Malaysian growth: Towards a high income nation or towards killing our competitive edge?


I am all for increasing people’s income and level of prosperity. And cost of living has increased significantly in Malaysia, so how to keep up with rising costs? In reality one way to increase your salary is to change jobs, since you can often get a 20% increase or more if you move to join a new boss.

The Malaysian government is also pushing to lift Malaysia to become a “high income nation”.

So far so good I would say!

However in reality as a Headhunter I often meet up with candidates who are on salary level X, but in terms of experience, knowledge, track record and competency level simply do not seem to be at the same level. In other words: salary levels are increasing faster then the level of competitiveness of these candidates. Are candidates pricing themselves out of the market? Not as long as talent is scarce and not as long as most of your peers are following the same pattern.

What I wonder is how does this affect Malaysian’s competitive edge? How does this affect our standing in the ASEAN growth economy? Are our products and services getting too expensive compared to Vietnam and Indonesia, but maybe not high tech and innovative enough as compared to Singapore and other more developed countries?

Curious to hear what your thoughts are…

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