Company: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC)
Position: Engineer in the Manufacturing Information Technology Department
It was easy to be attracted by the optimistic personality and friendly smile of Xiu-Hui （known as XH） in our first meeting. Through this interview, we gained more insight into why a Malaysian overseas Chinese student's life. She has lived in Taiwan for 9 years. It all began in 2001, when XH in high school talked with her classmates about the topic of studying abroad. The most attractive choices for students at the time were Australia, Mainland China and Taiwan. At that time, the Taiwanese TV show called "Meteor Garden" was the most famous TV show in Malaysia. XH saw actors and actresses studying on campus, which gave her the idea of coming to Taiwan to study.
Values and cultural differences between Malaysia and Taiwan made XH feel nostalgic for home and sometimes difficult to adjusting to life in Taiwan. Her positive thinking supported her to study hard in the Department of Computer Science & Information Engineering at National Central University. Her handwork paid off as she got good academic grades. When she first moved, Taiwan's friendliness and her peers also helped XH to fit into her new life in Taiwan. After graduation, XH was immediately hired by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and served as an Information Engineer in the Wafer Foundry Industry.
30% of XH's friends stayed in Taiwan to work. In recent years, most Malaysian students have graduated from science, engineering, and medical-related departments in Taiwan. Fewer graduated from literature, law and business departments. The later degrees of literature, law and business departments have resulted in lower paying positions for young applicants in Taiwan. This aspect makes it difficult to retain Southeast Asian overseas Chinese students. Recently the Taiwanese government has responded to attracting international talent by relaxing the requirement to 2 years of work experience and lowering the salary basis from NT$47,971 to NT $37,619. A Point-based visa has also allowed the number of overseas Chinese students to rise to 1,428 since July of 2014. This is a growth of 68% from the previous year. According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor, there were 515 overseas Chinese students staying to work in Taiwan on an average salary of NT $35,000. XH has observed that, in comparison to Taiwan, Singapore is more near Malaysia, provides higher standard salary, and tries hard to recruit overseas Chinese students from Southeast Asia. All of these factors provide a greater incentive and motivation for Malaysian works to find work in Singapore.
As for XH, working in Taiwan became an important milestone in her life, and her younger brother also followed her in her footsteps by coming to Taiwan to study. Her parents have supported her stay to work in Taiwan. As XH mentioned earlier in this interview, Taiwan's free culture and friendliness have deeply touched her. The convenience of living in Taiwan and its environment have made her feel very comfortable. She aspires to own a home in the future. XH's affinity for Taiwan because the Taiwanese TV show brought this young Malaysian girl here to find her first job. XH is continually adjusting her life's goals of living in Taiwan.