For Boomers, sticking to ONE job throughout their entire life is normal. But for Millennials and Gen Zs, this is impossible and even not economically possible in this inflation-high era. 

When “Quiet Quitting” has become the talk of “social media”, we don’t think it will happen any sooner here in Malaysia – at least not on the surface of online media. Malaysians might secretly execute the mission of “quiet-quitting” without being outspoken about it on TikTok, unlike the brazen US youth. 

In the United States of America, young workers are doing their assigned work within their working hours. For anything that goes beyond that? They will loudly reject – that’s why it’s called quiet quitting, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are planning to quit their existing jobs any time soon, yet they are NOT doing their all-out like the hustling parents they have.

Malaysian employees might not showing their quiet-quitting online, but if they are doing it in a secret mission, it is highly likely that they do it because of one or more of these following reasons.

Weakening MYR currency


As we wrote this article, our Malaysian ringgit conversion to USD is insanely disappointing. USD4.61 can only exchange for RM1. This downhill (for Malaysians) is forcing people to look beyond loyal jobs

As we are living in the world of remote work, Malaysian employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z workers, are looking for online jobs where they come from overseas that are paid in a foreign currency, preferably the United States Dollar.

This is why we can see from this famous local salary transparency Instagram page that many people are having other side hustles that pay in USD which puts them ahead of other Malaysian-ringgit earners. 

But this only comes into a few, as not everyone is capable and that lucky to find remote jobs that pay in USD. You will need to compete with many other overseas talents that fight for the same job.

Regardless, Malaysian employees will start to work in their means for not doing extra work in their existing company. Because they will use those extra times to work in a side hustle that may pay them more than what they receive from their existing job.

The unmatch between the rate of a pay rise and price hike

What used to be an affordable meal – Malaysians’ favourite national dish – can now cost you your daily working wage nowadays. A normal nasi lemak by the roadside costs you RM3. But, this video proves to you how expensive a nasi lemak can really be.

National dish aside. When our national salaries only increased an average of 3.2% year-to-year, the prices of necessities were going to be expected to increase a hike between 50 to 60%

How do Malaysian employees survive this high inflation and unfair economic treatment?

Relating to the first reason, Malaysians would need to get more jobs that pay them more money, if the salary is not going to increase in the same amount of rate in recent times. 

Quiet-quitting will therefore become a common phenomenon in the workspace if no party is stepping up to turn things around.

Employees NEED (not want) to be appreciated and “belonged.”

When asked what might be the reason employees are quitting, employers mentioned salary, work-life balance, and poor mental and emotional health.

Employees did care about these concerns, although perhaps not to the extent that employers had anticipated. In contrast, the top three reasons given by employees for leaving their jobs were that they didn’t feel appreciated by their employers (54%) or their supervisors (52%) or that they didn’t have a sense of belonging at work (51%).

It demonstrates how companies preferred to focus on transactional elements while individuals were far more inclined to value relationship aspects.

This is why focusing on paycheck alone will not suffice to grab hold of your employees (or even “encourage” them to work more than they should), if you are a business owner or company’s decision maker.

Employees are searching for positions with better, more solid career paths. Smart businesses find methods to reward staff members by elevating them both into new jobs and into higher levels within their current ones. 

For example, Waffle House, an American restaurant chain, provides three levels of employment for grill employees instead of just one. Cooks at all levels are referred to as “grill operators,” “master grill operators,” and “rock star grill operators,” or more commonly, “Elvis on the grill,” for their superior cooking.

Just like in Monsta Asia, we reward the Top 3 Most Outstanding Talents that have demonstrated their passion to be involved in many endeavours that challenge them intellectually and physically. 

Employees will hunt for other job opportunities elsewhere if their requirements for professional growth, workplace flexibility, support for their mental and physical health, and other factors aren’t being addressed at their workplaces.

We are humans – we have emotions and feelings. Even though work is traditionally an economic transaction between labour demand and supply, it doesn’t mean that employees should be treated like they are machines who just constantly churn out completed work without being cared for their growth.

People feel valuable when they can apply their skills to solve problems. Sometimes that satisfaction comes from solving the world’s big problems, but more often it’s conquering the little ones.

Employers have to constantly communicate with employees that every seemingly-small job has value and brings influence for anything – even as a delivery rider. 

Remember: All jobs are meaningful.

People want to be seen, heard and understood. That is why employees will connect very well and stick with the same working companies when the employers provide a very wholesome and inclusive working environment for every employee in the company.

Whether these 3 abovementioned reasons are justifiable for Malaysian employees’ quiet-quitting behaviour, it’s the right time for everyone to speak out and take responsibility for what their future will look like if this behaviour continues, and whether quiet-quitting is a sustainable way for their professional and personal growth.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts/opinions in the comment below.