Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country and there had been accusations of racism stem from racial preferences embodied within the social and economic policy of the country.
Unfortunately, the discrimination and racism does not only stop there and apparently, a person’s nationality plays a part too.
Recently, a netizen @Iqtodabal had taken to Twitter to point out the unfair salaries received by local Malaysian teachers and expatriate teachers from Western countries.
Tapi gaji cikgu mat salleh fresh grad tanpa pape pengalaman mengajar atau bekerja boleh pulak cecah RM10-20k sebulan kat sekolah2 private international Mesia, tapi tu la… https://t.co/CNo7oUu95Z pic.twitter.com/aKNqwNqy5w— Iqbal (@Iqtodabal) December 15, 2021
He also shared how the ethnically white foreign teachers such as the USA are making big bucks at Malaysian international schools, while our local Malaysian teachers do not receive the same pay grade, nor the same kind of benefits, despite doing the same job of being a teacher.
Iqbal also highlighted that fact that private schools tuition fees are so expensive and yet private school teachers are not paid very well. Apparently, most of the money goes to the foreign teachers.
According to Iqbal, these international schools often use their foreign teachers as an advertisement and representative of their “international education” for students.
In a series of snippets he shared, these “expat teachers” are earning a basic pay of USD$3,000 – $5,000 (RM12,650 – RM21,000) in addition to fully paid lodging and expenses.
In comparison, a local Malaysian teacher employed at the same international school receives an average wage of only RM2,500 – RM5,000 a month.
Meanwhile, teachers were quick to agree on this fact and they were unfortunate to face such discrimination simply because they were local Malaysians.
Teringat apply kerja (and dapat offer) as teacher kat a prominent private school kat Malaysia. Offered 2.5k. As a fresh grad, I almost went for it, until I found out the expat teachers (some takda teaching background, just bored wives of businessmen) dapat 12k. Hshshs ded— (NPC) Moyo (@penatbuttercup) December 16, 2021
A netizen then shared that she was offered only RM2,500 when she applied as a teacher at a private school, while the other “expat teachers” who were wives of expat businessmen without any actual teaching background were earning almost 6 times her offer!
Some pointed out that these private schools are obviously having “white” teachers as part of their education staff as a marketing strategy.
Interestingly, a netizen said this disparity actually do not just exist within the education industry, but it is same across all industries.
Nonetheless, many Malaysians often feel their employers relate skin color with job competency and this is a barrier that Malaysians had been struggling to break through.