I am an unwanted step-child

By Henry T. | May 20, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 20 — I am a Malaysian Chinese and please notice that I did not mention Chinese Malaysian as I feel that one should be a Malaysian first and a Chinese second. I love Malaysia and as a kid I had wonderful memories growing up in Penang. When I was 19, I went to Singapore for my university education as my Bahasa grade was not good enough to qualify for local university entrance.

I worked in Singapore for 20 over years, married a Singapore girl and in 2000 migrated to New Zealand and have been there for 10 years. Over the years, I truly appreciated my adopted countries of Singapore and New Zealand as they made me quite welcome. I never felt unwanted (which I sometimes do in Malaysia simply because I am Chinese).

I left Malaysia because of the following reasons in order of priority:

1) Better prospects overseas (and this is sometimes race related… no jobs for non-Bumis in the public sector and promotion only for Bumis).

2) Racial discrimination (look if I am unwanted I can contribute to other countries that appreciate me… e.g. I work as an educational IT consultant for groups of schools and colleges in Auckland).

3) Environment and weather… beautiful environment here in NZ (although certain parts of Malaysia in the old days could be just as nice but alas on my recent trip back some of these places have truly deteriorated due to bad maintenance).

In spite of all these reasons I still sometimes dream of going back to retire in Malaysia… why? I do not really know except that deep inside me I am still a Malaysian boy at heart if only the political and religious situation is more salubrious!

But things are not getting better. In fact it’s getting worst and the way things are developing there can only be one ending… racial chaos and bloodshed with possible military conflict with neighbouring countries and international condemnation of human rights violations. So heck no! I think my family and I are far better off staying put but I fear for my many friends and relatives in Malaysia.

So do I miss Malaysia. Yes, it is my country even though I am an unwanted step-child. Do I owe Malaysia anything? Maybe to the people but not the bigoted and corrupt system on both sides of the divide!

So all the best Malaysia. May I be wrong!

* We asked readers who have migrated to tell us in their own words why they left. This is one of the stories.

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.