“It’s impossible to get a job in Malaysia”. “You can’t have a bank account here!” “Debit/credit cards?! Are you crazy? That’s impossible!” I’ve heard it all. As other expats in Malaysia, we’ll have to admit it is difficult to do any of those things here—sometimes, however, not more difficult than other countries, or even back home. These are just the false impressions that many people have.
Of course, if you can’t afford to own a debit or credit card, then banks won’t give them to you. Debit (prepaid) cards are almost alright because you can only spend what you put in, but credit cards are a different story. If you can’t afford one, don’t bother to get one. In Malaysia, ‘afford’ for foreigners (or maybe just other expats?) means that you earn at least RM10,000 monthly and you have a minimum of RM5,000 fixed deposit in the bank.
Almost anyone can open a bank account in one of the banks here. Although last year, I did hear about a Nigerian business owner who was advised to not close their account at a local bank because the bank management had issued orders that no new accounts would be opened for Nigerians. I also experienced something similar when another local bank shut down my account (that my then company opened for my salary) because I am from a country in their “do not serve list”.
In terms of jobs, some countries welcome a lot of skilled foreign workers, but even then, their citizens still come first. And foreigners have to bring serious skills (that’s not already abundantly available) to the table. It is not much different being an expat in Malaysia.
On this episode of the Other Expats podcast, Faithful Anere, front-end/product developer at Nettium Sdn Bhd talks about working as an ‘other expat’ in Malaysia and misconceptions holding people back. “No one is going to just hand you a job—you must deliver and that requires building and developing yourself first,” he pointed out.
Meet our guest
My name: Faithful Anere
What I do: Front-end/product development
Things I like: Traveling, creating new things
Where I’m from: Nigeria
Where I live: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Connect with me on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
The Other Expats’ sound design is by the Big Mean Sound Machine and the intro was created by the Small Room Production.