By Tang Li
Two years ago I decided to do something that would horrify Singaporeans – I decided that the only way to build a decent nest egg was to put what little savings I had into a fixed deposit in Malaysia.
My reason for taking such a step was simple – Malaysian banks are paying three per cent a year on a fixed deposit while their Singaporean counterparts are paying 0.25 per cent a year.
I’ve recently discovered another reason that justifies my decision to park my funds in Malaysia – dealing with a bank that sees me as slightly more than a digit to be processed.
It started at the end of last year when I decided that I would apply for an overdraft facility. So just before Christmas, I set up a current account and filled out the necessary paperwork to apply for an overdraft facility.
Perhaps it was the holiday season but things didn’t go as quickly as I hoped for. So l went to the City Square branch of RHB in Johor Baru on Wednesday 15 January, 2014.
I told the loans officer, a young Indian-Muslim girl called Yasmin Binte Mohammed that I needed access to the loan I had applied for and had been approved. She apologised for the delay in the paper work. I told her that I was in a tight situation and couldn’t afford to leave Johor without money.
She did something that I had never experience before. She offered to advance me some money from her personal account in return for a personal cheque written out to her. I did it and she gave me the cash.
On Thursday, 15 January, 2014, I returned to the RHB branch in City Square Johor to see if the funds had been released. Unfortunately, things had not been completed and Yasmin wasn’t in the office. Her colleagues jumped to fill her role, offering to chase their head office to get things moving. They told me that Yasmin would be back by 4pm.
I decided to hang out in Johor until the late afternoon. Then about 3pm, I went back to the branch, where I was told that they had arranged it so that the loan would be ready before closing time. True enough, I got a call from Yasmin before 4pm to tell me that everything had been sorted out.
After this experience, all I can say is Malaysia Boleh! I wish I could say the same thing about my country one day.