MALAYSIA — A Malaysian netizen’s confession about being torn between staying in Kuala Lumpur or returning to their hometown for a simpler life has gone viral online as his experiences resonate with fellow Malaysians working in the capital city burdened with high rent and cost of living.
The anonymous netizen wrote to a Twitter page “Emosi @ConfessTweetMY”— A Twitter page is open to individuals to share their feeling or pose questions to seek advice—to express worries about his future.
The user revealed that despite his years of hard work, he still can’t afford to buy a house and is still paying for his car loan.
“Hi, admin of Emosi, I have migrated to KL since graduating in 2014 until now. Next year marks 10 years of making a living in KL. I can’t afford to buy a house, my car is still on loan.”
He shared that his salary is neither big nor small, and have to face daily traffic jams. He wondered about the purpose of working in KL for so long.
“I think if I had a salary of RM2K and lived in the village, life would be easier. Should I just go back to the village and work a normal job? I’m in a dilemma, please help.”
Setelah hampir 10 tahun bekerja di KL, hati mula dirundung dilema.
Nak terus kerja di KL atau balik kampung kerja biasa-biasa? Apa pilihan anda? pic.twitter.com/kWv1Fs78er
— Emosi (@ConfessTweetMY) March 21, 2023
The post has since garnered attention from Twitters who shared their opinions and experiences. Some shared their personal experiences of moving to different places for work and the pros and cons of doing so.
Commenting on the post, a Twitter user wrote:
“I lived in KL after graduation from 2013 to 2015. The salary was small. Then, I moved to Johor for a higher salary, and then to Kemaman for an even higher salary. When the MCO(Malaysian movement control order) happened, I lost my job and moved back to KL because I had bought a house near Selangor while working in Johor. The salary is still the same, and opportunities are limited.”
“This was me three years ago. Obviously, my salary was only RM1.6K, and I thought I should earn more since living in the city is expensive with high rental and food costs. Then I decided to leave all of that, utilize my experience, and create my own freelance business. If you feel that working in the city is not worth it, try finding other opportunities. It’s not wrong to do so.”
“Hey, he’s just like me. I really want to go back to my hometown because I’m tired of living in KL, there’s nothing or no one keeping me here. But I have a high commitment with a lot of debts, hahaha. If I work in my hometown, my salary would be low. I pray that things will be made easier for him and that he can live a peaceful life in his hometown. ”
‘Close to family is a priceless luxury’
Others suggested that the user should return to their hometown and work a normal job, even if the salary is lower, as being close to family is a priceless luxury.
A user commented: “You should go back even if the salary is only RM2K per month because being close to family is a blessing that cannot be imagined. Even if it means not progressing as fast and having fewer facilities (at hometown), it is peaceful without the problem of traffic congestion.”
“Just go back and work at hometown. Haha, the important thing is to have a peaceful mind, happy heart, and a full stomach. Then, when you are back in the hometown, don’t bring the city lifestyle to the village. If possible, join the activities at the mosque or participate in communal work.”
Other Twitter users also offered their advice, with some suggesting that the netizen search for remote work online or find a job near Penang, which could offer a higher salary while still allowing him to stay close to his family.
One Twitter user wrote, “Consider looking for companies in Penang that offer executive positions with salaries that can reach RM2,000 or more. While traffic can be congested during peak hours when commuting to and from work, there is an option to travel between the two states using the KTM train.”
“Try looking for remote work for your position. If there are any available, you might be able to earn the same salary with a lower cost of living.”
Kuala Lumpur ranks as the third most overworked city globally
Kuala Lumpur is known for being a fast-paced city with a high cost of living, compared to other cities in Malaysia.
Renting an entire apartment or house in Kuala Lumpur can be expensive, with prices ranging from RM 1,000 to RM 6,000 per month, depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities.
According to Malaysia’s National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the median home price in Malaysia in the third quarter of 2022 was RM330,000 (equivalent to S$98,299)
Last year, the Department of Statistics Malaysia released data showing that the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur had a median monthly salary of RM3,054 (approximately S$915.28) in 2021, or a mean salary of RM4,013.
The adjacent state of Selangor had a median salary of RM2,884 and a mean salary of RM3,543. Meanwhile, Putrajaya had the highest salaries and wages in Malaysia, with a median monthly value of RM3,837 and a mean salary of RM4,504.
According to a cost of living research published by ECA International last year, Kuala Lumpur is ranked as the 32nd most expensive location for expatriates in Asia and 167th globally.
Regarding work pressure, Kuala Lumpur can be stressful for local workers due to long working hours, high expectations, and a competitive job market.
In 2022, a study published by the access technology firm Kisi ranked Kuala Lumpur as the third most overworked city globally, after Dubai and Hong Kong, with Singapore trailing close behind.
Many people in Kuala Lumpur work long hours and have to deal with traffic congestion during their daily commute.