Sunday, August 30, 2009

Malaysians Live Cheaply But Paid Poorly, Too

The Malaysian Insider had on August 29 (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/36312-malaysians-live-cheaply-but-paid-poorly-too) carried a story that says it pays to work in Switzerland: employees in Zurich and Geneva have the highest net wages in the world, a study by banking group UBS shows, making Switzerland a very employee-friendly country. And at the other end of the continuum, employees in Mumbai take home the lowest. Okay, we may not want to relate to India, but the world’s cheapest places to live were not just India’s Delhi and Mumbai, but also Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, and Manila in the Philippines. Moreover, the average employee in many of these cities, as well as Jakarta and Nairobi, gets paid some of the world’s lowest salaries which have between 11 percent and 15 percent of the purchasing power of a salary in Zurich.

Just to reinforce this message, the study claimed that “an average wage-earner in Zurich and New York can buy an iPod nano from an Apple store after nine hours of work. At the other end of the spectrum, workers in Mumbai need to work 20 nine-hour days, roughly the equivalent of one month’s salary”.

The study, published every three years, compares the income and purchasing power of employees in 73 cities across the globe, highlighting wide discrepancies in wages between different regions, and even within the same country. The biggest gaps were found in Asia, the study said, with Tokyo ranking as one of the world’s five costliest cities while the capitals of developing countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and India were all at the bottom of the price range. So, shouldn’t Malaysians be considering moving abroad to work? It’s all about the money!

This morning, Arsenal lost a hard-fought game against Manchester United, losing 1-2. The Gunners were a better team but they still lost. Arshavin opened accounts for Arsenal in the 40th minute, but a Wayne Rooney penalty (59) and Abou Diaby's own goal (64) cancelled the lead and worse, gave the Devils a flattering one-goal lead. Van Persie could have equalized in the last minute of stoppage time but for the disallowed goal and the linesman’s flag. No wonder Arsene Wenger was angry and thereafter, he was also sent from the dug-out for kicking an empty water bottle. And so the Devils (and I mean this literally) got the 3 points, and the Gunners could only shake their heads in disbelief.

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