SINGAPORE: In response to the squeeze of inflation and the depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit, a growing number of Malaysians are turning their sights to neighboring Singapore in search of better job opportunities. Recruitment companies in both countries have reported a significant uptick in Malaysian job seekers exploring options across various industries in Singapore.

Nala Employment told CNA that the volume of Malaysians reaching out to apply for jobs has surged by a staggering 50%. Similarly, Cultivar, another recruitment firm, has noted a 30% increase in Malaysian job seekers responding to advertisements over the past three months compared to the previous year.

The allure of Singapore lies not only in its stronger economy but also in the substantially higher wages that Malaysian workers can potentially earn. Cultivar highlighted that many Malaysians view Singapore as a place where they can earn double what they might make in their home country for similar roles.

Industries such as retail, food services, manufacturing, engineering, technology, and healthcare are particularly attractive to Malaysian job seekers eyeing opportunities in Singapore. The convenience of cross-border commuting, coupled with Singapore’s robust economy and superior working conditions, further solidifies its appeal as an overseas work destination.

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Acknowledging the historical ties and cultural similarities between Singapore and Malaysia, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower told CNA that it anticipates a continued influx of Malaysian workers into the Singaporean job market. However, the ministry also stressed Singapore’s commitment to maintaining a balance in its workforce composition, ensuring the protection of local livelihoods through measures such as foreign worker quotas and levies.

Despite the surge in demand from Malaysian job seekers, recruitment companies caution against expectations of a significant increase in Malaysian hires by Singaporean employers. The existing regulatory framework, including restrictions on foreign labor and measures to safeguard local employment, may temper the influx of Malaysian workers into the Singaporean workforce.

As economic uncertainties persist, the trend of Malaysians seeking opportunities across the Causeway is likely to endure, driven by a combination of economic factors, wage differentials, and the allure of Singapore’s vibrant job market.