Diaspora New Malaysia movement will be formed worldwide, with chapters in foreign countries, cities and even continents patterned after Bersih and Global Bersih for Malaysians to contribute and even participate in building a New Malaysia

I ended my 12-day visit to eight Australian and New Zealand cities – Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland – more encouraged by the reignited hopes, enthusiasm and euphoria of Malaysians in the Malaysian Diaspora Down Under in the building of a New Malaysia than in encouraging them to continue to hope and contribute in the building of a New Malaysia made possible by the historic event in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

The sentiments of the Malaysian Diaspora in Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland can probably be summed as one of “hopes lost and found again”, and the following email which I received from a Malaysian who attended my talk in Sydney, is probably representative of what the Malaysian Diaspora thinks, feels and hopes, not only in Australia and New Zealand, but worldwide:

“I am a chartered accountant and migrated to Australia 17 years ago. Like many, I left because there was no turning point for Malaysia and I left the country in disappointment as I found it hard to breath under the ‘corrupt’ air.

“In the last 17 years, I shut out Malaysia politics and instead following closely the Australia, UK, US politics.

“However, when I heard about Tun M is forming the coalition with Pakatan Rakyat, I found myself booked a ticket and flew back and voted for PH.

“At this point I realised, I am still a Malaysian at heart and love our country.”

This chartered accountant of the Malaysian Diaspora had many questions. One of them is about the brain-drain:

“Second question is about brain drain. I am glad you spoke about it and encourage the formation of Diaspora Malaysia in rebuilding the nation.

“May I know the concept in more detail please? What is the plan behind? Is there any policies or strategy in place to lure some Malaysians back?

“ I never understood the meaning of brain drain until I came to Sydney and have met numerous Malaysians excel in various fields over the years.

“These Malaysians can bring new perspective and new ideas as I woke up to the reality that how different things are done in an advanced nations, it is naive to deny things are often done more efficiently here.

“One important element about Malaysians that I wish to highlight to YB is their sincerity, hardworking and prepared-to-give traits.

“One outstanding employment agent once told me the Malaysian is one of his favourites compared to some other nations because we are less politicking and more contributing and fast learners.”

In the email, this chartered accountant said:

“What I like to highlight here is the willingness to go the extra mile is one of the traits of Malaysians, obviously not all but it inhabits in many of us.

“I am always the first in the office and last to leave and never crossed my mind there is anything wrong about that.

“Therefore, I believe if Malaysia can bring those abroad back (including those in Singapore), it will help in rebuilding the nation.

“There may be some will go back on their own such as myself as I have been contemplating about it since GE14 as there is new hope now but some may need a little encouragement. Therefore, a nationwide strategy may be useful.”

This email spells out succinctly and powerfully the need for a new Diaspora New Malaysia civil movement both in Malaysia and worldwide so that the building of a New Malaysia can tap this great resource of skill, knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and passion to be found in the Malaysian Diaspora worldwide.

Malaysians in Perth, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne have expressed their interest in having a Diaspora New Movement in their respective cities to be followed by the formation of Diaspora New Malaysia Australia.

After my meetings with Malaysians in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, a protem committee of Diaspora New Malaysia New Zealand has been formed, which would be followed by the formation of Diaspora New Malaysia in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland.

I think the time has come for the formation of Diaspora New Malaysia in other cities, countries and continents so that Malaysians worldwide can contribute and participate in the building of a New Malaysia, whether in Australia, New Zealand, China, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar or any other country.

Those who are interested in the idea and movement of a Diaspora New Malaysia worldwide can give their thoughts through email to Mr Syahredzan Johan, Diaspora New Malaysia secretariat at [email protected]

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday October 1, 2018)

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 October 2018 - 10:38 am

    How does one address legitimacy of Diaspora migrants seeking to contribute to and participate in the building of New Malaysia? Questions : if they are committed to Malaysia’s interests why do they leave? Do they participate to improve things here so that we improve here they may return or otherwise they stay put in their receiving countries? In bersih Malaysians here paid cost of facing FRU’s chemical laced water cannons. Will this
    ‘benefit only no cost’ and ‘best of both worlds’ stance be construed as opportunistic and hence undermine moral legitimacy of this Movement? And aren’t they supposed to integrate and participate fully in the countries that receive them, and therefore opportunistic to these too?

  2. #2 by FreeAsian on Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - 8:54 am

    Hi Jeffrey, I think it is a mistake to question the commitment of the Malaysian diaspora towards a better Malaysia. They played a significant role in Global Bersih which brought the world’s attention to Malaysia. They might have left seeking better lives for themselves and their offspring, but this need not mean that they are not committed to Malaysia’s interest – after all, Malaysia remains their homeland. Besides, don’t be surprised that such people may contribute tremendously to the betterment of Malaysia than those who have stayed behind because they will have learnt new and worthwhile skills, knowledge, and thinking that they could only have learnt in developed first world countries. I think both the population that remained behind in Malaysia, and that which left to become the diaspora, can together build a much stronger and more resilient and progressive Malaysia.

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