Japan - Culture

Good points about Malaysia comparing to Japan (Personal Opinion)

I thought starting to write something other than just food journal posting 🙂

Malaysia new prime minister, Tun Dr.Mahathir is now visiting Japan (feel like it’s hidden behind Trump and Kim…) and he spread how Japan’s way is great on their ethics.

I do agree for some points as a Japanese, I often respect how Japanese people act. Japan’s good points like punctuality, cleanliness, respect each jobs, always considering others not just yourself – these are important factors to make life and country better way. And often it’s said that these are things lacking among Malaysian people.

However, it does not mean that Japan is superior and Malaysia is inferior. Dr Mahathir and many Malaysians say they have to follow Japan, ‘Look East’.

But to me, it’s really time for Japanese people do ‘Look South East (Malaysia)’. Today, I’m going to write why Japan has to do ‘Look South East’.

(I wrote similar thing in FB post)


Pros about Malaysia

1. Malaysia has ‘people power’

Mentioned as above, I felt that Malaysia has ‘People Power’. They think on their own and act. I really respect about that, Japanese people are trained to ‘follow the ethics or rules’ so they are very good at following existing rules or leaders, but Japanese are not trained at all to ‘think your own and act own’.

For example at the last election, some Malaysians even prepared private power generation in case the voting station has black out, while some are severely supervising to make sure there are no rigged election placed. Some are spontaneously (not to be instructed to do so) helped voting station as volunteers.

For above things, Japanese people can do well if they are ‘instructed’ to do so. But they cannot make action along with their own thoughts. Japanese can act very well in the situation of they can be passive. Not aggressive, as I see it from many Malaysian people.

2. Non-smokers are way more protected in Malaysia

Japan is cigarette smokers’ heaven. Japan is changing especially in Tokyo in recent years, but still Japan overall is smoking environment everywhere even inside the building. Restaurants are not non-smoking, but often ‘Bunen’, just partition of smokers and non smokers, and often there is no walls to prevent smoke flowing in.

This is probably worst cons in Japan at least to me. In Malaysia, it’s simple and clear. Aa restaurants, you can smoke outside terrace tables. But you cannot smoke indoor area. Japan allows to smoke inside, which is nightmare for non-smokers. Not good for children either.

3. Married mum women can work outside with no problems in Malaysia

In Japan, it’s so difficult for mums to work somewhere, even difficult to get jobs. Physically hard to seek nursary school / Kindergarten / Daycare for kids, also traditional society culture still does not allow mums work full-time work.

Traditional people think leaving kids at nursary is evil, considered not doing mum’s job. Also cities like Tokyo is changing from this obsolete concept, but still difficulty to find nursary, there are simply not enough numbers of places.

Maid culture is not common at all, they are worried or uncomfortable to have someone entering house as in both safetiness or privacy issues.

4. Malaysia’s working culture is more flexible and laid back

I work at Malaysian culture environment. It’s Western company but almost all employees are Malaysians, so more like Malaysian culture. It could be depending on the companies, though, generally Malaysian work culture is more relaxed, laid back.

For example, KL is car society so it’s easily happening that people are late for work. It’s important to make on time for sure, but sometimes there are accident you cannot really predict.

They don’t care that much if you are late for work as long as it’s not hugely late. 5, 10 mins late for work is nothing. But in Japan, they get really mad even for 2 mins late at work.

Our company team mates often go to breakfast. Often celebrate someone’s birthday at office with birthday songs, cakes and balloons at some situation. Japan, as in typical Japanese companies do not have that relaxed culture going to breakfast or celebrating colleagues birthday at work with loud birthday songs!

I received a bunch of flowers at work! From other team colleagues. This also never happens in Japan unless it’s very special situation like external event or you are VIP guest or something.


5. Malaysia people are truly friendly

Japanese people are polite and kind in many situations. Although, I would not say they are ‘friendly’, well, they are sort of friendly but not Malaysian’s way, as in casualness and cheerfulness. Because many are shy and reserved.

General Malaysian people are friendly. I feel trueness of warm heart from Malaysians. Pregnant women have no problems in a train to secure seats. Can’t be the same in Japan especially Tokyo. There are rude older men like an article below, pregnant can be ignored easily, and this is not rare case, often happening.

Man complains about pregnant women on Japanese train, creatively gets told to shut up

In Malaysia, these tragedy don’t happen.

6. There are no complimental overwork culture in Malaysia

I must admit that there are still overtime work in Malaysia. I know some people working over time. However, it’s far away from Japan’s overtime and long hour working. At least in Malaysia, people get paid for OT.

In Japan, often they are not paid but still nearly forced to work long hours and overtime. We call it ‘Service Zangyo’ or ‘Savizan’. Some are willing to do it as being workholic, but some are forced to do so otherwise they will be laid off.

In Malaysia, overtime work is more depending on individual, not really ‘forced’ to do so. And most of operational workders in Malaysia just leave work on time. Overtime workders tend to be like accountant, consultant, lawyer, architect, professional knowledge workers with exemption condition. (And personally I think Chinese Malaysian tend to work long hours if not mistaken.)

7. Malaysia accepts flexibility

I felt Malaysia is flexible country. Grab is allowed (banned in Japan), Airbnb is allowed (banned in Japan), you can make order-made in many situation, .

For example, renting housing. Based on my experiences, often tenants can choose what furniture they want to have or they don’t want to have, and adjusted with monthly rent. If you prefer fully furnished place, most cases owners to prepare for you and put extra on monthly rent.

This is not existing in Japan. Even furnished housing it self is not existing. Always unfurnished and you basically need guarantor to rent a housing. Must be so difficult to rent housing in Japan especially foreigners who don’t have company support, as it was even difficult for me! I feel Japan is very much inflexible country.

Also securing Wifi and Mobile phone (datas) are difficult in Japan. There are not really open Wifi connection like in Malaysia. There are no prepaid phone SIM (except travelling ones) like Malaysia. I’m resident also worker in Malaysia, but I’m still using prepaid SIM mobile phone.Very flexible.

8. Much less paying tax in Malaysia comparing to Jpaan

In Japan, too many kinds of tax charged, and amount is really high. Though, we don’t get benefit which is equivalent to the amount we pay.

I understand UK with high tax, as people has the right to go to clinic for free, state school is free. But Japan’s tax is so high but no treatment like UK.

Tax in Malaysia is simple and not rip off like Japan.

After All…

I can write more but now it’s long. To say frankly, Malaysia is easier and simpler to stay for me.

Japan tends to have strict rules all the time, bit like military, and sometimes some of them are not making sense. I still agree Japan’s good points, they are important to make better environment. But to me, still, Malaysia is more comfortable to stay and I choose to stay here another years.

Only I miss about Japan is great fantastic natures, hot springs, great food and traditional heritages or cultural events. Of chourse friends and family. I must admit I love Japan in terms of these things.

I will write reverse version next time – about bad points of Malaysia comparing to Japan.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *