Right across the straits of Singapore, there are more people who prefer to start their own business, especially the Chinese. They forgo a stable salary to take on the path of entrepreneurship. For some families, one of the spouse will continue to work and the other will start a business, this will provide with a stable source of income.
In Malaysia, there is a common saying “the Bumiputera control the politics while the Chinese control the money”. In 2018, from the list of top 10 richest Malaysians, there are 9 Chinese tycoons. According to Forbes, Robert Kuok has $14.8 billion, Quek Leng Chan $7.2 billion, Teh Hong Piow $6 billion, Lee Shin Cheng $5.6 billion.
The local Chinese in Malaysia prefers to be their own boss, this could be driven by the political environment. When they start to work, they realize that their salary level is not high and the pace of increment is slow, it seems impossible to become rich through the employment route. Coupled with the weakening Ringgit, it further weakens the local purchasing power. These factors are push factors to drive creativity and create a strong desire to work hard for personal success.
In China, there are a lot of young people who want to be their own boss. For instance, some will set up their small phone shops and steamboats restaurants. The entry barrier for small business is lower than others. Similar to Malaysia, the young people felt that the working hours are long and salary level is low, this will drive them to take a chance on themselves. Due to the huge population in China, there will be a wide diversity of start ups and businesses ranging from low tech to high tech. The tech startups are booming in China and there are a lot of success stories such as Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent, Baidu and Xiaomi.
Looking at Singapore, most of the young generation will prefer to work for MNCs, getting a stable salary and wait for the annual increment. The Singapore currency is relatively stable and strong, economy is still growing at a stable rate, the income through work is generally good enough to have a comfortable lifestyle. This is the key reason why they will prefer to work for someone. Some of newly minted fresh graduates are not anxious to look for jobs and will take some time to travel to see the world. They are from the middle class family and well provided by the family. Some of them may not have the drive and motivation to start their own business.
Definitely, there are another group of young Singaporeans who took the plunge and started their own business. They are considered the minority. Perhaps, we need to be uncomfortable in a comfortable environment. Sometimes it is good to have some turbulence in life, this will remind us to remain vigilant and take bold decisions to change your life.