Published on January 1st, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Malaysians will never own a decent car at the right price
We like many of you reading this have a family, mortgage, car loan, life insurance, children’s education plan and a yearly family holiday fund.
This is the life of any middle class person in almost all developing and also developed countries.
Take Australia for example. Malaysians who migrate to Australia soon realize that homes are expensive. Water and electricity bills are high. Fuel prices are not subsidized. Plumbers, electricians and even mechanics charge by the hour and they all probably earn more than you. But buying a decent car is within reach as prices are lower than Malaysia. Also, education is good and the cost is much lower for Australians, but you actually pay for it over the years as your yearly income tax is very high (higher than Malaysia).
Take Canada for example. Malaysians migrating there will enjoy very low priced luxury cars but all other services and necessities mentioned above for Australia are high. Also the cost of homes is very high. Add to this the winter months. You need to spend a lot on heating your home and clothes and good to keep warm. Also, just like Australia, yearly income tax is high (higher than Malaysia).
Singapore car prices are much higher than Malaysia and they have a very good reason as they lack the necessary land for more roads and parking spaces. However, their currency is very high, they can travel to Australia or Canada and not feel any currency exchange issues. Their public transport system is just great, easy and priced right but housing, electricity, parking and water costs much more.
Let us go north. Thailand. Where cars are just a little cheaper than in Malaysia, homes are priced lower, food and services are also lower priced and the Thai currency is moving upwards against our declining Malaysian currency. The Thai economy is getting better and tourism is better than ever. Fuel is not subsidized and yet the average middle class Thai can drive a decent car, live in a nice home and has quality meals at a reasonable price. Even better, with high fuel prices and toll booths all over Bangkok, taxis costs less pre kilometer travelled than in Malaysia. Wonder why?
Add to this, the Thai auto market is thriving as automotive brands move up their car factories in Thailand and the Thai government is actively promoting electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle ownership. Thailand has also been selling high quality fuel (diesel and petrol) for some years already. We in Malaysia are just starting to ‘sniff’ high quality fuel in our country.
This above is what our middle class Malaysian should be having. Lower priced vehicles and better quality of life for our stagnant income growth. Well, 2020 is finally here and we are waiting for that great ‘Wawasan 2020’ statement made years ago to come true!