Even with Oil RM2.70 , Malaysia buying power are lower the Singaprean and Thais

Posted On 05/06/2008

Filed under Food for thoughts
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As Malaysia government say, RM2.70 are just half way to the unsubsidized oil, the consumer see immediate price hikes on the food.

For example, I notice chicken rice shop in my usual eating place in SS17 has raise 30 cents, from RM3.50 to RM4.00. And other food stalls has patching an price increase notes. Now it is not about 10 cents increase, but 30-50 cents. Prepare for the worst.

Ironically, two ASEAN countries without the oil subsidies are still enjoy a much lower food price compare to Malaysian. One are Singapore, thanks to their stronger Singapore dollar, while another are Thailand, perhaps thanks to their strong agricultures.

If you happen to be in Bangkok city, you will be surprise with the food price there. The price of bigmac and KFC are almost the same price as McD/KFC in West Malaysia. Hawker stall food are par with KL food price. And the better part, 0 (Zero) fuel subsidies.

Now, the part of Klang valley food price are MORE EXPENSIVE than Bangkok are really puzzle me.


2 Responses to “Even with Oil RM2.70 , Malaysia buying power are lower the Singaprean and Thais”

  1. Rajan R

    It would be a bit of a superficial comparison (though last December, in Bangkok, a meal in places like Bang Na – not exactly touristy – seem to be 40-50 THB a plate).

    According to UBS Prices and Earnings (a fairer survey with proper methodology http://www.finfacts.com/irishfinancenews/article_1012932.shtml), KL registered as the cheapest cost of living last year – less than Bangkok. In terms of purchasing power, KL beat even Singapore, no less Bangkok.

    This year, we would probably get bumped down a few places, but it is temporary (obviously, when moving from a subsidized to unsubsidized price, the difference over time is larger than if the price is already unsubsidized).

    moo_t : My friend, I am NEVER amused about purchase power using any other currency than using the PASAR index : a dish of local food vs local income.
    For example, 1 bowl of noodle in Singapore cost S$2.80. oth, Malaysia will cost RM3.50.
    If getting a phone, e.g. the same model cost Singaporean S$500 will cost Malaysian RM800. Imagine when the citizen, one earn S$2500, another RM$2500, you can see the hefty economy ratio start biting in. That is my PASAR index! More reality than all survey bullshit.

  2. Rajan Rishyakaran

    Last month, I signed a lease (which I have since pulled out from, but that’s a different story) for a apartment in the outskirts of Paya Lebar, Singapore. It was $3,500 for that small, 4-room apartment, and it was the cheapest place I’ve found by then.

    I could rent a nice terrace house for less than RM2,000 in Subang Jaya. You see, the price of things differ also because of matters like foreign exchange. A S$400 phone would also be RM400 had the ringgit in the 1980s was strengthen, instead of precious resources wasted on things like subsidies (the ringgit and singdollar was once on par).

    As for that S$2.80 bowl of noodles – come to Singapore now. You would be hardpressed to find that anymore. My average meal here is around S$4-5. Whenever I’m back in KL, my average meal there is around RM5-6 of comparable (but, hehe, tastier) food.

    The roti prata near my house costs $0.80, while roti canai back home is RM1.00 – I don’t see that as a drastic difference in purchasing power. But even if your PASAR index is true, I for one am willing to forgo that for the low housing costs in KL. I mean, if I earn $2,500, about a $1,000 of that would probably be going towards rent for a room. I wouldn’t be hardpress to find a comparable room in KL for around RM500.

    And it’s not as if I buy handphones every month.

    moo_t : Thanks for the updates. BTW, Singapore are never cheap for middle class non-citizen, especially for Malaysian. The CPR (EPF equivalent) does better job than EPF, especially on the housing side.

    FYI, in KL city center hot spot, an apartment will 3 rooms, furnished will fetch around RM3,000 as well. In damansara perdana, an studio apartment of 400sq feet rental around RM750-850 with not furnitures.

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