To Singaporeans, going to Malaysia is much like a Jurong-er going to Tampines—the journey is going to take less than one hour (should the traffic at the causeway be light), but technically, it is still an overseas trip, for our passports were stamped. For some Singaporeans, going there every weekend has become a staple. Some of us believe that it’s due to the cheaper things there; but beyond that kiasu-ness to get the cheap stuff, we still go there for various reasons.
Here are the top 8 reason why we go north!
1. For the cheaper stuff
I don’t think I need to explain this—this used to be the primary reason why we go north. Now, with the increased tolls, one would either need to use a calculator to determine whether this would still be worthwhile or simply just buy as many things as possible. I think currently, with us Singaporeans hoping that it will “reach 2.7”, the latter will still be preferred.
2. For the more variety of food
While I beg to differ, most if not all my friends think that Malaysia has a better variety of food. Maybe I don’t care much about taste, but to many Singaporeans, spending hours just to savour that 11-out-of-10-stars satay is worth it.
3. To escape from the hectic lifestyle
While it is true that we don’t feel much work-related stress after office hours here, we can still feel the competitiveness when we step into a Singapore shop—staff will fight for your sale like their livelihood depends solely on whether you open your wallet or not. When we’re in Malaysia, the staff seems less gung-ho and more friendly. Just try walking into a Singapore shop and ask for directions, and do the same thing in a Malaysia shop.
Yeah, the Singapore shop will most likely answer with a black face and try to sell you something while the Malaysia shop might even chit-chat with you about current affairs.
4. For things that we can’t find in Singapore
Any business students will know this: a distributor looking to branch out to Southeast Asia will always look at the Malaysia market and then put Singapore as a bonus market. It’s imperative to have some market share in Malaysia while it’s only good to have some in Singapore. Singapore market failing? No problem; just cut the losses and recall everything from Singapore. They just need the Malaysia market.
Singapore is just too small. If you don’t understand this, just think back on tidbits you used to see in Singapore shops. As you thought that they’ve run out of business, you’d be surprised to see them thriving in Malaysia.
5. For things we can’t do in Singapore
There are so many, but we should just use one example: If you like speed, you live in the wrong country. Here, it’s so small that even if you want to do it illegally and have your licence revoked, you’ll still have to stop at a traffic light after dragging to gear four.
6. To escape from work
If this conversation sounds familiar to you, hi-five to many who have used this before:
“Hello? This is your boss. I need you back in the office now.”
“Oh, boss arh, I in Malaysia now leh, Malacca there, by the time I come back, it’s Monday le…”
7. To live
Do you know that there are some Singaporeans (or Singapore PRs) who work in Singapore and live in Malaysia? While the daily commute is going to be a pain in the butt, the money saved based on the stronger Singapore dollars is worth the effort. After all, one in Malaysia lives in a big house instead of a flat!
8. To take wedding pictures
You want a sea view? Let’s try north south east west.
Sembawang Park: Very wulu leh.
Sentosa: Got many tourists taking selfies leh.
East Coast Park: Very crowded leh.
West Coast Park: Children running around the playground leh.
Go Malaysia lah. Got caves somemore.