Malaysian Regrets Going To Singapore For Work Due To Toxic Work Culture

"If I could go back in time, I wouldn't have come to Singapore," the person said, concluding that, "Malaysians are simply more loveable."

Cover image via Freepik & The Malaysian Reserve

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Are Singaporeans harsh, gossipy, and unfriendly? According to a Facebook user, apparently so.

For many Malaysians, working in Singapore is an economically fruitful decision. Not only is it the financial epicentre of Southeast Asia, but factors like a stronger currency, as well as the offer of higher salaries and increments make it a highly attractive choice for potential job seekers as well.

While Singapore's exponential economic growth is certainly something to be envied, as this anonymous Facebook user will tell you, their corporate climate is arguably less so.

On 14 November, a confession post by an unnamed individual appeared on Facebook page Ricebowl, wherein the user detailed the circumstances leading up to their move to Singapore, and their less than ideal experience with the work culture there.

In the post, the anonymous user wrote that they had worked in Malaysia for three years prior to the move.

However, low salaries and high inflation rates prevented them from saving up, prompting them to look Southward.

"At this rate, I'm going to still be in the the 'moonlight clan' in my 30's, and that's simply not feasible," they lamented. The term refers to young, usually single professionals who spend their salaries faster than they earn it, living paycheque to paycheque.

As such, the Facebook user decided to prioritise their finances. Looking toward Singapore with its favourable exchange rates and high salaries, they figured that in two to three years, they would be able to return with some savings at the very least.

"I was lucky to find a white-collar job with a decent salary, so without thinking it over too much, I flew there immediately," they said.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

But it wasn't all sunshine, roses, and dollar bills like they had hoped.

Upon beginning their job, the unnamed user began to regret their decision, citing the pain of working with kiasu co-workers.

"I've always considered myself quite a hardworking person, unafraid of enduring hardship. However, my work environment and the people in it have a big influence on me," they said.

They claimed that the Singaporeans they came across were competitive and very harsh in how they spoke.

"My colleagues love to gossip behind people's backs, which made the environment unbearable," they complained, adding that there were other moments of "culture shock" that they did not wish to detail.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Yan Krukov/Pexels

Despite that, there were still sizeable advantages to working in Singapore

The user enjoyed the fact that transport was very convenient, food prices were affordable, and despite the high rent, savings were possible as rent was proportional to the pay.

Ultimately, however, they offset this by saying that, "If you were only focused on earning money, the situation seems great. But the suffering you have to endure at work is hard to swallow."

"If I could go back in time, I wouldn't have come to Singapore," they said, concluding that, "Malaysians are simply more loveable"

They explained that they are currently unable to leave as they signed a contract, and would just have to "endure it" for now.

"I can only hope that after I resign in six months [when my contract has expired], I can find a better company [in Singapore]. Otherwise, I'll return to Malaysia," they added.

Lamenting about how every day feels like a year of torture, they wondered, "Why do we have to come to Singapore to earn a living? When will our country be better? Then we wouldn't have to leave home."

Netizens have since chimed in with their own varying experiences and opinions

One user claims she had similar toxic work culture experiences when working in Singapore too, but in the end, she chose to persevere for the sake of financial rewards.

"I also had to endure working at a [Singaporean] company for a long time, suffering through the cold shoulder treatment and ridicule from my colleagues, as well as unequal treatment."

"But then, I asked myself if my economic circumstances would improve if I returned. If I go back, can I save RM1,000 a month? If I return [to Malaysia] and put in the same amount of hard work as I do here, will I see the same amount of returns? My heart already had the answer, so in the end I continued to persist!"

Image via Facebook

Another user bluntly stated that, "With gains, come losses. If you want money, you have to be willing to lose your freedom and lose face."

They also encouraged the original poster (OP), arguing that Singapore does have lovely people, but perhaps they just haven't met them yet. 

Image via Facebook

Additionally, there were some users who chimed in with their own good experiences with their Singaporean colleagues, and others who stated toxic work environments exist in Malaysian companies too, highlighting the subjectivity of the anonymous Facebook user's experience.

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

Is a toxic work culture exclusive to Singapore? Would you choose money or emotional wellbeing?

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