A young Malaysian netizen recently posted a Twitter thread expressing his struggles at work. The thread has gone viral and received many responses from sympathetic netizens who shared the same experiences.
Twitter user Si Injang (@InjangNation) lamented how he can barely make ends meet with what he has been earning as a fresh graduate. He argued that the greatest hurdle for Malaysian millennials in the workforce is the massive gap between their average salary and the rising costs of living.
So 19 tahun lepas nasik goreng harganya RM1.50-RM2 and gaji kebiasaannya rm1500-2000. Sekarang pulak nasik goreng harganya RM5-RM6.50 patutnya gaji RM5000-6500 la kan? Entahlah aku ni bodo matematik, tapi aku rasa harga barang ja dok naik tapi gaji masih ikut takuk lama kan?
— Si Injang (@InjangNation) July 1, 2019
“So, 19 years ago, a plate of fried rice would be about RM1.50 to RM2 while salaries ranged between RM1,500 to RM2,000. Now, a plate of fried rice is roughly around RM5 to RM6.50 so salaries should range from RM5,000 to RM6,500, right? I don’t know if I’m just bad at mathematics but it seems like the cost of living is rising while salary ranges still follow older standards.”
In the following tweets, he expressed concern about how millennials are branded by the media and by older generations as being lazy, financially irresponsible, and lack motivation.
But, he added, the older generations did not have to deal with the “unjust economy” and unbalanced economic situation that millennials now face.
He continued his argument by saying that millennials cannot fully support themselves with their low starting salaries, so they take on several odd jobs and side gigs.
With a salary of RM1,500 (S$491), he argued that it was impossible for him and many others to be able to afford their own house let alone get married and support a family.
“The pricing of goods follow along with the year 2019, but the salaries we’re getting still go along with the year 2000, how can we not go mad. Us youngsters can go as far as to work 2 to 3 jobs but it still won’t be enough to live.”
In their latest annual report, the Bank Negara reported that Malaysian fresh graduates with diplomas earn a starting salary of RM1,376 (S$450). Master’s degree holders earn around RM2,707 to RM2,923 (S$886 to). The report cited the oversupply of graduates coupled with the lack of high skilled job opportunities as reasons for the drop in starting salaries.
According to the Ministry of Education’s recent graduate employment survey, fresh graduates in the country reportedly earn an average of S$3,500 in 2018 which increased from S$3,400 in 2017./TISG