A business is an organization which aims and provides goods and services to consumers. In business perspective, quality of life is defined as the general level of human happiness based on factors such as life expectancy, sanitation, educational standards, health and leisure time. Businesses, government, and non-profit organizations share the same effort which is building a high quality life. For example, Malaysia in overall is a country which has good quality of life. Malaysia is among the friendliest and hospitable places in the world to work and live in, while Malaysians are warm and friendly people who easily accept foreigners into their circle of friends. Malaysians enjoy a safe and comfortable living environment with 21st century facilities, excellent healthcare and medical conveniences, outstanding educational institutions, and world-class recreational and sports facilities – at lower costs in Malaysia.
In a recent study by Mercer, a global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, Kuala Lumpur ranked 75 in the 2009 quality of living global city rankings based on a categorised point-scoring index covering 215 cities (The Star, 2009).Singapore ranked 26 because of their high quality houses and apartments, and wide range of international and private schools to cater to its expatriate community, have been cited as contributing factors. Singapore is a city that boasts an airport with outstanding facilities and connections as well as an well-organized and extensive public transport network, the republic scored the highest worldwide for its city infrastructure.
Compared with many other higher cost countries, Malaysia can also boast of its relatively high standard of living at lower costs, cultural diversity, and racial harmony. It should also control on its strength as one of the most politically stable countries in the region by ensuring both the federal and state governments cooperate and work together to ensure projects and policies are efficiently implemented and executed for the people’s well-being. Now Kuala Lumpur and Penang are already the top favourites for the expatriate and international communities as they are home to quite a number of multinational corporations and regional offices. It will be good for other cities in the country to make use of their comparative advantages to share the popularity spotlight. There is still much work to be done to beef up the overall quality of life index, including curbing crimes to ensure personal safety and security, and sprucing up the living environment with better quality public projects and facilities and housing schemes.
Next, businesses create goods and services that are basis of our standard of living. It is a level of material comfort measured by goods, services, and luxuries available to an individual, group, or nation.We can measure standard of living of a particular country by using the output of goods and services people can buy with the money they have. For example, country A with high average wages shows that their standard of living is not high because their products and services are selling at a high price. On the other hand, country B is selling the same product for a lower price. Therefore, country B has higher standards of living.
Another example, the living standard in Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia is in general quite high, more or less like any other big city in the world. Malaysia has a good health care system, good hospitals, good international schools, excellent highways and modern communication systems. The infrastructure in KL is just as good as in any other city. Satellite TV and mobile phones are as common here as everywhere else.
Characteristic of a quality life and a good standard of living
Standard of living and quality of life are often referred to in discussions about the economic and social well-being of countries and their residents. Businesses have helped many people to upgrade quality of their life. However, people control the quality of life that they want and receive. Quality of life has a few characteristics which based on political freedom, clean natural environment, education, health care, free time, and factors related to one’s happiness and satisfaction.
In political, it is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. In political, a quality life is rated by average of indexes of political and civil liberties. Political refers to our government and role that they played. For example, in Malaysia, citizens have the right to vote for their leader and this is also representing good quality of Malaysian life. Malaysians also enjoy the benefit of freedom to talk in public. The government gives citizen freedom to voice out their mindset and brainstorm for the best one. This unique system has shown that Malaysia is practicing better quality of life compare to those country which their citizen does not have this benefit. In other hand, government must grant equal rights and responsibilities to all regardless of race, religion, sexuality and age. The type of education we receive, the quality of housing we live in, the amount of money in our pockets and the quality of life we have in the future is a result of politics.
The second factor in quality of life is clean natural environment. Natural environment are all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. For example, air, water, rock, river and other. Pollution can take many forms: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the ground where we grow food and even the increasing noise we hear every day. These all contribute to health problems and a lower quality of life.Concern of pollution issues, more businesses have focus on “Go Green Programme” and produce pollution-free product. For example most of the retail seller such as supermarket had stop giving plastic bag to customers, and they encourage customers to bring their own bag when shopping. Everyone in the world has the responsibility to maintain a clean environment and thus create high quality life.
Next, education is an important factor in quality of life as well. Education is an essential component of life. It is the largest sense of act or experience that has formative effect on mind, physical ability or character to an individual. Education also is a knowledge and skill gain. Education gives us the knowledge of the world around us, develops us a perspective of looking at life and also helps us build opinions and have points of view on everything in life. Education is important because it is the basic foundation of every move and every decision we make in our daily lives. In Malaysia, there are more than 30 international schools which registered with the Ministry of Education. These schools are located in federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, and in the states of Johor, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak. They include British-style and American international schools, also French, German, Japanese and Taiwanese schools that have accommodations for pre-school to college education. Compared to limited education last time, lots of courses only can be complete overseas. Now most of the higher education course such as Bachelor Degree and Master can be done in Malaysia. This has proven that education has uplifted the quality of life in Malaysians.
The next factor is health care. Health care define as the treatment, management, safeguard of injury, other physical and mental well-being through the service that offer by the medical and health professions.
Health is a big issue which every people concern nowadays. Last time, lots of critical illnesses can only be cure in big city or overseas. Now Malaysia government builds lots of hospital and clinic even at small town to provide the best service to citizen, and Malaysia citizen enjoy benefits such as free medical fee when they go to government hospital. Compared to previous period, when we are talking about insurance, people will show ignorance and in their mindset insurance is an unnecessary item. However, now people have realized the benefit of insurance and they more willing to listen to various type of insurance plan and packages. Besides that, now people also will maintain their health by using health care product. Consequently this brings to better quality of life.
The next factor is free time. Free time mean the time that can be spent on one’s own activities rather than work. When a man is focus on work to raise his family’s standard of living the lower is his quality of life. When he is always working, he never there to enjoy the wonderful standard of living he provides for his family. He just likes the family photographer who cannot prove he was ever on the vacation because he is not in one picture (Area Development, 2011). In order for us to uplift the quality of our life, we must have the ability to organize wise time management thus enjoy the wonderful standard of living of our life. For example, travel, shopping, singing, and reading and so on.
A standard of living is a preset measurement of value, provided by those who are in power over the country, for which, you were born. The standard of living is also referring to how we live our life, through our actions and whether those actions are moral good or bad. A standard of living life is guided by individual integrity, ruled by conscience. When we hold ourselves to the highest integrity, then we realize we have gained a measure of quality of life to guide ourselves forward (Hubpages, 2011).Standard of living is frequently used to compare geographic areas, such as the standard of living in the Australia versus Canada. We can measure standard of living by Human Development Index. It considers life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rates and per capita gross domestic product to measure a country’s level of development.
Standard of living will make us think about things that are easy to quantify. We can measure factors like inflation rate, life expectancy and the average number of paid vacation days workers receive each year. Standard of living is also used to compare distinct points in time. For example, compared to a century ago, the standard of living in the U.S. is considered improved greatly. The same amount of work buys a larger quantity of goods, and items that were once luxuries, such as refrigerators and automobiles, are now widely available. Also, leisure time and life expectancy have increased, and annual hours worked have decreased, thus it brings to good standard of living (Investopedia, 2011).
Globalization and political change have a greater impact on business risk and there wards of globalization. As the interrelation and interdependency of global markets continues to increase, firms are taking on greater international exposure than ever before. What’s new today is a crucial and growing gap between the willingness of corporate executives to accept rising levels of political risk in search of greater economic rewards and their ability to adequately protect business performance and economic value by managing this risk in a consistent, efficient, and systematic manner. (Business performance. 2011)
National oil companies (NOCs) are expanding at an unprecedented rate. Geopolitical uncertainty, across both producer and consumer countries, is on the rise. At the same time, the industry is coping with a surge in published and unpublished incidents involving business setbacks such as contract renegotiations or cancellation by host countries, increases in taxation driven in part by political agendas, or impromptu exits from countries after significant investment. What’s different today is an increased level of complexity-and in some jurisdictions, a new urgency-in how global politics impact the energy value chain. (Political risk. 2011)
Education will have a greater impact by business activities going on smoothly. Business is the main income for most businessmen to support their family and their employees. Foe the employees, they will have a better pay for their family. In this case, his or she children will have a better education which is very much important nowadays. However, for the employers they are likely the same as their employees. They also have their family to support and children to send to school, college or even university which needed money so much. As the result, a better and smoother their business are going on, the more they will earn and have enough money to educate their children.
Furthermore, health care is also one of the characteristics which are also the impact of business activities. Health care nowadays are very important. Everyone is going for organic foods. Besides, the government also helps in the health care industries like building more hospitals in the city even the rural areas. Their nations need money to take these services. So a better job opportunity is the best for them to earn money for a better health care system.
On the other hand, self satisfaction is a victory for oneself. If a person has a good job after his or her graduation right away, it is also happiness and a satisfaction to that particular employees. The unemployed individual has difficulties on having this opportunity to enjoy the happiness.
Malaysia is among the most friendly and hospital able place in the world to work and live in but somewhat unsatisfactory for some. The living environment is one that is comfortable and laid back but safety is a big issues. (Malaysia Quality of Life. 2011)
The most distinctive features are its rich diversity of cultures, a heritage derived from its racial mix of some of the world’s oldest civilization – Malay, Chinese and Indian. This potpourri of race and culture has enabled Malaysians to speak at least two and even three language. Malaysia national language such as Malay, English and Malaysian’s Mother tongue language likes Chinese, Indian, Iban, Bidayu and so on. (Quality of Life, 2011)
However, Singapore is one of the best places to live in with a high standard of living. Their living costs are still relatively affordable compared to other developed countries. According to the Mercer Quality of Living global city rankings 2009, Singapore topped the list for quality of life in Asia as well as for city infrastructure in the world. Besides, an annual survey by human resources consultancy ECA International comparing 254 International location found that Asian expatriates ranked Singapore as their preferred city to live in, citing the high standards of infrastructure and health care, as well as low crime rates. The city’s modern facilities for education, dining, shopping and recreation also add to its appeal. The Global Country Brand Index rankled Singapore second in the world for its shopping, nightlife and diving. (Quality & Cost of Living . 2011)
Malaysia healthcare and medical facilities are up to par. Not exactly world class but sufficient to accommodate the current needs. Besides, in the event that there is a need for world class medical facilities, Singapore is just down south. However, in spite of the dedication of local government of Malaysia to provide the best possible healthcare, there are still some problems that are unsolved and one of these is the unavailability of quality healthcare centers in remote areas. Government has designed a tool call the tele primary care. This method helps the doctors on remote areas to discuss problem cases by tele-consulations with specialists and factors on hospitals. The Malaysian government is continually striving to make the healthcare system better. (Health Care in Malaysia. 2011) Tap water in Malaysia is generally safe to drink in the major towns and city but in rural village, boiled or bottled mineral water is recommended. (Malaysian Healthcare. 2011)
According to the World Health Organization, 100% of the population had access to drinking water and sanitation. Singapore’s population enjoys one of the highest levels of health and nutrition in Asia. The country is also renowned for its world-class health infrastructure, technological advancements in the health-care industry. Singapore promotes a clean and green environment. Cleanliness and hygiene are imbibed in its system, with fines for even failing to flash a toilet after use. The National Environment Agency conducts surprise checks all over the island for instances of mosquito breeding and imposes heavy fines at breeding sites. According to a survey published by the political and economic risk consultancy, Singapore’s health-care system as rated as the 3rd best in the World after USA and Australia by the expatiates in Asia. The World Health Organization, ranked Singapore health care system as the best in Asia, ahead of Japan which ranked number 10. (Quality of Life in Singapore. 2011)
In Malaysia, our education institution is popping up like unwanted zits. Now, there’s no need to study abroad when you can study in Malaysia for half the price and maybe even less. Almost all courses that you can think of are offered in Malaysia, from kindergartens to University. (Malaysia Quality of Life. 2011)
However, Singapore is a knowledge based economy great emphasis is placed on education. The education system arms individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to survive in a globally competitive environment. An updated syllabus relevant to the changing times, a highly competitive environment, streaming students according to academic ability, a system based on meritocracy and esteemed teachers are some of the factors behind the success of education in Singapore. According to Time of London Survey, National University of Singapore was ranked 18th of 200 Best University of the World of 2004. (Quality of Life in Singapore. 2011)
Visitors in Malaysia can enjoy high end designer item or cheap knockoffs stock in Malaysia. There are shopping malls of international standard and street peddlers too. (Malaysia Quality of Life. 2011)
On the other hand, shopping in Singapore has a vibrant night life and there are several bars and night clubs that are frequented by patrons. (Quality of Life in Singapore. 2011)
A business is an organization which aims and provides goods and services to consumers. In business perspective, quality of life is defined as the general level of human happiness based on factors such as life expectancy, sanitation, educational standards, health and leisure time. Malaysia’s environment is one that is comfortable and laid back but safety is a big issues.
Malaysia and Singapore has a big gap between the quality of life and standard of living in health care, education and recreation. It is explain clearly in the above which conclude that Singapore is the top ranking countries which provide a good quality of life and a better standard of living compare to Malaysia which is still developing and improving.
Quality of Life Factors into Business Location Decision | Area Development Online . 2011. Quality of Life Factors into Business Location Decision | Area Development Online . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.areadevelopment.com/siteSelection/dec08/quality-of-life-business-location017.shtml. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Healthcare | Define Healthcare at Dictionary.com . 2011. Healthcare | Define Healthcare at Dictionary.com . [ONLINE] Available at:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/healthcare. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
free time – definition of free time by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. 2011. free time – definition of free time by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.thefreedictionary.com/free+time. [Accessed 23 March 2011].
Quality of Life VS Standard of Living. 2011. Quality of Life VS Standard of Living. [ONLINE] Available at: http://hubpages.com/hub/A-Quality-of-Life-Versus-Standard-of-Living. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Investopedia.com – Your Source For Investing Education . 2011. Investopedia.com – Your Source For Investing Education . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/09/standard-of-living-quality-of-life.asp. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
How managing political risk helps improve business performance. 2011. How managing political risk helps improve business performance. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.scribd.com/doc/30887578/16/How-managing-political-risk-helps-improve-business-performance. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
How energy companies can improve global business performance by better managing political risk. 2011. How energy companies can improve global business performance by better managing political risk. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.pwc.com/th/en/publications/energy-companies-improve-global-business-performance.jhtml. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Malaysia, Travellers Guide & Tips – Malaysia Quality Of Life. 2011. Malaysia, Travellers Guide & Tips – Malaysia Quality Of Life. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/malaysia/Travellers_Guide_&_Tips/314/malaysia_quality_of_life.php. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Quality of Life | Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA). 2011. Quality of Life | Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA). [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.mida.gov.my/en_v2/index.php?page=quality-of-life. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Contact Singapore – Quality & Cost of Living . 2011. Contact Singapore – Quality & Cost of Living . [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.contactsingapore.sg/investors/live/quality_cost_of_living/. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Health Care in Malaysia. 2011. Health Care in Malaysia. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.expatforum.com/articles/health/health-care-in-malaysia.html. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Malaysian Healthcare. 2011. Malaysian Healthcare. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/malaysia/guide/healthcare-in-malaysia.asp. [Accessed 23 March 2011]
Guide to Quality of Life in Singapore. 2011. Guide to Quality of Life in Singapore. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.guidemesingapore.com/relocation/introduction/quality-of-life-in-singapore. [Accessed 23 March 2011]