the ground than GDP which only measures the overall economic output of a nation and disregards the living conditions of its citizens.

The new result is not surprising as rampant inflation has eroded the spending power of Singaporeans while their wages have remained stagnant, caused partly by the relentless influx of cheap foreign workers.

If Malaysians working in Kuala Lumpur have a higher domestic purchasing power than Singaporeans, then Malaysians working in Singapore will surely have much higher disposable income when converted back to Ringgit back home which explains the reluctance of many Malaysian PRs to take up Singapore citizenships, thereby enabling them to enjoy the ‘best of both worlds.’

The shocking findings are not reported by the mainstream media nor the PAP leaders who continue to harp on GDP growth as the sole indicator of their performance to justify their multi-million dollar salaries.

Singapore leaders and diplomats better think twice before taking a jibe at our neighbors for being in a ‘mess’ because of ‘incompetent’ leaders because the Malaysians actually have more spending power than Singaporeans who are supposedly led by the ‘best’ government in the entire universe.Temasek Review


Here is the politically motivated article from Malaysian Insider fits for the rubbish bins.They avoided mentioning that Singapore is worse than KL.

You can go to UBS research
here.

Next: Why we should support 1Malaysia free email.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, now we feel good! though my meager pension could barely sustain my family for a month. Thanks to my children, their contributions allow me to scrape through. Hopefully they don't suffer because of me while living in expensive KL where road tolls and parking alone is a daily expense they have to consider when going to work. Now they must be thankful they are staying in KL instead of Singapore.
Pak Tua.

Hantu Laut said...

Pak Tua,
Sorry to hear that.That's the hazard of living in a big city.

Purple Haze said...

I was told that a plate of mixed rice in Singapore is cheaper than a similar plate in KL (Dollar-for-Ringgit before exchange rate).

I have no enpirical data, of course, just people's opinion.

If that is the case, then I think the UBS survey is flawed. But nonetheless, it is interesting to note that Singapore and Malaysia are still quite close in Purchasing Power.

Hantu Laut said...

Purple Haze,

Sure, anything good for Malaysia is flawed.I agree, Malaysia is a fucked up place.Only Anwar and Pakatan can save this country.Najib paid UBS to juggle the report.

I don't think the report is for countries, it is for cities.

The average Malaysian may have less money in their pocket but they could be happier than the average Singaporean.

I have lived in Singapore for 10 year, it is one of the very few functional cities and absolutely clean, but it is also a very expensive place to live in and life can be an agony if you don't have the money.

Hantu Laut said...

Purple Haze,

Sure, anything good for Malaysia is flawed.I agree, Malaysia is a fucked up place.Only Anwar and Pakatan can save this country.Najib paid UBS to juggle the report.

I don't think the report is for countries, it is for cities.

The average Malaysian may have less money in their pocket but they could be happier than the average Singaporean.

I have lived in Singapore for 10 year, it is one of the very few functional cities and absolutely clean, but it is also a very expensive place to live in and life can be an agony if you don't have the money.

Anonymous said...

Purple Haze,
The UBS survey is flawed just bcoz of "a plate of mixed rice in Singapore is cheaper than a similar plate in KL"..?

How astonished...!! Hehe..

Anonymous said...

Spore as you know is holding their elections soon. I understand that inflation and the high cost of living is going to be the top issue in the campaign.

Freddie Kevin said...

Dear HL,

@Pak Tua

Do try the public transport system.
I spend rm40/month commuting (KTM Komuter) to work.

But I must admit the public transport system needs improvement.

Thank you
Freddie

SM said...

Bro HL,

From your comments to Purple Haze I see that yo are a very angry man...chill out lah...no point getting worked up like that!
If I were a Singaporean (like the Burneians I know who shop in Miri), with lower buying power than Malaysians, I will just shop in JB lah...!

Hantu Laut said...

SM,

That's not being angry, that is sarcasm because I find it very amusing that someone can say the report is flawed just because he supports the opposition.

Yes, UBS study is flawed, if you go to the opposition's school.

Those hungry wolves are just waiting to do exactly what we are trying to get rid off.They are already doing it in Selangor.

Anonymous said...

Are you smater than a 5th Grader (Standard 5):
Category - Common Sense
Question: Congratulation, you've won yourself a trip to either KL, Malaysia or Singapore City, Singapore. You will be given Intl.$1,000 to spend for the trip. Which country would you go?

To assist you to decide, below are some observations on prices of everyday items between the two country.

Items Sing. Malaysia
Burger (MacD) cheaper
Hotel cheaper
Hawker food cheaper
Shopping Mall
food cheaper
7 Eleven cheaper
Groceries
(supermarket) cheaper
Bottled water cheaper
Tony Roma cheaper
Starbuck cheaper

etc, etc, etc.....

Note:
1. Observation done on a dollar for dollar basis, without currency conversion.
2. Per capital income data (International dollars per annum):

Ranking
Singapore Intl.$56,522 #3
Malaysia Inti.S14,670 #57

If you get it wrong, you must shout out loud "I am a Malaysian and I'm no smarter than a 5th grader"

Cheers

Purple Haze said...

HL

You are right. The survey was between 73 cities. I must have been confused by your title - "Malaysians now have higher spending power than Singaporeans: Updated UBS study".

I also agree with you that Malaysians are probably happier as life in S'pore is stressful, despite (or maybe because of) its "developed" status.

My comment was based on opinions that I have come across in recent times regarding the food choices of the man-in-the-street. A plate of mixed rice averages about RM 4.50 in KL whereas it can be gotten at SIN$3.50 in S'pore. Given the higher per capita income of S'pore, the mixed rice in S'pore appears to give Singaporeans a higher (rather than lower) Purchasing Power.

Thus I was perhaps questioning the validity of the UBS survey as the report that was available did not clarify what items were compared across the 73 cities in the survey.

I reckon there is no mixed rice in Tokyo or New York for comparison.

In any case, anonymous 3.41pm above has also listed some items which, in his opinion, are cheaper in S'pore than KL. He/she didn't put any price comparisons, so its hard to validate that.

As far as my "Opposition" leaning, it is not quite true. As a taxpayer, it is very irritating to see the people's money being wasted and the govt of the day making silly proclamations such as the 1Malaysia email fiasco.

The Opposition characters are not necessary better than the current BN lot but Malaysia has been going downhill over the past 30 years that something has to be done to change the leadership and/or policies. If it wasn't for oil revenue, Malaysia might be even lower down the per capita income scales.

If policies can be changed to set Malaysia on course to compete with this globalised world, then keep the current leadership. Even if only 10% of the allegations against CM Taib Mahmud were true, you can understand why this beloved country is being run by the inmates of the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Sarcasm is never gonna get people to your side except to rile them up. how did you know that purple haze is opposition? the thing about hungry wolves are that they are just that, they are found everywhere. we would just have to deal with them in the way a responsible govt would ie a govt which is capable, accountable and transparent. you blame the hungry wolves on the opposition side but what are your thoughts on the 1 email thing please? pleaselah spare some thoughts on the majority of people living in city which may not have the spending power, UBS report notwithstanding.

JC

Anonymous said...

I have worked both in Singapore and Malaysia. In Malaysia my salary was RM 12,500/ month and in Singapore my basic was SGD 6,000 per month. My conclusion:

It is much easier to save in Singapore. Furthermore the bonus payment is very good, $20k bonus in one year is possible. Some even get higher.

Food price in Singapore is definitely cheaper. Price for mixed rice is about $4.50 singapore, in Malaysia will be over RM 10 (I like to eat a lot).

Don't know about the UBS report so much. But after working 10 yrs in Malaysia, I can only appreciate Singapore for honesty, transparency and professionalism.

Anonymous said...

I have worked both in Singapore and Malaysia. In Malaysia my salary was RM 12,500/ month and in Singapore my basic was SGD 6,000 per month. My conclusion:

It is much easier to save in Singapore. Furthermore the bonus payment is very good, $20k bonus in one year is possible. Some even get higher.

Food price in Singapore is definitely cheaper. Price for mixed rice is about $4.50 singapore, in Malaysia will be over RM 10 (I like to eat a lot).

Don't know about the UBS report so much. But after working 10 yrs in Malaysia, I can only appreciate Singapore for honesty, transparency and professionalism.