First posted Tuesday, 19 October 2010
There are currently seven people in my extended family. My wife, son, daughter, son-in-law, two grand daughters and of course, myself. We have all chosen not to live in Malaysia for reasons that are personal and sometimes political.
Who cares where we live? No one really – except us. Malaysia is no better or no worse with us gone. We have had people tell us that those who chose to leave Malaysia are welcome to leave - and the immigration officers at KLIA always remind me of that. Malaysia does not need your kind of people! We know that......... but before we go any further with this negativeness I ask that we take a look at this rationally.
I cannot speak for other Malaysian that chose to live abroad. I cannot even begin to try and understand their reasons for doing so. Every one of us will have our own take of the situation. But what better way to look at this then to look at the situation of my own family and those that I know personally.
My wife and me are both over 60 years old. Our physical contribution to the labour force in Malaysia is debatable given our age but if we are in Malaysia we will not be burdening the government in any financial manner. If we are in Malaysia we will have to continue to work if we are in need of an income to sustain ourselves. There is no pension or welfare payment for the aged or the unemployed in Malaysia. So we will be contributing to the work force.
My son is still studying. We have always paid for our children's education ourselves and he is no burden to the Malaysian government in this respect.
My daughter Terrina has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Asian studies from Murdoch University in Western Australia. She also has a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Level award and among other things, was a Malay Mail columnist and did stints as Malay Mail Foreign Correspondent in United Kingdom and Canada.
Emmett, her husband is an Actuary but is better known as a member of Butterfingers in KL…that was quiet a sore point for me when they both decided to get engaged - but only because I know not who Butterfingers were! Suffice to say that I was the last to know about their engagement which her mother, my wife, kept from me until they thought I was suitably ready for the news.
Our two grand daughter Isabel Innes and Sofia Sara are three years and four months old respectively and their potential to contribute in anyway is still to be seen.
In the seven of us you can arguably maintain that our overall contribution to the GNP would be negligible. Physically Malaysia now has seven Malays less and within the next generation or two this family will possibly add another seven to the family. It would be reasonable to assume that all, if not most of this extended family will be gainfully employed and will contribute to the development and add ethnicity to the culture of Australia and Canada where we all live in now. Now that is my story.
Here in Adelaide I have also made the acquaintance of Susan and her family. The husband and wife are from Kuala Pilah….no not from Seremban but way out in the rural area of Kuala Pilah. I will not waste your time with tales about their contribution to the economy and cultural ethnicity of Adelaide but suffice for me to put here the CV of the wife – Susan and you can work out yourself if Malaysia would have use of her expertise.
Susan is Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Soniclean Pty. Ltd. Australia's most Innovative Design and Manufacturer of Ultrasonic Cleaning Equipment. The Company exports world wide and is recipient of numerous awards for Innovation and Export Success. The latest successful Market Entry is to France and India. In 2008, the Company received the Export Award from the Electronic & ICT Association and was a finalist of Business SA Export Award. See www.soniclean.com.au
Susan's past involvement in various Country specific trade councils, chairing trade mission as well as been on the South Australia Youth Entrepreneur committee and Australian Health Industry Inc reflects Susan's wide interest. She is a past Women of Distinction winner from the Asia Pacific Council for Women and was one of the inaugural Business Ambassador of South Australia.
She is currently a Government appointed Member of the Business Development Council of South Australia. She is on the working party that looks at Business funding and Innovation and entrepreneurship in Business. Susan is passionate to promote SA as an ideal place to live, visit, work, study, invest in and do business. She believes that the current climate for Exporting is exciting.The Digital Age has greatly assist in Exporting from South Australia. The cost of doing business globally is much more affordable and accessible.
She is also enjoying a balanced life in south Australia and aim to ride 1000km. on her new bicycle in the next 12 months!
So between my Family and Susan’s family of five, Malaysia has one dozen less Rakyat for now.
Now multiply that by 300,000 times or possibly more...much more. Now does it give you and idea of what migration is doing to Malaysia? And maybe now you will get an idea why the Barisan Nasional government has started to understand the urgent need to get these Malaysian back into the Malaysian work force.
All of us that chose to live abroad are only accepted by the country we chose to live in if we are able to prove our ability to earn a decent living in that country. Yes we are “forced” to move by the policies of the Barisan Nasional government but we are not involuntary migrants. We are emigrants – people leaving a country to live in another and the reasons are what you can term as “push factors” – mostly political persecution because of the policies of the BN government.
With better planning and hindsight by the Barisan Nasional government these migration could have been avoided or greatly reduced and Malaysia could have been a better place for all of us to live in.