600000 Malaysians in Singapore?


Some 600000 Malaysians may be living and working in Singapore, which has a population of just over 5 million.

According to the World Bank, more than one million Malaysians live abroad, the result of race-based economic policies that created a brain drain. The Bank noted that Singapore has absorbed 57 per cent of Malaysia’s overseas citizens, with almost 90 per cent of those crossing the border ethnic Chinese. See Insider report.

If the Bank is correct, then some 600000 Malaysians could be in Singapore: 386000 are residents born in Malaysia (according to the Singapore 2010 census published by the Singapore Department of Statistics), close to 200000 non-residents living and working in Singapore, and say 100000 commuters.

Obviously, we have lost a huge amount of talent. Does the federal government even care why so many Malaysians have left the country, for obvious reasons? Maybe it might start taking an interest if these Malaysians are granted postal balloting rights.

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Oh dear. As a Malaysian I just want to share something about working in Singapore. As Malaysians, if u want to earn big money in sg, u really have got to prove your worth and ability. U really have to be very smart in sg and really don’t complain. I have seen many Malaysians on sg work permits who are treated as cheap labour. They are chefs, waiters, cleaners and those admin staffs who love to complain how bad life is. Many of our Malaysians working in sg are on work permits because many are not skilled enough and their… Read more »

Super Senior

The Home Ministry has stated that a total of 116,200 persons had given up and surrendered their Malaysian Citizenships between 1980 and August 2011. It is a common knowledge that the reasons for these people who had given up their Malaysian identity are majority for the purpose of migration to oversea country to seek for better children’s education, business opportunity, for retirement, looking for a better living environment and away from the various problems and ill situations in Malaysia. It is believed that many of these people who had migrated and had given up their Malaysian Citizenship are the “Cream… Read more »


Brain drain will never be stopped but be slowed to an acceptable rate once the government of the day practices meritocracy not race based affirmative action, reduces corruption, encouarge liberalisation of the economy by gradually removing cronyism and favortitism in project awards, allowed more openness and freedom of the press; encorage more transparency in EC, PDRM, Petronas, Khazanah etc. and last but not least curb the wanton wastages to having a bloated and unefficient civil service so that it is kept lean and efficient in order to ensure the best people are also in the civil service so that they… Read more »

Jason Ngui

The majority of the Chinese today were born in Malaysia and have no inkling of what life in China is like. To them, China and its cities are tourist destinations or a faraway strange place where some relatives still live. Other than that, Malaysian Chinese look at Malaysia as their country, their homeland. This country is as much theirs as any Malaysian’s. So, why are they losing faith in their own land, why are they feeling so isolated? When there is no option left in a country due to unfair job opportunities, rampant racism, a lack of professionalism in almost… Read more »


The brain drain in Malaysia has been steadily worsening, with the World Bank projecting it to intensify over the next few years. Currently, two out of every ten Malaysians with higher education seeks employment elsewhere, accounting for about 305,000 immigrants in 2009. There are a number of factors that contribute to this mass emigration, including job opportunities, political corruption and lack of religious freedom. Malaysia made big economic strides in the 90s, but growth has been halved in the past decade, slowing from 7.2% to just 4.6%. Experts believe this is largely due to brain drain, and caution that the… Read more »


Brain drain is a major problem for Malaysia. It has resulted in lower FDI, the low FDI will in turn reduce further job opportunity, with reduce job opportunities, more people will look for jobs overseas. To address the brain drain problem, we must look at its root cause. One of them is of course the social injustice issues. The NEP is a major problem for non-Malays. For the Malays, although the public sector employs qualified Malays, however, more often than not, they are given a position not commensurate with the qualifications they possess. This is because we have a government… Read more »


Our problem is essentially that of the majority oppressing the minority in a nominal democracy. Along the way, any amount of government corruption, crime and incompetence is tolerated by the majority, presumably because there is a net benefit accruing to them. People who leave do so because they know that life is finite, and the probability of change happening is low. So far, two entire generations since 1970 have made the right call. Is there any hope that the majority will vote differently this time? I don’t think so. The boat is not sinking fast enough for the majority to… Read more »

Soo Kok Leng

Penang Food also moves to Singapore with its maestros:


I am working in Singapore, for $ and job satisfaction.
I do not miss Penang food but my mother’s home-cooked food!
With AirAsia, I can fly back to Penang easily.
I hope to ‘retire’ from Singapore in 5 years after reaching my savings target to afford a Penang house.

Pretty Obvious

The brain drain got it right. It is just a matter of time before we start exporting maids.

Dr.M will no doubt be looking forward to flagging off the very first contingent of our exports.


Dr.M… will no doubt be looking forward to flagging off the very first contingent of our exports.
OR shipping em out (as we are too poor to fly by then) on the first maiden voyage of Boleh maids from Port Klang or Penang Port.
It looks ominous.

Penang Lang

For Your Information: Malaysia is already a maid-exporting country. Specialized maid, mind you, – Malaysia is exporting the special type of maids who work in the hospital, yes, those who change diapers for elderly patients and patients who have lost control of their bowels, those who change bed sheets for patients, etc. My friend’s sister in law is one example. After got trained in the Lam Hua Ee in Penang she is now working in Saudi Arabia. She is in the middle of a 3 year contract and already (within the first year) she has been raped 5 times, and… Read more »


What deceitful hypocrites living in the name of holy.
Wait till Judgement Day for even the plentiful oil money will not grease the angel of death.

BTW,what is our Embassy supposed to be doing? Is it the same inaction as in the case of the raping of Penan girls?
What a way to shamble behaviour under the tyrannical Sheiks.


BTW, even men of the fair skin type or ‘shem’ are not spared the animalistic violation of one’s clean body by these sex maniacs of the sex-dry deserts.


Those Jakim-certified and Perkasa-endorsed maids (i.e. no yoga or poco-poco),will be in great demand in middle-east soon.


That M is not just looking forward at exporting Malaysian maid oversea, he had already got his plan in motion since the first day he is in prime minister office, and is proud of his achievement that Malaysia is able to do so under his watch.


gerakan k,

so you think its ok too send msians out as maids and koolies just like indonesia and phillipines?
you now know why you have the most thumbs down?

Gerakan K

How many filipinos working abroad ??? How many Indonesians working abroad ???

Penang Lang

The Philippines was once twice as wealthy as Korea.

That was in the 1960’s.

Malaysia was once three times as wealthy as Taiwan.

That too was in the 1960’s.

Look at what is happening right now.

If you still want to live in your dreamland, please live it there. You granddaughters might end up working as maids for Indonesians very soon.


forget him penang lang, gerakan k is a … tukang loyar buruk by UMNO/BN. everybody knows filipinos/indonesians r largely employed in (menial/hard labour) jobs away from their country. gerakan k is just using the stats to loyar buruk. but i must admit, i am amused though sometimes by his loyar buruk..hehehe

Wei Siong

They (Filipinos and Indons) are most likely working as maids and construction workers respectively. However, most Malaysian Chinese are working in Singpore as professionals.


Ethnic Chinese Malaysian who is professional and has tertiary education face many restrains in finding qualified employment related to their skill and talent, and also fair treatment in workplace due to silly quota and policy base on race and religion. Private sector can only absolve limited number of these skilled professional, so Singapore is obviously the closer country they can work capitalizing on their skill and talent.


The reason that close to one million of ethnic Chinese Malaysian flock to Singapore is quite obvious, to find work and less hostile living environment created by their own government that feed on racial hatred and ignorence.


Believe me, many Malaysian Chinese went over to Singapore only for the salary. Singapore is not such a fantastic place to live as most readers here would tend to think. I can testify as someone who has resided in Spore over ten years and chose to come back to Penang only recently. To squeeze 5 million ppl in that tiny island is no joke (cum 12 million tourists who passed thro it annually). However, many Malaysians chose to turn into Sporeans recently due to a tilt in their PR policy. PR perks are taken away gradually due to backlash of… Read more »

Wei Siong

Yes, many will return after saving up their earnings in SingDollar to buy up those properties in Malaysia to retire comfortably with rental earnings. So do not envy them as they do not blindly believe in BN promises.

However, there will be some who choose not save money but spent all for instant gratification on affluent living that is aplenty in the commercialised society in Singapore.


You’re right. Singapore is not such a fantastic place to live.
It is highly congested and things are expensive there. Those working in Singapore are likely to rent a small room. I have known many married persons have to leave their spouses/children behind in Malaysia to earn a living there – a big sacrifice.

However, you can choose to live a simple and frugal life there. Make as much money while gaining the necessary experience to return home rich and marketable after 10 years.

Jason Ngui

It is OK to put up with those ‘short-term inconvenience’ while working in Singapore for the strong dollar, as you can later return to Malaysia with you hugh savings from the salary earned that is more than doubled in ringgit to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Penang Lang

Without a doubt, Singapore is very dependent on Chinese Malaysian talent. If one cares to closely examine the total population Singapore has. Singapore has only 3,600,000 Singaporeans even though the country has almost 5,000,000 people. In other words the rest of the 1,400,000 residents are either foreigners or permanent residents. So according to theses figures Malaysia has got more than twice the number of Chinese in Malaysia. One does need to be a top mathematician to know why Singapore is attracting so many Chinese Malaysian to live, work and study there. Especially when these Chinese Malaysians do not get discriminated… Read more »

Penang Lang

Actually, UMNO doesn’t need any “Talent Corp” to attract talents.

They have plenty in their rank and file –

For example, like those from Perkasa.

Another find example, the three goons that make up “Datuk T”.

Talent, locally born and bred some more.


If your talented son or daughter get a Singapore scholarship which means: – a promised job – a job paying 2.4 exchange rate and at higher international salary scale – a job that promise promotion based on merits and creativity – a career rewarding the risk takers as compared to the Kiasu Singaporeans – available opportunities/asistance for furthering education during one’s career life – global career or business opportunities in a global city-state – a higher saving rate of CPF, meaning a comfortable retirement future – a better standard of living with higher purchasing power to enjoy duty free goods,… Read more »

Wei Siong

tunglang is spot on.
TalentCorp should learn from these points.
He should also mention that you will not miss your Malaysian or Penang Street Food as many of the ori maestro has also migrated to Singapore and the fabulous food is available there as well !!!


For those who are in their early 50’s like me, too bad to emigrate to Singland of Fulfilling Dreams. Ageism in their recruitment drive works against us even if we have muti-talents to proof, or is it their Kiasu syndrome of Kiasu Sings at play.
So if you are in your 20’s or 30’s facing a state of doom in Boleh Land, don’t hesitate a moment if you get the chance. I would be glad to take your place or switch body with you!


Good Penang food are easily available in Singapore – no need for tunglang to hide from anyone.

You should stay in Penang to impart your knowledge to the government. Early 50s is still young, just need to abstain from too much cholesterol-filled nasi kandar!

If only you have worked in Singland and earned the Singdollar, now you can swallow up Penang properties with your CPF!


The hawker food of Penang ori maestros being available in Singland, I would not highlight as I am a bit selfish and zealously Kiasu for my Tham Chiak Kui spirit. That may reverse the day (if) I am offered an opportunity in Singland to recreate Penang’s Art & Culture and Food Heritage over there.

A hungry-for-progress spirit in a land of gloom and doom of Tak Boleh can also unhesitantly transmigrate to greener Singri-La Land.


Can really sense your sour grapes!


If you are working near Jurong, Singapore, here is a place to get good authentic Penang Food:


Current Location:
6 International Business Park
(off Boon Lay Way)
#01-05 Atrium
Singapore 609918

New Location (from 7 May, 2011)
No. 1 Fusionopolis Way
(off North Buona Vista Rd)

The owner is Paul Ooi KH (formerly Canteen Manager of HP Singapore) who was born an hour’s drive away from Penang Island and grew up in a Nonya family. The chefs are from Penang and they each have worked with me for years.


It’s not Singapore that depend on the ethnic Chinese Malaysians talent and skill to thrive, but ethnic Chinese Malaysians need Singapore’s merit base system to utilize their skills and talents to become excel in their respective field of expertise and chosen profession. In Malaysia, there are many man made factors that purposely place to impede such an advancement due to race and religion differences.

Shark Fin

“Without a doubt, Singapore is very dependent on Chinese Malaysian talent”- you got it spot on there. There’s always two sides to the coin – … the Singaporeans (may) discriminate against Malaysians who are non-Chinese. Imagine five similarly qualified Malaysians applying for the same job in Singapore; a Chinese, an Indian, a Malay, an Iban and a Kadazan-Dusun. Who do think would most likely get the job? Hmmm, come to think of it maybe if you add to that list some non-Chinese Singaporeans, the Chinese Malaysian (might) still get the job.

chaik leow bee

Talented Malaysian Chinese? Look hard at the mirror every morning. If you Malaysians are so talented you would not be in S’pore in the first place. Like your Malaysian PM said don’t want apply for government jobs which are plentiful but complain non stop about discrimination. Excuses, excuses, excuses….No talent say no talent don’t play the blaming game. Now become S’pore citizens complained too many mainland Chinese allow to migrate to S’pore. Wa! you can come back mainland Chinese cannot. Mainland Chinese attitude is 100% better. Some of the ministers in S’pore are former Malaysians, no wonder my country is… Read more »

Kiki Lala

Just compare Temasek & Khazanah and we will know why we are losing out ……

Iskandar will be the playground for Sporeans soon.

soiled leg

MCA Johor may set up a branch office in Singapore soon to pull in diminishing support ??????


no wonder tunglang is going to miss many food maestros who opt for singa land for obvious reasons !

don’t be surprised the Keng Swee Chendol will soon quit to operate in Spore. I was told his many next generations are now in Spore !


For now, I will make it a point that every bowl/plate of Hokkien Mee, Char Koay Teow or Pasembor of my favorite ori maestros must be slowly relished bite by bite with great appetite and appreciation and be finished without a trace on the bowl/plate (that is ‘Bio Zip’ clean up by tongue).
At the very least, the ori maestros will know that Penang Tham Chiak Kuis like me truly appreciate their culinary delights serve in ceramic bowls unlike the slippery cleanliness obsessed food court plastics (food) in unhealthy plastic bowls/plates.


Want to stay in Malaysia Boleh Land…..???? hehehehe

semuanya OK kot

We may have lost 2 to 3 million professional and skilled people (Let the gomen prove that wrong). To offset this, we have brought in 5 o 6 million Indons, Pinoys and Banglas.

The dog-in-the manger attitude of the tuans is that if you cannot submit to slavery, you can leave.


Quantity can bring votes to you.
Quality can challenge your position.

So we know why Projet M is created.


LGE related his experience on his trip to Singapore in 2009:

“In some public hospitals, 40 per cent of the doctors are Malaysians, including some top specialists. Can you imagine what will happen if they were to return and work in Malaysia? Singapore will collapse almost immediately!”



To begin with the people who immigrated knew from day one they have to pay a lot more taxes than in these countries before the tax rates as the added incentives were revised. Still millions of them immigrated and millions more are trying to and millions more will given half a chance ? So really it is not just for money as the only reason these professionals left these shores.Especially as a third world country Malaysia is not known to be high income country and when the P.M. himself is drawing the pay of a constable. I must qualify this… Read more »


wonder why the S’pore malays don’t migrate to malay-land with all the handouts waiting for them.

I guess they don’t want to end up like … Rocky bru….lol…


One fine day, I was traveling in Bedok, Singapore in the early 80’s. Trying to get direction to Orchard Road, I ask a Malay guy in English while in a bus.
He greeted me in fluent Mandarin.
I was flabbergasted! In halting Mandarin I responded with blushes in my face ( I was English educated, so Mandarin was not a fluent language to me).
And he knew my anxiety with a smile on his face!

Penang Lang

So … is your Mandarin the “halting” kind?

Back in the ’80s when your Mandarin was halting, nobody can blame you. You didn’t choose your parents, and your parents were the one who sent you to the English school to become yet another Ang Moh Sai.

But, if after that Singapore experience, that you, as a Chinese, still refuse to learn Mandarin, oh well …


Now I can proudly say I speak fluent Pu Tong Hua. When I was in Shenzhen, China I could converse with them local Chinese and I was ‘AAAOK’ by them.
So that means I passed the social speaking test in China! For my namesake, who says tunglang cannot speak Chinese/Mandarin/Pu Tong Hua?

FYI, the China Chinese I interacted with came from Yunnan, Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Imagine trying to tune in to their different dialectal slangs especially the one from Yunnan who spoke like singing a song!


During those 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, the British made their Malaya Ang Moh Sai smelt good and desirable before Bruce Lee came on the world stage. Tunglang was one of their legacies left (after they left) high and dry in this Boleh Land of divide and rule by skin color. So now, I have my life survival policy of ‘Look East Dragon’ – one of which is sent my children to Chinese medium schools to prepare them for the Asian Rising Millennium led by China Incorporated, the Land of the Rising Dragon. If you doubt it, ask John Naisbitt, author… Read more »


Some of the (ex) Singapore artists now plying their trade in Malaysia:
1) M Nasir
2) Ferhad
3) Ramli Sarip
4) Aaron Aziz
5) Anita Sarawak

john tan

because they are true to their motherland…not like freaking idiot like you who migrate bcoz of money…


I was told that every Chinese New Year, the dept of medicine will be eerily empty as the drs make their way back ‘home’ to Malaysia to celebrate Chinese New Year. One day, close to CNY, a senior lady dr was asked when she’s leaving for ‘home’, she got quiet annoyed as she is one of the very few true Singaporean who works in the medical dept! Yes, her boss, the head, is Malaysian by birth, yet he was promoted to head the dept. Singapore promotes by merit, not birthright, so if you’re good, you have a chance. NOw, why… Read more »


All I can say is, If you are not happy, leave the country…… Look at the Banglas, Pakistanis (especially in Sabah) , Indons and other foreigners including Europeans (who choose Malaysia as their second home)….. they are all taking the opportunity to survive and make money here in this lovely country, which is a paradise, compared to many Malaysians who are lazy, spoilt, want easy life and just complain about every damn thing except themselves….


What we lost are brains, and same thing cannot be said for those we attracted.

Andrew I

Well, we attract the tuan wannabes as well. You’d be surprised how many of them still think they run the country.

That’s what I asked one who was rude to me…in my own backyard, the cheek.


That is the Law of Attraction of the Reversal Kind at work in Boleh Land. In science lab it is the law of vacuum of whatever can fill in.
Senang saje. Semua kat boleh!