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Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng - Channel NewsAsia

Lim Guan Eng wants to get Malaysian talents working in S’pore to return home

Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wants to make the country attractive again to get Malaysian talents that are overseas, especially those from Singapore, to return home.

In a recent interview with the Straits Times, Lim said that Singapore has a knack of hiring Malaysians.

"You give employment to some of our best chaps... You look at so many industries, they're all staffed by Malaysians," he told ST.

"If we don't value our own talent, do you blame other countries for helping them? What I need to do is to make Malaysia more attractive again... a place of hope... and I'm sure that Malaysians will come back," he added.

Indeed, there are many Malaysians currently working in Singapore. The Malaysian Insider previously reported that more than 400,000 Malaysians were already working in Singapore in 2012. By now, this figure has probably exceeded.

S$1 equals RM3

Malaysians prefer to work in Singapore due to the much higher wages they could get here.

Front office supervisor Doris Pua, 32, said she used to earn about RM2,800 (S$930) monthly in Johor Baru but decided to work in Singapore when she was offered S$2,000 (RM6,000) for the same position.

"Although I travel to and fro daily (between JB and Singapore), the pay makes the hassle worth it. I would not mind returning if I can land a good job with pay of not less than RM5,000 monthly," she said.

Administrative assistant S. Sahana, 26, said she was able to take home twice what she used to earn in Johor Baru.

"I love Malaysia. I would prefer to work here but it is not easy to get a job that pays enough," she said. "As for efforts to attract Malaysians back, I think that while the Government may mean well, the country will not be able to accommodate such a huge number of us."