Thursday, May 22, 2008

From Sarawak, Am I Rich or Poor?

I promised myself that I will not post anything related to politics or remotely linked to it and been trying really hard not to do that. But it is becoming increasing hard not to say much especially when I read this:

Sarawak and Sabah is the state in Malaysia that is richest with natural resources but is among the poorest state in Malaysia.

Sigh! Coming from Kuching, Sarawak, this statement really hurts even though it is the truth. By right, as a state that is rich in natural resources such as oil, gas and timber, shouldn’t Sarawak be getting more percentage of the money back for more meaningful development? Of course, I am not saying that we do not have any development at all but who can honestly say that we have been developing rapidly? I think the only thing that is developing rapidly is the inflation. Most of us KNOW EXACTLY who is responsible for this but alas, no one DARED to do much. Non-Sarawakian might not understand how expensive it is to live in Sarawak, in terms of income vs expenses.

Average income for fresh grad degree holder in Kuching would be around RM1,500-1,600. If you are lucky, might get RM1,800-2,000. Few multinational companies offer engineers RM2,200. I heard my friends in Kuching told me that a glass of ice lime is RM1.80 and a bowl of Sarawak kolo mee is RM3-4. It was RM1.50 and RM2.80 respectively before I come to KL about a month and half ago. Of course, they also suffer the increase in staple food such as rice. Some of my friends are even switching to eating local rice instead of those imported one because it is getting too expensive. Although Sarawakian save on toll charges, but petrol price is just RM0.01 different from KL. This is for a state that produces oil and gas!

So, after counting here and there, let say:

Lunch RM8 x 30day = RM240
Petrol RM10x30day = RM300
Internet RM110 (1MB)
Handphone bill RM52.50 (postpaid with 5% tax)
Groceries RM10x30 = RM300
Utilities RM100 (water, electric and gas for cooking)
Maintenance RM100 (car maintenance averaged)
Insurance n tax RM100 (car insurance n road tax averaged per year
Car loan RM500

Wait a minute, already overspend! And not yet even add in entertainment, housing, household items like shampoo, soap, detergent, etc. Of course, I am assuming the person is staying on their own and not with parents or friends lar. That is also assuming the person have a degree and earn up to RM1,800. It is not uncommon for income earner in Sarawak to be SPM leavers that earn RM600 – RM800. How to survive?????

With price of everything increasing and it really feels as if we are paying double for groceries, household items and day-to-day necessities. A 10kg bag of rice that cost RM28+ a month or two ago has increased on RM35+. That’s 25% increase! Does this mean that our salaries need to shift up by 25% too? Of course, when that happens, the traders will have another reason to increase the price further and cause even worse inflation!

Before I took this job, my good friends in Kuching feels that this is a good offer. Based on my calculation on paper, I should be able to save plenty after deducting expenses and loans. But now, I am not so sure. But it is too late for me to turn back. Just need to be more careful with my expenses and not let it run away. (Already start to have the wind blown and tornadoes spinning sensation actually…sigh!)

I dare not tell my parents that I might be having difficulties making ends meet here. Do not want to worry them. I know the moment I open my mouth or if they find out, my dad will immediately jump to my rescue. But come one, that is too embarrassing and I think I will rather be almost at death doorstep before I let my parents help me out financially. And also, whatever extras they have now if for them to enjoy themselves after many years of hardwork.

I can only laugh at how young I was last time when I told my mom that I will buy her a BMW when I start working. How naïve I was. As I said, life being an independent grown up is no fun at all. Kids that is reading this, enjoy and cherish your life now!

Sigh! I hope SOMEONE in the BIG G ORGANISATION will do something soon......

11 comments:

Dav DiDi said...

If ALL SARAWAKIANS come out and take part in the elections, we can turn the table around ...

From previous election, actually we all know that more than halves that supports those need supports are actually sleeping at home instead of taking part in the votings ..

I actually tell myself that I'm going to register myself to vote in the next election ...

Jen's Place said...

Didi,
Hehehe.. I am one of those SLEEPING voter. Never thought much of voting but I promise I will go out and do my part when the next election is here!

Nick Phillips said...

Jen, it's getting tougher and tougher to get by these days with everything going up. I'm having a tough time just getting by let alone those who earn $500 a month or less!

I'd wish you a happy weekend, but with all the problems we have, I don't think it's going to be a great weekend ... sighhhh ...

Jen's Place said...

Hi Nick,
Gosh! Sorry for making you feel gloomy....
But I guess we should be thankful and just need to change our mindset. I mean, if someone with less than RM1000 per month and a family to support, I guess we can too. Just need to stop buying the wants so often and stick more to buying what we really need....

rebeena said...

Many think i dnt understand.
- Why we tak dapat some subsidy??? or other *benefit??? Macam Singapore. FAIR to their every citizen.

Gov want those work outside malaysia (*like me) go back to own country work....but with this income, how to survive? Mati kok kok lo...

rebeena said...

The Kaya will become more KAYA.
The Poor will become more POOR.

Ini kah yang gov mau lihat dari rakyat? Mengemis sini and sana??

Jen's Place said...

Hi Rebeena,
Actually, no need to say till Spore, just look at KL oredi enuf. This was one of the factor I consider when I think abt accept the job here, i.e. in next few yrs, will there be any company in Kuching that can match my current salary so that I can go back to Kch....
And then I see frens working in Spore, I am so tempted to go Spore and work and spend in Msia...susah susah.
Kaya (rich) memang jadi more kaya.
Miskin jadi more miskin...

rebeena said...

Yalah! But gov want those who work outside Malaysia balik kampung help.
For me kan, earn here spending here is much cheaper den spending at Malaysia. Of coz depand on what kind of spending la...
My lover still dnt want me go back kch yet coz he say sure i tak tahan and sure both will gaduh alot coz of MONEY thing! Betul juga what he said.. :)

NO MONEY, NO TALK...hahahaha :p

Jen's Place said...

Rebeena,
Go back kpg to help...er..how many ppl oredi go out wana go back?

Anyway, fight between couple abt money can be avoided if early on oredi discuss who pay wat :P

rebeena said...

JenJen, We nvr discuss bout it coz, his money is my money & my money is my money...hahaha

Jen's Place said...

Rebeena,
Hahaha! I oso say like that before we live together. But now in reality cannot. Need to share expenses. So, need to discuss lor :P