Hi There – July 2012

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This article was written by J. Andrew Davison.

I recently met an expat who was quitting his job in Malaysia because he was not happy with the way he was being treated by his employers. Of course, this is not an uncommon refrain. Over the years, I have known many expats who quit jobs where they felt they were underappreciated. Even in the good times, not all of them found jobs as quickly as they expected and some ended up unemployed forextended periods.

No one would categorize the current global environment as the good times. The news usually focuses on the negative rather than positive events happening around the globe, but it has been overwhelmingly bad in recent times.

It’s hard to believe that a staggering 17 million people (11% of the work force) cannot find employmentin the 17 countries which use the Euro. The USA and UK are not much better with over 8% of their work forces currently unemployed. The outlook does not look encouraging. Most people agree that politicians and bankers carry a lot of the blame and there is little sign that either of these groups have any solutions for a short- or medium-term fix.

All this against a backdrop of increasing global conflicts in countries like Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia, to name just a few, through to the natural disasters which occur almost continuously around the world.

Those of us fortunate enough to be living in Malaysia with either a steady job or retired with a regular income have a lot to be grateful for. Not only is Malaysia a country where most expats tell us they really enjoy the lifestyle, but the general direction is one of progress. The country is enjoying economic growth, the infrastructure is steadily improving, and there are increasing options for enjoying one’s leisure time.

The country has also managed to avoid serious domestic conflict which is more than can be said for several other countries in this part of the world. The front page coverage of the recent demonstrations hardly compares with some of the protests which have taken place in France, the UK, the United States, and the Middle East.

The Government and Economic Transformation programmes are beginning to take hold. The early signs are positive, and our direct experience with some of the entities charged with making things happen has been very encouraging.

Even better news for expats is that, while countries like Singapore are tightening their immigration policies to reduce the number of expats, Malaysia is liberalising their regulations. It’s never been so easy to get a work permit if you can find a qualifying job, and it’s a lot easier to find a job here than in many other countries. In fact, the Government Economic Transformation programme projects the expat population growing several times over the next eight years.

So if you are an expat working here who is thinking the grass is elsewhere, I suggest you make sure you have a job lined up before departing your current one.


Have a good month.

This article was written by J. Andrew Davison  for The Expat magazine.
Source: The Expat July 2012
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