Singaporean who has exact same qualification as Malaysian earns just S$1400 compared to FT’s S$4000


Despite having the exact same qualifications awarded by a UK university as his Malaysian classmate, Singaporean Arasu Seran only earns S$1400 each month while his Malaysian classmate brings S$4000 home monthly, working in Singapore.

Arasu’s situation was shared online by blogger Gintai who claims to be or have been Arasu’s colleague. According to Gintai, Arasu presently works as a Train Officer with SMRT and has been with the transport operator for the past 5 years.

Arasu received a diploma and higher diploma in computer science in 2000 and 2002 respectively, awarded by UK’s Staffordshire University, after he spent more than $20,000 for the tertiary courses conducted locally by TMC Academy. Arasu successfully completed both programmes alongside his Malaysian classmate, Param.

Param, who was working as a factory operator in a manufacturing firm here, quickly received a promotion to an IT job in the same firm after he received his qualifications.

After a few years, Param subsequently moved to another company taking a job in IT as well. He has, to this day, remained in the IT sector and earns about S$4000 per month. According to Gintai, Param “lives in JB but commutes daily on weekdays to work here.”

Despite being nearly the same age as Param, having the same exact qualifications and working in the same country, Singaporean Arasu has not been nearly as successful as the foreign national.

Following his graduation, Arasu was surprised to find that the qualifications he had acquired at the local TMC Academy were not recognised by his former employer SATs.

To this day, Arasu has not managed to break into the IT sector as his higher diploma in computer science was still not recognised by his past or current employers.

Gintai also revealed that Param is fortunate to only work a 5-day work week while Arasu struggles with shift work. He concluded:


“When Train Officer (TO) Arasu saw me few days ago, he told me that his friend Param just called him. Again, his friend Param who is a Malaysian teased TO Arasu that as a ‘Singaporean’, working as a Train Officer is earning so much less than him. He is enjoying every weekend with his family in JB whereas TO Arasu is working on shift with rotating off days like a “Baduah!”
“As a Singaporean, his life is no better than a Malaysian even though they possess the same qualifications. It must be his bad karma or rather the Malaysian IT manager that opened up a valuable career path for his friend Param? Life is really full of little ironies as far as Train Officer Arasu is concerned. It appears that it’s better to be a Malaysian like his friend Param than a Singaporean. Really langgar!”

Read Gintai’s full post here.


  1. This is a sick job if it was true. Paying a local entry wage is like telling him or her to fuck off. However, it appears FTs are good. They are paid more…How Cum…????

  2. Is no secret. My malaysia friend from.muar pontian and jb all earning higher than their true blue counterpart. One new commercial from kulai working in a firm in kallang pudding is earning 3.6k starting pay.

  3. Er….what exactly is this article trying to insinuate. One is a train operator while the other is in IT. Trying to stir the pot so that we will hate Malaysia?

  4. Pap treats the citizens as cheap labour to enrich pap. And most voted pap for a bright future. How naive. I am sure the results of the next election will clearly show that they are idiots again. They deserve what they asked for.

  5. $4000 must be including overtime. A lot of overtime. Plus with only one day off or no offday per week. That Arasu worked in shift but is he doing overtime? I knew a lot (not everyone) of Singaporeans hesitated doing ot. Then when FT earn more than them, they’ll make noise.

    • I believe the issue is not CPF but rather scope of work… Diploma in IT but become train operator? Not really puting your paper qualifications to use…whereas the Malaysian is doing IT related work…hence the pay difference

    • Chin Ying Loong yes and no. It’s a forced savings account for specific uses only. Great for those without money discipline.

      For those without? No, coz it sure doesn’t feel like their money

      But you do get more. And you do feel it’s benefits when you get a house for example

      But can’t use it to go holiday lah.

      Pros and cons.

  6. Not uncommon at all. Malaysians enjoy better privileges than other nationalities, unions and locals have been telling lanjiao gov about it but nothing has been done.

  7. I think for this case the Malaysian guy got lucky that his company was willing to transfer him from his factory shop floor to the IT dept. It is unfortunate that Arasu is working in a farked up organisation that will not do anything for him.

  8. What a nice friend to have! Someone to depend on to remind yourself of the shit hole you are in day in and day out. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

  9. To Arasu Seran , if your Friend make fun of you just let it be . Just concentrate on your job and hope This article will open a lot of eyes and soon FTs will have to say bye bye . I have know you since young and you are a honest and hard working man. I still don’t get it why the Govt don’t recognise the dip/degree you have . Then why are they opening up a lot of PTE schools and giving out diplomas which is not recognised by the Govt . Anyway your time will come . Don’t worry about what ppl say about you or your salary . At the end of the day honesty and your hard work counts . For your Malaysian Friend . And ask him to FO ! He is just lucky and don’t know when his luck will run out . . This is also a wake up call for the GOVERNMENT ! Who don’t know how to protect the locals but give opportunity to FTs first then the locals . There is really something wrong with over government .

  10. So what exactly is our Govt is doing to we local born and served our country doing our national service? What kind of prtection do we get from our Govt. This is all bullshit

  11. Life is unfair – there are many other factors in play. Getting a job or going for a desired job depends on opportunities or your own qualifications plus persona. At the end, it is ‘fate’ – you can pray to Christian God or Allah, it does not help. Within 5 years of working in the job n industry, you will find extremely difficult to transit to another job unless it is within the same company or someone is willing to take a chance with your lack of experience; even that your pay will be lower or same. 95% cannot transit out, no matter what HR consultants or govt promote. Choice of career, post entry must be done in the first early years…

  12. This particular situation has no relevance on both individuals having the same qualification . It’s not as if they were both holding the same position in the same company . In the current market and industry norms , the workers in the IT sector are likely to draw a higher salary compared to people in similar age or experience in other industries / sector .

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