Posts Tagged ‘Survey’

What Malaysians worry about

January 18th, 2010
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I don’t think the answers are a surprise for us. While we may rant about rights and justice and what-nots, its the basic stuff that ends up as priority. Of course having a good platform/environment would simulate the economy, thus improve the livelihood. But that’s another story for another day.

Its hard to paint a rosy picture for 2010. While indicators like increase in car sales may be put forth, the general feeling is that there’s less people in shopping centers and sales is not much. Government doesn’t have much money, and budget has been cut. Increase in crime is indication of economic problem. People are encouraged to spend, spend, spend. But how about saving?

The survey covered just 500 people from Malaysia, so I wonder if a bigger sample would yield a contrasting result or merely reinforce the current one.

Cost of living, salary changes and personal debt are the top three financial worries for Malaysians, a survey by global payment firm Visa found.

In the survey conducted between Aug 21 and Sept 23 last year, 69% of Malaysians said they were extremely concerned about the cost of living expenses while 62% and 59% were worried about salary changes and personal debt respectively. “Malaysians were less worried about the value of their retirement fund and portfolio, and fluctuating interest rates,” the company said in a statement here yesterday.

However, 25% of those surveyed also said they were more confident about their personal financial situation compared to six months earlier although 52% felt there would be no change.

Only 23% indicated they were less confident than earlier.

Sixty-six per cent of Malaysians also said they were more concerned about the impact of the global financial crisis on the local economy.

The survey involved 5,520 respondents aged between 18 and 65 years, of whom 500 were from Malaysia.

The rest were from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.

Visa country manager Stuart Tomlinson said Malaysians were being practical during the current economic climate by focusing on managing their concerns, providing themselves with a level of security and peace of mind.

“For Malaysians, potential changes in salary levels are also of concern,” he said, adding that across the region, consumers were looking to see how they could manage their expenses, savings and job security, rather than macro-economic conditions such as exchange and interest rates.

Mr and Mrs Malaysia Survey

October 23rd, 2009
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Managed to write this just in time for the Budget. I’m waiting for it to start in 20 minutes or so.

CLSA produced its Mr and Mrs Asia 2009 report, which covers the expenditure and financial trends of the average person (hence the Mr and Mrs in the report). I read the Malaysian segment presentation which was received via an email. The details extracted below are from the Mr and Mrs Malaysia survey updated  Summer 2009. Their first survey was in 2007, so there are some comparisons made at times.

So, do you fit in anywhere in here? Are you an average Mr or Mrs Malaysian? Check it out (note that I have categorised the main points/findings):

  • Location: 285 respondents in Kuala Lumpur (171 or 60%) and smaller cities like Johor Bahru (29), Ipoh (34), Kuantan (17) and Penang (34).
  • Income: Typical household income is RM2,001-5,000 per month (42%) with 84% currently working. 18% have monthly income above RM10,000, 2% earning less than RM1000, 14% earning beween Rm1001 and Rm2000, and 24% earning between RM5,001 and Rm10,000 per month.
  • Age: Their sample has a mean age of 33.2, reflecting Malaysia’s young demographic. 78% are less than 40 years old.
  • Gender: More than half, 58%, are female.
  • Children: 62% have one child and 14% have no children in their household. 15% have two children while 3% have more than 3 children.
  • Dependents: 49% had other dependents than children, and 65% said those were parents.
  • Household Size: Average household has at least four people. Typically two members of the household are employed.
  • Economy Effect on Income: Despite 1Q09 GDP contracting by 6.2% YoY and exports falling 23.5% YTD,  56% said household income has not been affected.
  • Economic Effect on Employment: 67% say the downturn has not affected their employment and 67% have not seen family members affected. 23% say the downturn has affected the jobs of other family members, with 59% saying  one family member is affected. The downturn has affected household income of 44% of respondents, and 70% have changed their spending patterns. But 10% said the income has increased, 63% said income dropped, and 27% said income unchanged since start of 2008.
  • Spending Pattern: Nonetheless, Mr & Mrs Malaysia remain fairly cautious with 70% having changed their spending patterns since the downturn, cutting spending on leisure and entertainment, clothing, food and groceries. Children’s education, mortgages and healthcare took priority. Households have cut spending on leisure/entertainment (1) , clothing (2), food and groceries (3), communications (4), and utilities (5). Changes in income (+/-) affects the leisure/entertainment expenses. Food, mortgage and transport account for bulk of expenses.  Children’s education, healthcare, communication, and clothing account for less of the spending.
  • House: 31% lives in a 1,500-2,000sf house; 79% own their own homes while 64% have one other property. 52% have a mortgage, and of that, 72% said its for one property only.
  • Cars: 94% of respondents own cars. Favorite cars are Toyota and Honda
  • Credit Card: 90% have credit cards. 68% have more than once credit card. Favorite credit card provider is Citibank and favorite debit card provider is Maybank. Credit card preferred over debit cards. 63% spend less than RM1000 on their credit cards, while 24% spend between RM1001 and RM2000. 17% said the credit card expenses increased, but 42% said it reduced.
  • Savings Pattern: The key buffer is the nation’s high savings rate. Malaysians save the equivalent of 43% of GDP. But Mr & Mrs Malaysia are cautious: 81% place their savings in cash deposits and 72% have not bought stocks in the last 12 months. 45% of respondents save 10-20% of their income, and 47% say savings patterns are unchanged since the downturn. 10% are actually saving more while 43% saving less. 65% do not plan to buy shares in next 12 months. Best investments are cash deposits and properties, while the worst are bonds and stocks. 58% put their wealth in properties, 53% invest in equities while another 31% invest in foreign currencies.
  • Employment Outlook:  Despite the slowdown, 19% expect job prospects to worsen in the next 12 months, while 40% said it will improve.
  • Future Expenditures: This is also reflected in their plans to buy big ticket items in the next 12 months, with 28% planning to buy a house and 13% a car. 40% said they won’t make any big purchases in the next 6-12 months, but 26% plan to buy a house within that period.
  • Concerns: Respondents are largely concerned with unemployment and income decline, followed by inability to save and medical costs.
  • Expectation on Government: Mr & Mrs Malaysia want the government to prioritise improving the country’s economic conditions. Unfortunately, not many are confident that the Najib administration can handle the downturn well. 66% do not have confidence in the way the government is handling the downturn and many want the government to reduce crime rates. 49% wants the government to improve the economy.

Indian community support for PM Najib decreases

October 9th, 2009
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Even though Malaysiakini report states the support from the community is the highest among the three communities at 68%, it actually reduced by 6%! And this is the smallest drop among the the biggest groups:

Indians 68% (down 6% from 74%)

Malays 64% (down 10% from 74%)

Chinese 36% (down 12% from 48%) (but high percentage of “don’t know”/’no response” answers).

Overall drop is 9%.

What could have cause the overall drop, and specifically the why lowest among the Indian community? Is it because of the publicity given to benefits announced for the Indian community? Perhaps other communities don’t feel they are getting the attention, so bigger drop among the others? How is the impact of Kg Buah Pala and cow head protest on the community support? Does the emergence of multiple Indian based parties affect the support level?


Looking at the past one year track, we can see an upward trend till July this year.


Images from Malaysiakini.

Survey results on wearing religious mark on forehead

October 6th, 2009
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The intro to the poll received many interesting and varied comments. Do read them first over here.

The poll ran from September 15th until October 3rd (18 days). A total of 175 response was elicited, with a majority saying they do wear such religious marks (67%)9% do so on special occasions, while 7% do not wear such marks as they don’t believe in it. 6% wear such a mark if they remember while 4% feel uncomfortable doing so. 3% each voted for reasons “not praying” and “divisive mark”, while only 1% cited health reason.

[poll id=12]

As usual, this poll is just a general indication and is not representative of any segment/group of the population. The demographics of the voters are unknown, and as such, its relevance is limited to being a topic for discussion.

The earlier article received comments saying that its a personal choice and that no necessary need to wear marks on the forehead (not necessarily vibuthi only, can be thilak, or kungkumum, santhanam etc. too).

It is possible that many people wear such marks without knowing the benefit or use to one’s self and community. Some argue its a personal choice or a tradition/culture (which is possible as Hinduism is firmly entrenched in Indian culture).

I hope the poll did trigger readers to investigate further and learn something about putting religious marks on their foreheads.

  • Is it merely culture/fashion/symbolic or is it actually beneficial in some scientific/medical way?
  • Do we actually know why need to wear such marks on our forehead? Is there a valid reason acceptable to us?
  • Do we forsake the culture/fashion/symbol (if that’s what it is) due to the environment we work/live in or do we educate those around us to appreciate the diversity?
  • Does wearing such mark indicate one’s “holiness”? Many will agree that its a big “NO”.
  • Is wearing such marks considered creating friction by highlighting the differences between “you” and ‘others”?
  • Does wearing such marks indicate one’s backwardness or unprofessionalism or “stuck in certain mentality” type?

Malaysia Broadband Status by Oxford Survey

October 6th, 2009
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Oxford University and CISCO conducted this survey somewhere between May and July this year. The results seem to prove what many of us already know.

first some definitions: Refer to the diagram below to understand the requirements of broadband for “today” and for “tomorrow”. “Today” means download speed of 3.75Mbps, upload speed 1Mbps, and latency of 95ms. (in simple words, latency means time taken to travel from source to destination). “Tomorrow” means download of 11.25Mbps, upload 5Mbps and latency 60ms. “Tomorrow”s speed is expected to be in full service by 2015, and already in place in few countries. Applications in use now, like Facebook, YouTube, file sharing, etc requires “today” speed, while HD video streaming, large file sharing etc will require “tomorrow” speed.

The study uses a formula to calculate Broadband Quality Score (BQS):

BQS (today) = 55% Download + 23% Upload + 22%Latency
BQS (tomorrow) = 45% Download + 32% Upload + 23%Latency

BQS is then used to rate the 66 countries, using 24 million records of Speedtest results.

So, we want to see where countries stand if based on this two categorization of broadband service.


Last year, the university did a similar research (refer diagram below). Malaysia was located in the yellow band which states “below today’s application threshold”.  In other words, our current broadband speed is insufficient to surf “today”s applications. Do note that the survey only covers about a third of the total countries in the world, so the ranking doesn’t bother me much. The absolute value of speed is the horror element here, as it has major social and economic impact later.


OK, if that was last year, how about this year? Refer diagram below. We are still in yellow band category – “below today’s application threshold”.

Malaysia has a BQS score of 23 and Penetration value of 30 (refer below) for 2009. Penetration for 2008 was 26%:


In terms of relating the BQS to GDP, Malaysia’s USD39,900 GDP/Capita is comparable to Belgium, Australia, Canada, UK, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Iceland. (Confused on what’s GDP/Capital? It means: an approximation of the value of goods produced per person in the country, equal to the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) divided by the total number of people in the country).  The BQS/100,000 GDP per capita for Malaysia gives it a value of 58, meaning that our country’s GDP is not much affected by the Internet network capability. On the other hand, having a “today” or “tomorrow” speed network can help to improve the economy, and make us less labor intensive (at least that’s what I understand as a layman).


More statistics as the next three figures show Malaysia’s position in terms of download speed (barely 1Mbps), upload speed (about 512kbps) and latency (about 110ms). Not nice to look at!




In terms of broadband penetration (coverage), we are hovering in the 30% area:


And the final figure in this article shows that Kuala Lumpur has the potential to improve as we are in the Yellow band.


Overall, about 93% of the countries improved in areas of  BQS, download speed and upload speed, while about 84.8% improved in the area of latency. In the 15 Asia Pacific countries evaluated, there was a collective improvement of 18.3%. The top country, South Korea, improved its BQS by 27.7!, not really resting on its laurels. while 15th top BQS increase was Hong Kong at 6.6 scores.

some interesting stats from official website:

  • Overall average broadband quality increased across the globe:

– Global average download throughput increased by 49% to 4.75 Megabits per second (Mbps)

– Global average upload throughput increased by 69% to 1.3 Mbps

– Global average latency decreased by 21% to 170 milliseconds

  • South Korea tops the 2009 Broadband Leadership table.
  • South Korea rose just above last year’s broadband quality leader Japan with a 72% improvement in its Broadband Quality Score (BQS). This improvement has been driven by continuous efforts by the government to strengthen the country’s position as one of the world’s ICT leaders. Combined with higher broadband penetration, South Korea rises above Japan in the global Broadband Leadership rankings.
  • Japan stands out as having the cities with the highest BQS in the world, with Yokohama and Nagoya leading the BQS rankings and Sapporo not far behind.
  • Sweden has the highest quality broadband in Europe. It is rapidly catching up with Japan and South Korea as its BQS improves 38% from 2008. Sweden is the most successful country in closing the broadband quality gap with residents outside the most populated cities enjoying better quality than those in the cities.
  • Lithuania, Bulgaria and Latvia come just behind Sweden in quality boosted by recent city-based fibre rollouts and cable improvements but low broadband penetration means these countries have yet to break into the broadband leaders’ category.
  • 39 countries have a BQS above the threshold required to deliver a consistent quality of experience for the most common web applications today, such as social networking, streaming low-definition video, web communications and sharing small files such as photos and music.
  • Nine countries, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, The Netherlands, Denmark and Romania, were found to have the broadband quality required for future web applications, such as high definition Internet TV viewing and high-quality video communications (such as home telepresence) that will become mainstream in the next 3 to 5 years. In 2008, only Japan exceeded this threshold.
  • The research compares countries according to their stage of economic development :

– Amongst the developed, innovation-driven economies, South Korea achieved the greatest improvement in broadband quality over the past year with a 73% increase in BQS. Sweden, the USA and the Czech Republic also saw significant above average improvements.

– Amongst efficiency-driven economies, Bulgaria topped the most improved list with a 57% increase in BQS from 2009. Lithuania, Romania and Latvia also achieved above average improvements.

– Amongst factor-driven economies, Kenya actually trebled its BQS but the overall score for Kenya remains well below the threshold required for today’s applications. Vietnam and Qatar followed Kenya as having made the most progress in broadband quality for countries in this stage of economic development.

  • The research team compared the difference between the BQS in the most populated cities with the BQS in the rest of the country. Although a digital quality divide was found in the majority of countries, 13 countries showed significant differences in BQS between its major cities and the rest of the country. Lithuania, Russia and Latvia had the biggest digital quality divide, while rural residents in Sweden, United Arab Emirates and Iceland enjoyed similar, if not slightly higher quality broadband services than their city counterparts.
  • The country with the highest broadband quality outside of its major cities was Japan, followed by Korea and Sweden.
  • The study also included data on the quality of mobile broadband services for the first time. On average, mobile devices connecting to WiFi services meet the broadband quality threshold required for today’s mobile Internet applications. The average BQS of 3G and 3G+ technologies do not currently meet the threshold due to low upload throughput.

The PDF file of the survey summary is here -> BroadbandQualityStudy2009PressPresentationfinal [pdf 908kB]. you can also download the appendix file [pdf 647kB] from the official website.

Obviously,  nothing appeared on the official news channels, but Malaysian Insider carried the news on October 3rd:

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 – Malaysia was ranked a poor 48 out of 66 countries for Internet broadband quality in a study conducted by Oxford University and sponsored by Cisco.

The global study on broadband quality conducted by Oxford’s Said Business School listed Malaysia among countries which had Internet speeds which were “below today’s applications threshold.”

Malaysia is listed in the same category but above countries like the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Vietnam and Indonesia. China, Malta, Brazil and Thailand are among countries just ahead of Malaysia in broadband quality but still in the same low category.

Countries like Singapore, Britain, Australia, Spain, Turkey and the Ukraine were listed above Malaysia as having Internet speeds “meeting needs of today’s applications.”

Switzerland, the United States, Russia, Taiwan and Hong Kong “comfortably enjoy today’s applications. Crucially, Korea, Japan, Sweden, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Netherlands, Denmark and Romania were identified as countries with broadband speeds that were “ready for tomorrow.”

The study was conducted between May and July this year and Broadband Quality Scores (BQS) were awarded based on 24 million records sourced from speed tests.

A similar study conducted last year established that download speeds of 3.75 Mbps and upload of 1 Mbps was the quality requirement needed for today’s applications such as social networking, video steaming, video chatting and file sharing.

For what was classified as “tomorrow’s requirements” speeds of 11.25 Mbps for downloads and 5 Mbps for uploads was needed for visual networking, HD video streaming, consumer telepresence, large file sharing and HD IPTV applications.

According to the study, the research team had found that broadband quality was linked to social and economic benefits and that countries with high broadband quality have broadband on their national agenda.

In a statement earlier today, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang described the study as confirmation of Malaysia’s unchecked plunge in international IT competitiveness.

“Internationally, broadband quality has moved from one of penetration, i.e. who had broadband connection and who did not, to broadband speed but Malaysia is till bogged down in the initial stage.

“Some six months ago, when Datuk Dr Rais Yatim was also appointed Communications Minister apart from his other portfolios of Information, Culture and Arts, I had called on him to give top priority to turn Malaysia into a broadband power, both in broadband penetration rate as well as in broadband speed if Malaysia is to enhance its competitiveness to take its rightful place in the global arena.

“I had asked what Malaysia’s national average broadband speed was, because nobody was talking about 2Mbps – we are lucky if we get 512 or 256kbps without disruption!

Malaysians in selected areas will get access to high-speed broadband only by the first quarter of next year.

Residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, both in Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam have been promised broadband speeds of 10 Mbps and above under the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project.

Residents in high-worth economic zones such as the rest of the Klang Valley and Iskandar Malaysia are expected to get the service later with 1.3 million households expected to have access by 2012.

The HSBB project is a public-private partnership between Telekom Malaysia and the government. Telekom is expected to invest RM8.9 billion of its own funds while the government will put in RM2.4 billion.

Telekom has so far claimed RM290 million from the government for work done.

Malaysia currently lags behind advanced countries in terms of quality and affordability of its broadband offerings, which has been confirmed by the Oxford University study.

While some countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden and Finland have been enjoying speeds up to 100 Mbps for several years now, most Malaysian still make do with speeds of 1 Mbps or less.

Recently, Singapore, China and Australia have also upped the stakes in this strategic sector and announced massive initiatives to wire up their countries with fibre optics.