The recession is biting; how are you coping?


The recession has reached our shores, with the IMF forecasting that the Malaysian economy will shrink by 3.5 per cent this year.

Is it affecting you? Is your job secure or have you been laid off? How are you coping? Have you stopped eating out?

Me? I have stopped buying processed food (in bottles or cans or cookies) from the hypermarkets.  It’s more expensive, and less nutritious than natural, fresh food.

Share with us how the recession is affecting you (if at all)… and tell us how you are coping. Tell us your stories.

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6 May 2009 8.58am

I think my job is secure but still have to do belt-tightening. When I eat economy rice I try to go for vegetarian only – meat is expensive. I don’t order drinks for lunch – can do that in the office. Try to reduce driving. By the way, an exhaust fan can pull cool night air in – saving on air-conditioning.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
6 May 2009 8.46am

Here’s an article on homelessness and tent cities in USA:

6 May 2009 6.40am

i am working in london for 5 months. IF i am earning british dollar here, the cost of living is really affordable. a can of food can be 57 cents and that would be a meal. I am buying reduced price grocery to survive.

6 May 2009 5.35am

Everything is so expensive but i still unsure how onion also luxury food today. Check this website.


johanssm / khun Pana
johanssm / khun Pana
6 May 2009 12.04am

A miserable 300gm of regular milk powder cost rm7. It now cost rm400 per month (vegetables only)in groceries just to feed a small family of 3. Fish or poultry not included as those are luxury item now . Even for a person like me who consume one meal a day finds it hard to juggle utility bills . Each time there is a rise in fuel and tolls means each time my purchasing power decreases. In 10 years time i be getting my EPF money. I dont think it is all rosy by then after seeing the multiple ways the… Read more »

5 May 2009 10.29pm

I still observe Many people still do shopping In Tesco, shops and outlets Markets full of housewives Marketing and morning tea and breakfast The economy running down Yet the businesses in the market thriving Apparently the effects have not sunken in People here in general still do as much as usual Morning and at night……even in the new town Near to UTAR university and college students Personally I cut down dining in restaurants Now I look for cheap and nutritious food Claypot chicken and two large plates of fresh vegetables for $7.80 I don’t think you can get it anywhere…………… Read more »

5 May 2009 6.39pm

I don’t think anyone who works in the export manufacturing sector could consider their job ‘secure’ right now.
My position’s reasonably OK, at the moment, the company was fortunately in good financial shape before the slow down, so while revenue and profits have shrunk, the chances of survival remain good. Taking an effective pay cut due to regular shut-downs.

Family eating out less, cut down on some ‘luxuries’ which we previously didn’t think twice about spending on.

5 May 2009 5.46pm

Some manufacturing sectors like hard disk manufacturing is already in the recovering state. Those Thai workers retrenched by Seagate and Hitachi are recruited back for production ramp-up.

At least three headhunters are knocking my door in last two weeks for manufacturing job openings in Dubai and China. No headhunters are interested on me in the previous six months.

This is a tell-tale sign that the manufacturing sector is recovering.

Mag M
5 May 2009 5.37pm

It has affected my business but I didn’t sit still and do nothing about it. I turned to the internet last year and worked hard to cushion the effects. Glad to say, I am doing pretty well online. Praise God for his guidance.

I believe everyone should not just sit down and fret about it. Do something and you’ll be surprised that it may be a blessing in disguise.

5 May 2009 4.32pm

Eating out? Frankly, I’m nearly cleaned out of my retirement funds. Would be glad to afford eating in, much less eating out.

5 May 2009 4.08pm

Nowadays, bring food from home for lunch and only buy what is need for weekly consumption. Try to spend less on item not really needed and less healthy.

5 May 2009 4.07pm

Hi Anil; My end month pay is mostly thrown into food and you know Anil, unlike your consumption, fish is a luxury food for me these days. I remember my mum was feeding me fish while I was growing up. The prices of fish have rocketed. How can I feed my children with chicken everyday? Sheesh… There are things to pay car maintenance, house, bills, school and tuition etc. I am thriving here. I don’t go out during the weekends and I can’t even afford to go for domestic holiday. Money is just “ngam-ngam” for me. In order to survive… Read more »

Francis Khaw
Francis Khaw
5 May 2009 2.45pm

Me? I am cutting back, that is for sure. I consider myself upper middle class and I am hit from many angles. I am the so-called in between (in terms of class) and we are the ones that suffer the most. The really rich ones with “old money” are not affected, Penang has quite a number of them. The poor ones are not affected too, as they are not even aware of the recession. WORK I have not being laid off YET…but I have seen many of my friends who are either laid off, had a pay cut, no bonus,… Read more »

5 May 2009 2.00pm

My wife now cooks lunch and dinner together and we eat for 2 meals. Eating out, which used to be quite regular, has now been been cut to once every alternate Sunday. I am in corporate training Anil, and even big MNCs are claiming budget cut in training funds, so have to brace for a long while in the bunker…

5 May 2009 12.48pm

We shd help boost M’sian economy , doing our part by merely buying M’sian made goods. Shd keep the purchasing up & while stop on imported branded goods.

It will be appropriate if we pay less TAX & therefore extra money to spend. Minimise Govt wastage in unneassary huge cronies project. EPF shd pay us higher divendent instaed on investing on unprofitable agencies. Forget the crooked bridge. Govt shd not charged high tax on our fuel.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
5 May 2009 12.46pm

Dear Progressive Friends

Writing from the public health point of view (and based on previous public health research), we can expect the following as people try to cope with recession, unemployment and financial problems:

More alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
More domestic violence
More suicides and attempted suicides
More homelessness and disguised homelessness
Certain groups will be hit harder than others e.g.
the poor, single women with children

Things don’t look too good at the moment, I’m sorry to say.