How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Malaysia

Learn effective strategies on how to ask for a pay rise in Malaysia. Navigate through understanding your value and industry standards.
How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Malaysia

How to Ask for a Pay Rise in Malaysia

Currently, the average salary in Malaysia is RM 80,451 per year or RM 39 per hour. Is your salary on par with the country’s average (and the average for your particular industry)? If not, it might be time to ask for a raise — especially if you’ve been with the same company for a while. Of course, requesting a pay rise is easier said than done. That’s where this guide comes in. Below, we’re sharing some valuable insights into how to ask for a pay rise in Malaysia. You’ll learn the right time to request a pay rise, a reasonable raise to ask for, and the variables that influence your salary increase. You’ll also see some examples of how to ask for an increase in salary by email.

When Do I Ask for a Pay Rise in Malaysia?

The proper timing is critical when trying to ask for a pay rise in Malaysia. If you ask too soon after starting at a specific company, for example, you’re less likely to be taken seriously and get what you’re looking for.

Here are some good rules of thumb to keep in mind when deciding when to ask for a raise:

Wait Six Months or Longer

Resist the urge to ask for a raise too soon after starting a new job. If you’ve been with a company for under six months, you’re less likely to get the raise you want — if any raise at all.

Your manager (or whoever is in charge of granting you a raise) wants to see what you’ve accomplished to warrant a salary increase. If you haven’t worked with the company for very long, you don’t have much to show to back up your request.


If you decide to ask for a pay rise before the six-month mark, make sure you have a significant contribution to present to your manager.

Factor in the Fiscal Year

The fiscal year is a business’s 12-month accounting period. In general, it’s best to ask for a raise two or three months before the end of the fiscal year for your company.

Around this time, your employer is probably starting work on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As a result, it’ll likely be easier for them to factor your raise (if they approve of your request) into the budget.

It’s also a good idea to ask your company’s human resources manager when salary increases are approved. That way, you can make sure you talk to your manager before it’s too late.

Ask During Office Hours

Asking at the right time of day can make a difference, too. Avoid asking toward the end of the day, the end of the work week, or over the weekend (if you’re communicating via email). Instead, make a request during office hours.

Be willing to be flexible with when you meet, too.

For example, if the manager can’t schedule a meeting with you until a week from the day you ask, roll with it. Being accommodating can help you increase your chances of having your request accommodated.

Consider the Company’s Finances

It’s not always easy to know how your company is doing financially. Depending on your position, you might not be privy to that information.

If you do have an idea of the business’s finances, or if you can connect with someone who does know, use that information to help you decide when to ask for a pay rise.

Say you find out that the company is struggling or stagnant. It might be a good idea to wait a while before requesting a raise. Conversely, if the company is doing well, you’re more likely to get the raise you want.

Assess Where You Are in Your Job

Be honest with yourself about your position and how much you’ve progressed since you took on a particular role.

Have you completed any crucial projects? Have you consistently gone above and beyond your job description? Have you contributed to positive changes for the company?

If you can say “yes” to those questions, you’re likely in a better position to qualify for a raise. If you’ve just been doing the bare minimum, you might need to step it up and show your manager why you’re a good candidate for a pay raise.

Consider Asking During Your Annual Review

Asking for a raise during your annual review can be a smart move. It allows you to naturally bring up your accomplishments and all the hard work you’ve been doing for the company.


Addressing these topics can help you demonstrate why you deserve a raise. Because your manager has just spent time pointing out everything you’ve done well, they will have a harder time explaining why you shouldn’t get a salary increase.

What Is a Reasonable Increase in Salary in Malaysia?

In addition to learning when to ask for a salary increase, you likely also want to know how to ask for a salary increment politely. The first step to a polite pay raise request is asking for an appropriate and reasonable amount of money.

How much should you ask for?

The exact amount will vary based on your industry, how the company is doing financially, etc. However, a good starting point is to ask for a 10-30 percent raise.

You might not get this much. However, Asking for 10-30 percent more gives you a good starting point to negotiate.

Maybe your boss can’t give you a 30 percent raise, for example, but they might counter with 20. After some back and forth, you might settle on 24 percent, which is still substantially more than you were making previously.

Which Variables Influence a Pay Rise?

When making a plan for how to ask for a salary increment politely, remember that many variables influence A) whether your request will be well received and B) how much of a raise you will get.

The following are some of the most important variables to keep in mind:

Company Performance

The likelihood of you getting a salary increment has to do, in part, with how well the company is performing as a whole.

Before you request a raise, do what you can to learn about the company’s performance and financial status. Talk to your colleagues, read reports or newsletters, or check to see if there are any stories about the business in the local news.

If the company isn’t doing very well financially, there may still be potential for a raise.

However, it helps to go into the meeting with your manager armed with the latest information. That way, you won’t be caught off guard if they say they can’t give you a raise or can’t give you as much of a raise as you want.

Your Performance

Your performance as an employee is, naturally, another critical factor in whether or not you’ll get a raise. If you have consistently demonstrated your value and helped your team and the company to thrive, you will be more likely to get the salary increment you’re hoping for.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to measure performance and show that you deserve a raise. Even if you haven’t worked on any big projects, you can still contribute to the company positively.

For example, are your soft skills (communication, leadership, time management, etc.) helping your team to achieve specific objectives? Is your ability to collaborate and work well with others contributing to morale across the department?

Industry Standards

In addition to researching the company’s current financial status, it’s also helpful to go into a discussion about a pay raise with knowledge of what others in your industry (with your experience and qualifications) are earning.

Say the average salary in your field is RM 65,000, and you’re only making RM 50,000. In that case, you should be sure to bring that up during the discussion. Having hard data on your side helps you build a strong case for yourself and support your argument.

Outside Influences

Factors like inflation and the rising cost of food, housing, etc., should also factor into your request for a raise.

If the cost of living is rising, and you’re struggling to keep up with your current salary, that’s a good reason to request a pay rise. You may want to bring this information up when talking to your manager to provide more context for your desire for more money.

Avoid getting too personal, though. You’re more likely to get a salary increase by focusing on your accomplishments and merit rather than personal needs.

How Well You Make Your Case

Last but not least is how well you make your case.

It doesn’t matter if you’re wondering how to ask for a salary increase in a job offer, how to ask for a salary increment in an interview, or how to ask for a pay raise in an email. Regardless of the situation, you should keep these tips in mind to ensure you’re getting your point across clearly and making a compelling argument:

  • Focus on the value you provide
  • Use hard data to back up your points
  • Be polite but firm and confident
  • Get straight to the point

Be prepared to receive a no, at least the first time you ask. It can take several meetings to negotiate a salary raise, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get what you want after the first discussion.

Pay Raise Email Examples

Are you thinking about sending an email to ask for a pay raise? If so, these examples can help you figure out how to format the message correctly.

Here are three examples of how to ask for an increase in salary email:

Example 1

Hi [Manager’s Name],

I hope you’re doing well. I’m reaching out because I’d like to set up a time to discuss my compensation for my role as [job title].

In the last [number] years, I have made significant contributions to the company, such as [insert specific accomplishments]. I have also taken on additional responsibility by doing [insert task], further demonstrating my commitment to the team and [company name].

Based on these factors, as well as the current average salary range for people in my position with my experience, I would like to ask for a salary increase of X%. I would also love to schedule a meeting with you to discuss this topic further.

Thank you for your time.


[Your Name]

Example 2

Hi [Manager’s Name],

I have now been at [Company Name] for [Number] years, and I wanted to reach out to schedule a time to talk about a pay rise of X%. Based on my contributions, including [List Contributions], along with the status of the current job market and rising inflation, I believe a raise of this amount is reasonable.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done in the last [Number] years and am excited to continue growing in my role. I’d like to discuss this topic more, so please let me know if and when we can schedule a time to chat.

Thank you so much!


[Your Name]

Example 3

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I’m reaching out to request a meeting to discuss my compensation for the [Insert Position Title] role.

Based on my experience and skills, including [Insert Skills], as well as my recent accomplishments, I believe I deserve a raise to [Insert Desired Salary].

I would love to arrange a meeting so that we can further discuss my salary. I would like a chance to explain my reasoning in person, discuss my contributions, and answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your time,

[Your Name]

Ask for a Pay Rise in Malaysia Today

You now know how to ask for a salary increase in a job offer, how to ask for a salary increment in an interview, and how to ask for a raise via email. Follow the guidelines shared above, and you’ll have a much better chance of your request being well-received.

If you ask for a pay rise in Malaysia and don’t get the response you hoped for, you might decide that it’s time to look for a different job. In that case, check out GrabJobs’ free search tool to find higher-paying positions in your field.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more:

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