Thursday, September 14, 2017

Living in Malaysia ... A Reflection on Our 11th Year

As anniversaries arise, one cannot help but reflect back on the journey. December 2016 when we moved to Kuala Lumpur, I had no idea what to expect. People told me their own views about the country and what limitations I would face in finding a job. Fast forward 11 years later, I could not have imagined that it would be this ... good. I didn't say perfect, but I said good because of the following...

1. As an expatriate, it was easy to get around, most people spoke English or would smile to me politely even if they didn't understand me.

2. Buying property is not impossible. You can own a piece of Kuala Lumpur if you intend to invest and stay here for a while. The banking system here is also amazing with the lending schemes they have as compared to back home in Manila.

3. Cost of living has gone higher since that fateful year 2006 when we arrived, but even as things have gone up, it's still better than most South East Asian neighboring countries -- especially if I compare it back home to Manila. Electricity, water, petrol, energy and infrastructure is way better... at this point in time of my writing.

4. Foreigners have equal opportunity to own and run a business.

5. I arrived Malaysia newly married. I had two kids here in Kuala Lumpur and the experience was great. I am grateful that there are opportunities here -- the chance to have good health coverage, the infrastructure of good hospitals and the friendly staff and people which makes it a wonderful country.

6. Competitiveness & aiming to be better and better - I learned many great things from working alongside Malaysians and that is to STRIVE TO BE BETTER every day. They have this spirit of wanting to be better and achieve great heights, and I appreciate that rubbing off on me. They try to achieve better infrastructure, which is the backbone for efficiency and businesses to flourish. The new MRT was recently completed with the forward thinking of the growing population. The roads are widened and increased, to accommodate more cars of the future. I appreciate these especially when I am STUCK IN TRAFFIC in Manila, which can be in a standstill for hours, due to the lack of planning, the lack of will of the past governments to grow or simply the lack of focus.

7. In my 11 years here in Kuala Lumpur, I look back and not a single typhoon... I was born in Manila and witnessed yearly calamities especially how typhoons destroy lives. 11 years here has been peaceful, yes with some incidences (e.g. flooding due to heavy rains) but never like the devastating things that have happened back home. I pray that it continues.

8. Growing number of expatriates and Filipino community -- it makes me feel darn right at home! Throughout the years in KL, I have never seen this much FILIPINOS around! They are everywhere, mostly in the service sectors. And it feels like home hearing their Tag-lish and Tagalog.

9. The government of Malaysia grants Resident Passes to people who are qualified. I am glad that they made it easier for expatriates, as compared to when I just arrived in 2006.

10. Highly connected, good internet and mobile infrastructure. I appreciate it even more after suffering through the snail-paced internet back home in Manila during my visits. Malaysia feels like heaven with the connectivity infrastructure. This allows individuals to discover the world out there, discover brands and what's new... it drives new businesses and faster adoption. This helps the economy and the people move forward.

I'm ending here with just 10 reasons, despite that I have a bagful of other things. I haven't posted for a long while due to a myriad of things that have sprung up since 2016. Meanwhile, as we celebrate 11 years soon ... there is only that feeling of content and happiness -- having left Manila, moved to Singapore and now Kuala Lumpur. Our city, our home.


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