A man in Malaysia has made a stunning claim: He left his job as a lecturer at a private higher education institution for a cleaning job in Singapore — and saw an almost sixfold increase in his salary.
He revealed his financial struggles and his life-changing decision in a post on Facebook group “Muflis Bankrupt di Malaysia” (which is translated as “Bankrupt in Malaysia”).
While his original post has been deleted, screenshots of his post have been circulating online, and his story has also been reported by Malaysian media site WeirdKaya and Malaysian news outlet mStar.
However, there was no proof of his remuneration for either job.
Earned around S$541 as a lecturer
The post said the work of a lecturer in Malaysia paid a salary of RM1,900 (S$541) per month.
It was a job he claimed he held over five years while working at the institution.
Confronted with rising living expenses and unresolved financial challenges, he decided to seek employment opportunities in Singapore.
For his role as a cleaner in Singapore, he claimed to have been offered a base salary of S$3,100 (RM10,843), a substantial increase compared to his previous income.
He accepted the offer.
This shift in wages greatly alleviated the financial pressures he had been facing, he said, without stating the designation or seniority of the position, which has a bearing on an individual’s earnings.
Grateful for the ease of financial problems
While he no longer holds the title of being an educator, the man is nonetheless grateful for the increase in income.
“Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), I got work as a cleaner, the basic salary is S$3,100 (RM10,815). You can convert it yourself,” he reportedly said.
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s website on the progressive wage model for outsourced and in-house resident cleaners, cleaning supervisors must be paid a minimum of S$2,210 in basic wages, as of Jul. 1, 2023, till Jun. 30, 2024.
The man’s salary of S$3,100 is likely to be on the higher end of the spectrum for the cleaning industry, possibly indicating that his job requires specialised skills, or that he is including additional compensation for overtime hours.
A rudimentary online search for cleaner jobs revealed that a childcare centre cleaner can earn about S$2,500 a month, while a residential housing cleaner employed by an agency can earn about S$3,200 a month.
Working in Singapore a “shortcut” for financial problems
The man also said he believes that working in Singapore is a “shortcut” for him to ease his financial burdens.
He advised others in financially unstable situations:
“Those who have no way to pay off debts, debts of tens of thousands… this is the shortcut you have. The first salary can pay for so many things. You will not regret it.
If others say that the traffic jams in Singapore are terrible. Believe that once you start working, you can handle it because you feel what you get is worth it.”
Sceptics in the comment section
Comments on WeirdKaya‘s Facebook post were varied, but most leaned towards doubting the man’s claims.
One commenter asked if there were any vacancies left for cleaning positions in Singapore, expressing his desire to follow in the man’s footsteps.
Others questioned the legitimacy of his claim that he had only earned RM1,900 (S$541) as a lecturer in a private education institution.
One pointed out that the man was “way underpaid” for a lecturer at a private school.
Other sceptics pointed out that the man’s alleged salary of S$3,100 (RM10,815) probably included wages for overtime work as well as accounted for the seniority of his position.
One expressed his doubt at a cleaner’s salary being as high as the man claimed, saying that it was more likely for them to get around S$1,200 to S$1,500.
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