Thursday, 25 October 2007

Living: Malaysia vs Hong Kong

Hong Kong (“HK) has always been a country with high cost of living. Ask any regular Malaysian about HK and you will probably hear the word “expensive” in most of their remarks. Of course, there are Malaysians who will flock to HK during the mega sale as prices then are believed to be cheap. However, they have not factored in the flight and accommodation costs yet, which are usually quite high during that period.

Anyway, I have been to HK twice and I have to admit, prices are quite ridiculous… if you keep converting them to RM. Below are the average prices of some of the things in HK as verified by one of my friend currently working there. When I said average, I mean it’s somewhere in between mediocrity and luxury.

Exchange rate: RM1 = HKD2.1
Indeed, the prices are quite over the top aren’t they? One will wonder how can anyone survive in HK. But is HK that expensive?

I have always been thinking about a way to compare cost of living between countries and I have somewhat come up with a salary-expenses multiplier method. First, let us do a salary comparison between Malaysia and HK. Below is the average (please note the word average) salary scale in the Big 4 accounting firm industry. Again, this is an average between all the 4 firms.
As you can see from the above, the salaries of modern slaves in HK are more than those in Malaysia by an average multiplier of 8.7. By using the multiplier of 8.7, I have factored in the multiplier into the prices of stuff in HK to obtain the multiplier-adjusted-prices (“MAP”) by dividing the prices of HK stuff by 8.7. You may not agree with me but I believe that by factoring the multiplier into the prices, a more reflective comparison between salary-expenses here and HK can be obtained.

Below is the table between the MAPs of HK stuff as compared to Malaysian prices.
Based on the above, you can see that things in HK are not that expensive if you are working there. Of course, some economic expert here may not agree with my methodology but to me, by factoring the salary multiplier into the prices of goods/services, a relatively reflective comparison can be made.

As such, I believe we live in quite an expensive environment unless you are a very fortunate person who happened to own a big business or work for MFC Sdn Bhd. MFC… My Father’s Company. Otherwise, a regular modern slave in Malaysia lives in quite a tough environment staring at imminent tougher challenges. Oh, I have not even mention savings yet, but I think that is a story for another time.

I also invite Malaysians living abroad to do a Zewt MAPs comparison if you think it makes sense.

Note:
This is purely a personal analysis and you may disagree with me. But should you choose to apply this methodology in any of your assignments or presentation, I would appreciate if you could mention that it is taken from AZAIG. It has come to my attention that some contents from AZAIG was used in some college presentation and claimed as original work by the presenter. While I cannot sue you, I do hope you will respect me and AZAIG.

92 comments:

penny said...

I feel your analyst is quite correct ..

bongkersz said...

who said living in malaysia is cheap? or things in malaysia is cheap? i will think that salary-expenses comparison is a quite accurate way of measuring standard of living. affordability. (got this word or not eh?)

yup, we are living in quite an expensive environment, but without fail, our politicians always succeed in convincing us that we are not :) and yeah, most of us have the habit to convert things to ringgit and then happily decided 'Wah. So expensive.. Lucky we stay in Malaysia.' Thanks samyvellu.. thanks shafie apdal.. thanks pak lah, thanks najib. i believe in you..

angel said...

Wah... yr work has been plagarised! Shame on them!

So... even HK grass is greener, huh?

kyh said...

i spotted a mistake in ur first sentence! HK is not a country... :P:P

well, land rentals are ridiculously high there due to scarcity of land while automobiles are so ridiculously cheap. Blame the latter on our ridiculous taxes on imported cars and the AP.

And I do agree on ur methodology. You gotta earn their money in order to fully enjoy their lives there.

littlepolaris said...

No wonder HK ladies buy LV handbags like buying "ham choy" (salted vege). Compare to malaysia... LV, Channel, Prada, Gucci... you never see any human being in those kind of shop before but in HK, they actually dun sleep dun eat to queue up outside those shop to buy a handbag.

Everything increased in price but salary never increase. I think one day we can only afford to buy "ham yu" and salted egg for dinner only.

Bee Ean said...

I agreed with your method.

For me, when comparing the prices in Malaysia and in France, I use the percentage. Say a lunch cost RM4 and the entry salary for a fresh graduate is RM2k, then a meal cost 0.2% of the salary. In France, lunch can cost 10 euros, and the entry salary is 1800 euros, then a meal cost 0.56%. Since a French has to pay higher taxes than a Malaysian eventually a meal cost a lot higher than in Malaysia.

When you complain that life is expensive in Malaysia, think about that you can still pay RM4 for your economy rice compared to 5 euros for a sandwich in France. When you are tired of the economy rice, you can try curry mee, chay kueh teow, pohpiah and many other choices of food, while the French has to continue eating his sandwich or go home and cook for himself or pay high price to eat outside. A Malaysian can effort to eat out everyday, for a French that could cost a fortune.

Bee Ean said...

Just want to give an example. When I was a student, I paid RM2.30 for lunch everyday in a restaurant. My classmate in France now is having a budget of 20 euros per week for her meals = every day sandwich (ham + tomatoes + cucumber). We went to a restaurant a night for a class outing, and it cost her the budget of her whole week, 20 euros.

Winn said...

i heard the tax rate there very very much lower compared to msia!

Seok Thong said...

I don't know why, i feel it's quite cheap living in Germany even though many people are saying it's an expensive place to live. Maybe i'm not the one who's earning the money lah..HAHA!

But i really like to buy things here because everything seem to be quite cheap. Like compare if i earn RM1800 in Malaysia and 1800€ here, i can buy more things here compare to Malaysia. If i earn 1800€ here, i can have quite a nice life here compare to Malaysia, if i earn RM1800 in Malaysia, it's nothing..

evelyn said...

pada kesimpulanya looks like i got to take out the old trusty bags and start packing!

Anonymous said...

well don't forget your analysis would soon be outdated since we have price control on a lot of basic stuff (including petrol, rice and wheat).

like it or not, our govt make the big mistake or keeping out currency weak for so long. we have successfully transformed the mindset of our people to keep all costs low but forgetting that companies make huge profits at the average employees' expense.

Anonymous said...

one other thing i would like to mention is HK is a globalised economy. They have few protection and they don't even control their interest rates by virtue of their peg to USD. They import lots of stuff hence their inflation is dictated by world prices. So for their economy, they have factored global uncertainties and risks into their pricing.

Chicken Ball said...

Though tax in Ireland are killing, most residence find Ireland a wonderful place to stay or maybe the Euro make loads of stuff really afforable.

I pay E1.04 for a liter of diesel & my bi-weekly cart loads of toiletries and makan stuff cost less than E100. Beer are cheap.. E1.90 for a 500ml Calsberg... overall, E400 is more than enough for a household and that's including beer! LOL!

Of course, if a Malaysian with RM to use here, it would be too dear but if you compare dollar to dollar.. life here are more bearable.

me said...

hahaha. thesis by mr tan kee khim, source: as zewt as it gets. prof: ???!!! what the fu?!??!

actually, even without the multiplier, we are not that far behind in actual currency terms. not talking abt hawker stalls and mamak, but a decent sit down meal does cost as much over here. a proper restaurant, and i'm not even talking abt those nice fancy ones, 2 people eating, with drinks, u can't run far from $50. for our salary level, that's a lot. but the plus points of our country is it has living for lower end like $1 nasi lemak and 80sen roti canai (if that still exists?!) and living for the more fortunate like wahyu beef that goes several hundred bucks for 100gm.

i can go on and on abt hk vs msia, but as always..pros and cons, everywhere u go.

may said...

without a doubt, living in Australia (and by that I mean Sydney) is waaaaayyyyyyyy more expensive that Malaysia. a McValue Meal at Maccas is $4.95 -- that's a good RM14.00 at least. and ciggarettes... let's not even go there, you'd burn a hole immediately! LOL!

having said that, there are some things that are cheaper according to season, like fruits. so it ain't too bad ;-)

salary-wise, you could almost compare it dollar for ringgit.

Huei said...

woah! this is one great article for assignments! don't worry..next time someone tells me that petrol here is damn cheap..i will mention AZAIG and ask them to view this!

heck..karaoke 4 person n 1 chivas is cheaper there! cars r cheaper there (right?)

how come everytime i mention HK to a msian all they tell me is SHOPPING (as in cheap shopping)??? sigh..i just get so envious watching HK movies..their pay are ALWAYS 5 digits and they complain it's not enough..bleghhhhhhh msia sux!!

pablopabla said...

Good job! I've always mentioned to people around me that many Malaysians are unaware of how our standard of living has been declining over the years whilst we have been waxing lyrical over how cheap our stuffs are compared to other country. Your comparison method is more accurate as it reflects the lifestyle which can be afforded (pun intended) by a citizen living and earning their respective salaries in different countries.

I believe that you can get a decent enough brand new car in the UK for less than 30,000 pounds. What can you get over here for RM30,000? And that is based on the earnings of a similarly ranked executive in the market.

If you are working in Singapore and driving a car there, even petrol is cheaper on a dollar-dollar basis.

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

What do u expect! Every is up in boleh land!.......Except our salary!
Have a nice day!

The Pisces Man said...

Woohoo, let's live in HK man.... Hehehe...

I think Malaysians get the perception or feel that HK is far more expensive to live in than in Malaysia is because, they are spending using money that they earn in Malaysia, which is peanuts, haha..

So, your presentations have been used in some other ppl's presentations huh? Impressive... except on the not-acknowledging-you part, that's plain unprofessional and rude of them!

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Who said living in Bolehland is cheap? Its a blardy expensive city in comparison to the kecimiao salary we earn, ok!

lingzie said...

another great entry zewt! your method of calculation makes sense.
I've always thought that our standard of living is declining, what with the increasing inflation, the influx of foreign workers being hired at our local factories and our stagnant salary....really makes me wonder what kind of life we would be living in the near future...

F.O.N @ frostee said...

Your theory does makes sense indeed. Am sure that we have to assume that everything else remain constant and unchange but yes, it does makes sense. Well done dude!

alan zed said...

wah, so cheap la that copycat. :(

rinnah said...

Really bolehland mentality la, that student - whoever he or she is. Tsk!

Looks to me like Malaysia is at the bottom of the salary scale.

keeyit said...

I have been to HK for few times for business trip. Personally I think accomodation, transportation and food in HK is expensive. BUT fashionable clothes, shoes, bags, magazines, comestic are cheap !

jam said...

I am not too much into your MAPs comparison, but I am totally agree with your points. RM is so small that when you spend in most of the countries, you will feel heartbroken. But if you earn pound and live in Britain, for examples, you will be much well off than making RM and live in this country. That's why a lot of us heading south.

Anonymous said...

going there almost every month for almost 5 y7 years, if u were to asked me...

hk is truly asia & more

Elizebeth D.L. said...

I think your comparison is quite make sense.

I love HONG KONG!!!!

Doreen said...

Hong Kong is expensive, but somehow i find the food is still cheaper than NZ.

Jun said...

thanks for posting this up. when we went to hk in july this yr (it was in one of my hk posts that i met u haha wtf!), my bf and i loved it thr, and altho we loved it, i told him that i think hk is expensive. now, he's in the same line as u, and he told me the same thing like wat u wrote here. not as formally put as u did, but reading it here it sorta makes sense now-- even tho i'm used to "MAP" being "mean arterial pressure" (sorta like ur average bld pressure) and not "multiplier adjusted prices" ;p

it's kinda flattering yet annoying at the same time to hav ur intellectual property plagiarised eh? how did u find out abt the college kids?

Freethinker said...

I agree on using this methodology, if inclusive of tax factor ( to reflective better purchasing power ), would be even better...

zewt said...

penny - hi there and welcome. glad you agree with me.

bongkersz - we are cheap... only if you're a mat salleh coming here to spend. today our DPM said... admit that we're great... speechless.

angel - a lot of places are greener.. except for middle east and africa... maybe cos there too much desert... haha.

kyh - glad you agree... ok la. HK is not a country... but special jurisdiction.

littlpolaris - yup... that's cos after you convert... the prices are pretty the same but they can certainly afford it more than us. ham yu is expensive... maybe eat tofu in the future.

Bee Ean - hmmm... would be interesting if you can do a MAPs comparison for stuff in france... have to agree on the variety part. like i said before, the food is always good here.

zewt said...

winn - yup... that is true. very very very much lower.

seok thong - hmmm... do a quick MAPs comparison between here and germany? i am sure many will be interested to know.

evelyn - yup... that would be wise.

anon @ 7.51am - the problem is, can our govt really strenthen our currency?

anon @ 8.01am - there is not much problem in that as long as their salary is well in par with the expenses.

Chicken Ball - hahaha... when it comes to booze... everywhere is cheaper than here. yeah, i think everyone seems to live a comfortable life in most part of europe.

zewt said...

me - apa lu cakap? got la... 80 cents roti canai... roti kosong la. pros and cons are common... we just need to weigh which one is more important to us.

may - i dont think you're applying the MAP concenpt properly there. should not convert... but find the multplier and do the maths.

Huei - yeah, their salary always in 'man'.... all in tens of thousands... so envy of them.

pablopabla - indeed... when you do the multiplier thingy... a lot of things can be put into better perspective. all i can say is... property is still cheap here...still la...

hor ny - salary also up la... but not up fast enough.

The Pisces Man - yeah...when you bring RM to everywhere... it's expensive most of the time except u go to cambodia or vietnam or thailand or certain parts of china. otherwise... expensive... as for those thieves...sigh.

zewt said...

purple mushroom - yup... i am certainly not saying it's cheap.

lingzie - hey, long time no see. yeah... our prices are cheap when you convert to US$ or other currency. but when u consider our salary... it's really shitty.

F.O.N @ frostee - if i factor in other factors... i think malaysia will be worse.

alan zed - yeah...slap them!

rinnah - yeah...boleh bloggers mentality... sigh.

keeyit - well, you're there for business trip. if you earn HK$, everything is affordable once you reach above average.

zewt said...

jam - i think britain is getting very expensive... that's according to my colleagues who are there. maybe i will do another comparison to UK.

anon @ 2.57pm - every month??? wow... what do u do la?

Elizeveth DL - shopping haven right?

Doreen - really? maybe u can do a MAP comparison for NZ?

Jun - is your bf going to join the bandwagon and head to HK to work and earn big bucks? i got friends travelling around the world after working a year in HK. yeah, it's flattering yet annoying. well... someone mailed me to tell me.

freethinker - inclusive of tax factor... malaysia worse.

maegen said...

i agreed too~ sometimes some ppls go for trips would like to X or divide the currency to RM and assumed it is expensive over there but they never think it in other ways ..

likes i can buy a GUCCI over singapore around 1k+ in sing dollar but i need rm3k to get one in m'sia . let's assumed we earned both the same of 3k either in singapore dollar or RM .. then which one cheaper ??

no wonder there is lot LV n GUCCI while you walked around orchird road... *sigh*

stocktube said...

malaysia used to be a nice place to live but because of "inflation", "mismanagement" and "incompetency" (& bad governance of course) everyone ended up with less buying power ...

cheers ...

maegen said...

oh ya~ i been to HK yrs ago .. i ate the most expensive "konlo mee" in my life which cost me RM18 but its worth as the "wantan" sooooo big.. haa~ actually thr is also some "classy" shopping mall restaurant do sell some bloody expensive "konloo mee" in KL which not really worth also lo.. but once there is sales .. something still worth for buy in hong kong... *sales drive ppl crazy*

Maverick SM said...

Zewt,

A agree with your tabulation - the 8x!

Eh, the price of cigarette is RM8.20 lah. The price of BMW/Merz is about RM550,000.

Ehon said...

u haven't taken into account the number of unemployment in both countries.

bongkersz said...

go to hk eat with your malaysia earned peanuts sure expensive lah..

hehe, yeah we are great now.. our DPM is the great. Phear him!!

FriendfromTaiwan said...

as your calculation shows, Malaysia is a very expensive place to live for local earners... all of this due to stingy penny pinching managers who dont want to increase salaries.. fresh graduate on RM2000? Pathetic....

Anonymous said...

when one's economy is artificially supported by cheap labour from your poor neighbours and your corporate citizens treat your citizens like dogs, i doubt you will want to strengthen your currency too much

mar said...

Wah...You came up with your own analysis and formulas and stuff...Guess no matter how un-square accountants CAN be,there will always be that square-ness in them. LOL. But being analytical is good, in some cases an advantage! Cool zewt...hehe.

william wang said...

the last time when we had petrol increased, all m'sian ministers differs that we still have one of the cheapest petrol in placed. even said that in US it's equivalent to rm3/litre, so we are all happy & proud our system in pricing is people's friendly. Yes, with your factoring we do look bad. But...look at HK as u mentioned. They import all raw materials, yet they can sell quite cheap comparatively. How do they do it. Someone it taking a big slice of the difference, is'nt it? right under our nose. The gov? MNC? or we are just not good & productive enough.

Twisted Heels said...

Let's not get into the whole Pound Sterling thing because if I do, most people would start claiming I'm rich based on the pay I get now :)

me said...

harumph! u don't know lah. that day i went to ta pau, roti canai was $1 per piece lah. bloody expensive. and i ta pau indian rice with two dishes; one curry chicken, the other small chili prawns. damn small serving. $8 lah, my friend!! $8 for mamak for one person!!! i'm definitely boycotting that place.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i remember 3 star hotels in hk only 800hk dollars only lar..

bear in mind, the more money u earn has been balanced with the fact they have so much shopping there..tats y hongkies tend to be fashionable..

also..apparently theres no such things as EPF and medical bills r very steep..

Angie Tan said...

I remember about nearly 10yrs ago, my ex-company wanted to set up a branch in HK.

During that time, our sales folks were being paid about RM2k and they "assumed" that they could get about the same price in HKD.

Boy, they were wrong. They put up the ad and nobody turned up. A colleague then told the boss that in HK, you can expect the starting salary to be HKD20k and above.

In the end, they just took our own staff and put them there, paying them the RM salary!! *Sigh*... Those folks really suffered in the beginning.

Aside from the high cost of living, the stress is unbelievable too.

Shopaholicfern said...

wah...u're making me think...
i've not thought of things like this before...

Elizebeth D.L. said...

Zewt, not just shopping heaven, it's cleaner, and much more civilized than where I am now.

F.O.N @ frostee said...

Haha! Yeap... doomed!

Jun said...

good ques. we dunno yet cos i'm in aus and he's in spore now and we dunno whr we mite end up! arggh! ur frens who worked in hk, did they like it thr overall? and wat wud be ur thoughts if u were to choose btwn working in hk, spore and aus? in ur line of work, tht is...

zewt said...

maegen - exactly, when u earn RM... it's very hard to actually afford a lot of things, unless you're within the rich elite. as for konlo mee... hmmm... i tot HK doesnt have any konlo mee?

stocktube - someone told me... if u can ignore the mismanagement and politics and somehow managed to make a lot of money, malaysia can be heaven.

maverick SM - hahaha... well, dont need to make it so bad la.

ehon - i dont trust the unemployment rate here in malaysia though.

bongkersz - we are quite great mah... our first astronaut is gay! haha.

zewt said...

FriendFromTaiwan - better now, i heard some firm willing to pay about 2500... that's cos no one wanna join them anymore.

anon @ 11.11pm - fair enough, since the big boss have enough cash right? volume is more powerful.

mar - so are u saying i am square? which is which now? :P

william wang - good point. capitalism has gone beyond control in malaysia, we just dont realise it. one has to be at the top to feel the difference. those at the bottom will pay the price.

twisted heels - hahahaha... well, dont convert... but get the multiplier... that's the trick.

me - there is no such thing as mamak store anymore... they are more high class than some coffee shop.

zewt said...

constant craver joe - yeah, like someone said here... HK is almost like a free economy. i dont think EPF is an issue. look at us... we have EPF... but is our future guaranteed?

Angie Tan - dont quite get your comment. they were wrong because they wanted HK20k?

Shopaholicfern - hi and welcome to AZAIG. this is what AZAIG is all about ... think...

Elizebeth DL - cleaner... but i think the air in HK is not quite though.

F.O.N @ frostee - sigh...

Jun - my friends who are currently there are all having the time of their life. decent working hours... and very well compensated. as for me, i would be in HK already if not because of my wedding. after which, i will most prob be in aus. in my line of work... everywhere else is better than malaysia. that's the truth.

maegen said...

ok.. maybe not "konloo mee" but is "wantan mee" or call as dumpling soup mee .. gee~~ have a nice weekend~!!

lynnx01 said...

I agree on your method, Zewt. In fact, all along I have been wanting to present something like that to convince people that we need to look at the salary before we see the price. People generally earn more in HK. You see, we always only convert to RM to compare. That's so wrong! Just take example. When the govt presented the oil price of Spore, Bru , Msia and Thailand in the newspaper last time.. I thought it was ridiculous to convert their prices into our RM. Look at their local currency.. and compare the percentage with their salary. Take for eg Brunei (2 hrs from my hometown). A fresh grad in commerce earns B$2k per month. In Msia, probably RM2k. So we should look numerically when comparing. I also don't know how to present that idea, since I'm no econs student but I think you have just written what I wanted to express all along.

SWei said...

I was actually shocked when I see this: Hong Kong (“HK) has always been a country with high cost of living. I thought Malaysian currency is always higher than Hong Kong or something. And well, I agree with you on modern Malaysian slaves living in a tough environment. The living rate is high especially for us KL people. Oh well... I guess now we know why people are desperately moving out of the country not only because of the politic or weather, but also because of the economy. :)

l y n n w e i said...

wow, that is a great analysis that u did there!!

so, it does apply to other places like US, Australia or even UK?

j or ji said...

its not just about the currency.i wont convert to RM if i want to spend my money overseas.

i love Wong Kar Wai better than Yusof Haslam ...i prefer Tony Leung compare to Rosham Nor and afkos i love Sammi Cheng more than Erra Fazira.

I got every reason to live there.
i hate Jackie Chan.

Seaqueen said...

I've never know Malaysia to be a cheap country to live in. Take for example S'pore, the nearest country. Let's say a normal exec earns like SGD3.5K and same as well in Malaysia, RM3.5K. Look at the normal J&J body shampoo here. Normal price would cost around RM18.90 or something like that but in S'pore they can get it at SGD8.
I wonder our bosses are aware of this or at least the organisation knows how expensive it is to live in Malaysia here. No point for us to know it. They have to know it.

ahjohn said...

need to correct yours...

engineer for fresh grad in HK may go up to 50,000

conan_cat said...

whoa, now thats pretty insightful @__o well if economists are to compare the thing they can do a whole book writing about this topic, but from this easy analysis i guess we can see that modern slaves in msia are working pretty hard too hmm.

if you are to compare our lives to western countries, i think we'll weep cry and mourn.

Jun said...

aussieland??!!! cool! not adelaide by any chance, is it? i'll still be here to another 2 yrs at least... *sigh*

Michael Song said...

Our country will be better if only our country administrator can contribute better for us rakyat... malaysia is beautiful, but not its GOVERNMENT....

sinergy.starfall said...

well, you analysis seems convincing but isn't always the case with Malaysians to just calculate based on the exchange rate?

personally wherever you live, it is pretty much the same. stuff that is cheaper in place a usually is offset by having other things that are more pricey compared to here.

zewt said...

maegen - yah... i think i ate that before...

lynnx01 - i am glad you agree with my method. do share it if you want... just mentioned it's from me :)... and it's very important for people to know the actual impact of income vs expenses.

SWei - certainly... economy and the survival instinct are driving a lot of ppl abroad. if you think about it... leaving the country becos of political issues is also a survival instinct... right?

l y n n w e i - will need information from those countries to know...

j or ji - why you like those ppl but hate jackie chan? hahaha... eh... tony leung is gay i heard.

Seaqueen - yeah... maybe i will do a MAPs comparison with Sg... everything there is almost half priced...

ahjohn - damn!!!! now i even feel more shitty.

conan_cat - yeah... a plumber in westen companies can get a big house... here... cant even afford a proper car.

Jun - nah... will be in melbourne. just saw the agent last friday.

Michael Song - but someone said something to me last saturday... dont die for your country... but die for your countrymen.

sinergy.starfall - true... but generally... it's very tough to survive here. not to say it's easier to HK... but just doing a comparison.

Theodwyn said...

Your analysis is pretty accurate. and its true not just for Hong Kong. It is also true for many other countries which Malaysian in general often complain of being 'expensive'. If a similar comparison was to be made of UK... one would probably find that it is cheaper to live in UK...

zewt said...

Theodwyn - yeah, when i am in the UK... i will certainly take the chance to do a comparison too.

rational thinker said...

hi zewt,

Malaysia is lagging behind in many ways, and certainly, if not for our cheap borrowed- labourers, we re absolutely screwed.

You have only considered the modern slaves (accountants). if you consider the aggregate of trades and industry, we re dirt poor.

Angie Tan said...

Hi there,

Just to clarify my comment. The company got no response to the ads because they underestimated the COL in HK. They thought that since the FOREX was lower, they thought they would have a "better" deal.

may said...

heh... I'm pretty sure I did use the multiplier correctly. what a fresh grad earns here is about the same as what you'd earn back home. just think of it as $2000 instead of RM2000.

still expensive here...

zewt said...

rational thinker - i used accountants cos i am more familiar with the salary scale. but yeah... if we put other industries into the picture... we will all be forever depressed.

angie tan - ahhhhh... now i get it. malaysia.... they underestimate the attitude of HK-ies...

may - hmmm... looks like my aussie plan is not a good one? :P

Anonymous said...

sometimes when i compared cost of living between country as part of the feasibility study , i used the cost of buying a Big Mac as comparison, similar to your multiplier method. So far, it helps.
Cheers, Mike.

may said...

well, depends la. totally different culture, both socially and at work. you don't mind paying for it somehow because most of it is pretty good quality.

on the plus side, cars are bloody cheap here! whee! and it doesn't take forever for them to give you your tax money back if you paid in excess. I submitted my tax claims one day and within 48 hours, I got $$ in my account. not like Malaysia... I don't think you'll ever get your $$ back!

zewt said...

anonymous aka mike - yeah, i think the art is to find a generic product in both countries and look for the percentage of impact to the income... that would be a good comparison.

may - oh yeah... when it comes to tax money back from the govt... u can wait till you die and still dont have it. of cos, they can promise the sun and the moon... but it will all be empty promises.

PrincessJournals said...

Zewt, personally i think living in Msia is cheap. Its expensive if u have expensive taste and the gov make sure tht those group of ppl 'pay' fot them accordingly.

i mean, why do ppl drive a bmw or merc? bcoz they have the money, right? and they want ppl to see, kno and acknowledge tht they in fact have the money. and yet they bitch and bitch abt the how much they have to pay for 1 roti canai.

i kno of a couple in Msia who keeps on bitching abt the 'high' cost of living in Msia and then come valentine's day, announces to everybody tht hubby bot her a crv! wtf!

zewt said...

princessjournals - hi there and welcome to AZAIG. hahahahahaha... you're too right. indeed, we are of a special breed, certain ppl should only be complaining... those trying to make ends meet. this is why i seriously think malaysians wont stop their driving habit even if petrol price blew up sky high as written in my latest entry.

Anonymous said...

I think for luxuries, in a way it is cheaper and more affordable living in HK than in Malaysia. However in terms of daily expenses, it is likely to be cheaper in HK than in Malaysia. e.g. Most people travel by MTR as compared to single-occupancy vehicles in Malaysia. The public transport is convenient and cheap in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, the quality of life may be different. In your comparison say life living in a 800 sq ft. flat in HK as compared to an equivalent costs for a 1500 sq ft. apartment in Malaysia will be much different.

Anyhow, your theory is intereting. I would like to see though if you compare earning the same salary say for someone in HK but spending that in Malaysia, and the increase in the quality of life / standard of living it will bring. That may be even more interesting.

This will then show say which place is better for example for an expatriate to work.

zewt said...

anon @ 16/4 12.33am - u mean for luxuries... it is better in HK? or malaysia? :) if you compare the same salary and spending... then i think it's better to spend it in malaysia.

DennisVll said...

Most of the statement was true, but.. the salary scale for both are slidely high.. Frankly my pay now is much more better than in Malaysia lo~
I been work in HK like 6 months, and accomadation, transport and foods was expensive. other than that is ok... Is good to work here but not staying here for rest of my life...
For your information, the Exchange rate: RM1 = HKD2.4, no longer 2.1... So for those who come and visit HK is good news for them, and for me... My pay was decreasing.. :(

zewt said...

DennisVII - Well, i cant be changing the exchange rate everyday right? :).... well, yeah, you should stay there make your money and leave. HK is not for long term.

DennisVll said...

ya, just wanna update the reader :)
I agree what u say, most will be few year than 'chow'~

zewt said...

DennisVII - no worries mate. that's what all of my friends are doing. i think maximum... 5 years la. but i also heard a lot of investment banks there are laying off ppl. times are just bad i guess.

Anonymous said...

But comparing Associate's salaries, you can't even afford the apartment of the same standard as you can in Malaysia.

HK: salary=18,000; rent=20,000, i.e. 2,000 short.

Msia: salary=2,100; rent=1,000, i.e. still 1,100 to spare.

I actually think your calculation reinforces why malaysians like to go shopping in HK. HK's housing is very expensive, but the goods are not really. That's why they go there to shop the goods with minimum days to spend on housing.

And by the way, while it's true that it takes HK$20,000 to get a decent apartment in HK/Kowloon (excluding surrounding islands), it doesn't cost HK$1,700 for some decent 3-star hotel. That is like the price fo 4-star hotel. And it's all about choosing the right hotel. Kowloon has hotels with better quality and cheaper price and close to shopping centres. But for apartment, I have searched and searched but found no decent one at a price below HK$20,000. Perhaps there is a very few at HK$18,000.

zewt said...

anon @ 8/11 12.33am - i reckon rental expense in HK will continue to go up. it will not be wise to go there and work from bottom, but rather, to go there when you have already have experience in malaysia.

Anonymous said...

how much salary in HK$ dollar for enought living = equal with Malaysia salary RM4K~5K? (considered still can survive)

zewt said...

anon @ 26/11 1.55pm - what is your defination of "enough for living"? no entertainment? just living, transport and food? if so, i would think HKD20,000 is enough.

AJ said...

I must have visited 100 websites comparing malaysia & hong kong.. did nt find a comprehensive answer the way you have described.. :D :D great work man.. Keep it up.. And keep it coming.. you are doing a gr8 service :)

zewt said...

AJ - thanks for dropping by. this info is quite old... things may have change, but i think the message still remains.