Life is still good here

By Malik T | May 26, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 26 — It’s a wee bit late for me but I did consider encouraging my kids to move to Australia and for me to get a property for them there. However, I was not keen to do so for the following reasons:

1. The quality of life here is good. There are nice restaurants and pubs such as in Changkat Bukit Bintang, with a big and lively expatriate community. We have a good circle of friends here.

2. Places stay open late unlike in Australia where only places in the inner city centre are open late but the security is not good. I spent a number of years at university in Australia but feel KL is a much nicer place to stay in than, say, Perth.

3. Work is interesting and challenging. I may not get to be in such a senior position if overseas.

4. Because there is for me and my family economic security. There is more opportunity for advancement here as there is still a strong demand for skilled workers. Malaysia is still a net importer of labour.

5. Although for my kids the starting salary is low, salaries will increase as you progress and the differential between graduate and non-graduate jobs is high. Purchasing power is high as most items are cheaper here than they are in Australia.

6. We have a nice house, nice cars for my wife and kids. Maids are easy to get. Because I enjoy having my kids close by especially when they have their own kids

7. I feel secure being in Malaysia. Gated community provides good security. Confident that the chance of racial strife is minimal with the strong government in place.

8. Because racial discrimination is more pervasive in some other countries. Experienced a number of occasions of such discrimination when I was staying in Australia and during recent visits.

9. I have kin in Australia but I am very concerned about the level of violence especially in cities such as Melbourne.

10. Because I feel I will be treated like a second-class citizen in Australia.

* We asked readers to tell us in their own words why they stayed in Malaysia… instead of migrating. This is one of the stories.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 11:23 am

    Life is still good here, O yes, enjoy until U hv 2 face MACC, polis, JAWI, JAIS or JAKIM

  2. #2 by wanderer on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 11:29 am

    Now I realized why Pauline Hanson said, Australia does not welcome materialistic mongrels!!…with no loyalty to the adopted country. If UMNO Malaysia is good for you for this writer, stay on my friend, it is your decision but, do not rubbish us with your crap story and reasons!!!

  3. #3 by best4rakyat on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 11:31 am

    I am not leaving or going else place.Need to stay as good citizen to vote any moments after all is near.
    Moreover,CSL has said may not hold any posts at all for the party since new government take place!!!
    Possibly he is right and people still will retain good one include only our good Prime Minister but not the rest!
    What say you?

  4. #4 by LKY on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 12:50 pm

    To leave or not to leave Malaysia is a personal decision. I will not question your reasons to stay but I feel that you are biased in your portrayal of Australia. The following are what I have problem with.


    Are you implying that you’ll be discriminated based on your race/nationality ? I found that to be absurd as there are laws against such things in most western countries, including Australia. A senior position is earned. You’ll get it if you deliver the goods, not how long you have been employed. I can say competition for such position is a lot stiffer overseas than in Malaysia for the obvious reason, you’re going against the best from around the world.


    No, purchasing power is low in Malaysia. This is a fact. You’re welcomed to look up the numbers. It is only cheap if you pay for goods in Malaysia with Australian dollars, but not with Malaysian ringgit.


    If the public safety in Malaysia is so good, you don’t need gated communities. The only reason you have them is because it is bad. The chances of having racial strife is a lot higher in Malaysia than in Australia. Believe me, with Perkasa stirring the pot while the government stood by silently, who knows what might happen when things go out of hand. Remember Paula Hanson ? She is the clone of Ibrahim Ali. She had to close shop and move to UK. Australians won’t stand for garbage like that.


    You may want to rethink this one. The JPA scholarship drama is still going on. Please look at the ethnicity of those denied scholarship. This is not the first year it happened. It has been like that for decades. This will never happen in Australia. Government sanctioned discrimination does not exist in Australia, but it does in Malaysia. I don’t know the specifics of your case. I can only assume it is racial discrimination ? But racial discrimination is a crime in Australia and you should have lodged a police report.


    I have kins in Malaysia and I’m concerned for their safety. And I also have kins in Melbourne, as well as in other major cities in Australia, but I’m not concerned about their safety. Going by the homicide statistics alone, Malaysia’s homicide rate is about twice that of Australia’s. I think I don’t have to go into other crime statistics.


    There is only one class of citizens in Australia, first-class. All Australians are equal regardless of race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political leaning, nationality and so on. However, I can’t say the same of Malaysia. I’m sure many non-Malay, non-Muslim Malaysians can attest to that. In fact, I can add more to the list, like gays, lesbians, transvestites, Shiites, apostates, members of opposition parties, and so on.

    Like I said, to leave or to stay is a personal decision. However, I wish you were a little more objective in your views of other countries, Australia in particular. There is no need to bend the truth to get your message across.

  5. #5 by LKY on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 3:40 pm

    The comments above were in response to reasons number 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 respectively. I included the original text in my comments but they didn’t show up for some reason.

  6. #6 by wopstk on Friday, 27 May 2011 - 10:53 pm

    a)Malik, as the name implies must be one of the previlaged in his younger days and is still a previlage few who can afford to live in a gated community. For these privilaged few, life is indeed good in Malaysia – you don’t have to lift a finger to do any housework, gardens…every mundane work is done by others. This is the life I can only dream about in my adopted country.
    Unfortunately, for every privilaged there are tens if not hundreds non-privilaged who live a different lives of daily struggles, worrying about their future and future of their children.
    b) As for item 8, I must say that I (living in Australia) did experience some racial discrimations in my 30 years but I still believe that Australia is not a racist country though there are some racist people around. I cannot say the same about Malaysia. Msia is a racist country for sure. In fact, most Government policies are based on race. People are classified by race. Government empoyment are based on race…..
    c) For item 10, if Malik felt like being treated like a 2nd class citizen in Australia. I would recommend him spare a thought for those non-bumis in Malaysia. Ask them what do they feel like in the country of their birth. Are they not treated like 2nd class or worse. They are constantly being reminded by politicians and Government directly and indirectly that they are “pendatangs”. In my last 30 years in Australia, nobody has ever said to me in my face that I am a “pendatang”. No Australian politicians in recent Government has ever said that because if they do they will likely be voted out of the office by “white” voters – that is how much racism the “racist” white Australians would take. I am well accepted in my adopted country. I am equal in every aspect to other Australians, be them white yellow, black, orange,… in the eyes of the law.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 28 May 2011 - 6:13 am

    It is against the law to discriminate on grounds of race in Australia – this is to teach the people not to be racist – whereas here racial discrimination, justified on historical/affirmative grounds, is institutionalized, and even sanctified by law & constitution.

    Even then Malik is probably not deliberately trying to ‘bend the truth’ – his comment ‘I feel I will be treated like a second-class citizen in Australia’ may be either his felt experience or anecdotal experience of his friends, to have encountered/sensed a measure of racial discrimination, at the social level, with some white Australians, as invariably there will be, perhaps in a different way, even if he had interacted with Vietnamese or Lebanese in Australia.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 28 May 2011 - 6:14 am

    Malik is talking of the invisible “glass ceiling” / barriers (where in, say work, one is promoted based on merits, apparently regardless of race, up to a certain point/level beyond which “race” comes in as a factor (in some though not all cases) though neither articulated nor justified on that ground by reasons that its against the law & politically/socially incorrect. He is talking of sense of racial discrimination that human beings anywhere are susceptible, and resisted depending on their individual experience, outlook, character and education. There are racists anywhere but an Australian racist would probably view & discriminate a minority with social condescension as if minority were inferior and incapable of performing on level playing field unless otherwise proven to contrary – whereas a Ketuanan racist here would view a minority as “superior” (in skills & work ethics) that pose a threat to displace him in terms of opportunities if the field were leveled for equal competition.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Sunday, 29 May 2011 - 9:41 pm

    D writer must b living in a parallel world where M’sia is NOT ruled by race-based political parties (UmnoB, MCA, MIC, etc)
    As some1 who wrote abt racial discrimination, he did not speak out against race-based political parties (d only kind in dis real world), but instead proclaimed dat life is still good here; betul kah?

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