Most of us think we’re always broke AF after checking our bank balance, but a certain report says otherwise.
Well, it looks like Malaysians aren’t doing too badly for ourselves as an expert has said that we have a much higher standard of living compared to previous years, based on the results from Economics, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS).
What does this mean?
According to The Star, Trade and Regional Integration director Firdaos Rosli said that the 2016 Household Expenditure Survey showed that more Malaysians are choosing to buy foreign vehicles instead of national cars and choosing to eat out instead of buying groceries.
In addition, the data collected by the Malaysian Automotive Association showed that mid-range foreign car brands, such as Honda, Ford, Mazda and Subaru, have a higher growth rate since 2009 compared to local car brand, Perodua.
It looks like we also have more disposable income to spend seeing as online sales skyrocketed during Singles Day on 11 November. “More recently, goods spent via a popular online trade platform registered sales over RM100 million on Nov 11, Single Day alone. Moreover, Malaysia is the biggest online game market in South East Asia where about RM2.45 billion was spent in the past 10 months,” Firdaos said.
Does this mean we care more about material items instead of basic necessities?
We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves because statistics have revealed that we are reportedly spending more money on mobile phones and cars compared to our food. Firdaos also believes that the weakening Ringgit is not an issue because in the first nine months of 2017, Malaysia imported about RM6.85 billion worth of mobile phones, which is twice the amount of cars of 1.5 to three litre engine totaling to about RM3.47 billion. Whoa, that’s quite a lot!
He added, “In fact, the value of mobile phone imports is higher than our top food imports such as rice, milk and cream, coffee, onions and garlic, coconuts, soybeans, corn, milk and cream powder combined! By the way, the retail prices of these products are usually much higher.”
Firdaos continues to paint a rosy picture of Malaysia’s economy and said that Malaysians are spending more money while travelling overseas despite the weaker Ringgit. “Referring to the latest Bank Negara data, for the first 10 months of 2017, the value of transactions of Malaysian credit cards overseas have increased steadily from RM10.9 billion in 2015, RM12.3 billion in 2016 and RM13.2 billion in 2017.” Maybe weaker currency forces us to use more money?
Apparently, that’s fine because our mean monthly household income has increased!
Very often, you will hear us complaining about the rising cost of living and this is no joke; just compare what you can do with RM50 last time and now! However, Firdaos explained that from 2009, the mean monthly household income has continued to increase overall and the bottom 40 per cent household income group (B40) has the fastest growth.
“In addition to the increase in the share of compensation of employees to GDP from 29.3 per cent in 2008 to 35.3 per cent in 2016, official statistics have also revealed that Malaysia’s average monthly household income has risen by 6.6 per cent per year between 2014 and 2016,” he said.
While it looks like Malaysians are enjoying life, Firdaos said that the government needs to take note of the needy in Malaysia while making sure that the rakyat has the ability to earn. He said that the government should make sure that employees are receiving proper compensation for their work, which can boost the nation’s productivity. Tell your boss! :p
But still, our bank accounts continue to make us cry whenever we look at it!
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