Malaysian Job Applications Doubled With Higher Singapore Dollar


Job applications from Malaysians have surged as the Singapore dollar has risen 13.6 percent versus the ringgit since Covid-19, according to a Singapore recruitment service.

ManpowerGroup country manager Linda Teo stated that a year-on-year comparison of the number of applications received from Malaysian applicants in December 2022-January 2023 against December 2023-January 2024 confirmed this increase.

According to Talent Corporation Malaysia, approximately 3.3%, or 1.13 million Malaysians who migrated to Singapore in 2020 had either obtained jobs, married, travelled on a daily basis, remained there with permanent residence, or relocated permanently.

“As the Singapore dollar has strengthened against the ringgit in recent months, there has been an increase in Malaysian job seekers applying for positions in Singapore.”

“One of the primary motivators is the increased earning potential provided by the higher Singapore dollar. We’ve also seen an increase in applications from Malaysians living outside Johor,” she told Business Times.

The Singapore dollar rose 47.7 percent from 3.0412 to 3.5184 on March 8.

On February 21, the ringgit fell to a new historical low of 3.5757 against the Singapore dollar in the morning before ending at 3.5670 that day.

Teo stated that the firm normally receives more applications from Malaysians looking for work in retail, food and beverage, and administration sectors.

Malaysians choose positions in corporate environments with regular working hours, particularly those who intend to commute between two nations for work, despite the long journey.

“Jobs in corporate settings with regular working hours are preferred, especially among those who intend to commute between two countries for work.”Malaysians with relevant technical abilities are particularly interested in opportunities in the engineering and manufacturing industries, according to Teo.

ManpowerGroup, founded in 1995 in Singapore, works with a variety of industries, including manufacturing, resources, mining, transportation and logistics, government, blue chip investment and retail banks, IT vendors and outsourcers, telecoms service providers, infrastructure, utilities and engineering services firms.

Meanwhile, citing Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) data, TalentCorp group CEO Thomas Mathew stated that the primary reasons for migration to Singapore and, to a lesser extent, Brunei are higher salaries, favourable exchange rates, better employment opportunities, and improved working environments.

On February 19, a DOSM poll indicated that 83% of Malaysian workers in Singapore and Brunei were skilled or semi-skilled.
TalentCorp, founded in 2011 by the Ministry of Human Resources, intends to drive Malaysia’s talent strategy and build Malaysia as a dynamic and market-driven global talent hub.

Related link: How Singapore Attracts Digital Nomads Worldwide

“Our objective is to attract, nurture, and retain the right talent and expertise needed to support Malaysia’s journey towards achieving greater economic progress,” Mathew went on to say.

He cited the 2019 Hays Asia Overseas Returnees Report to discuss some of the issues that returning Malaysians encounter.

This includes unsustainable pay, inadequate career possibilities, unfamiliarity with local job market conditions, and challenges for foreign wives and children adjusting to the culture.

He stated that in order to increase Malaysia’s attractiveness for investment, employment, and residence, the government should focus on growing the economy, expanding investments, creating high-quality job opportunities, and cultivating a larger pool of talented individuals.

According to a TalentCorp 2022 survey of Returnee Programme (REP) participants, the top five reasons for returning were family, career advancement, permanent relocation, and Covid-19-related factors. TalentCorp believes that shifting the focus from brain drain to brain circulation will benefit the country.

“That’s why we continue to engage with skilled Malaysians worldwide, encouraging them to contribute to Malaysia from wherever they are,” Mathew went on to say.

Last year, TalentCorp launched Malaysia@Heart (MyHeart), a platform for the Malaysian diaspora to connect and explore partnership opportunities.

“For those considering a return, we offer employment and education facilitation for their children. “Eligible persons may also benefit from tax-related benefits under our REP initiative,” he added.

TalentCorp works with numerous ministries and organisations to help Malaysia become a more efficient and business-friendly nation through projects like the Malaysia Expatriate Service Centre and Xpats Gateway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *