Thinking about NOT migrating

By Sim Kwang Yang

We all know more than a few relatives and friends who have migrated overseas to seek greener pasture there.  The number of people must be very large, and most of them must have come from the Chinese and the Indian communities.

They are mostly wealthy professionals and businessmen, for that will help them apply successfully for permanent residency in those western developed countries.

We all know roughly the reason for their life-changing move.  The racial politics in Malaysia discriminates against the Chinese and the Indians; they are much better treated in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America.  There, they can develop their career and enhance their professional skills, which is what all professionals dream of.  Of course, they also make a much better living on a level playing field.

We also know their argument for moving overseas.  They are not there to enjoy the higher standard of living merely.  At their adult age, they would have a problem really assimilating into the local foreign culture.  Still, they have to uproot themselves from their homeland because of their children’s education.  There, in a foreign land, their children will not have to face any racial quota.  Often, it is free right up to the university level in those developed countries.  Naturally, the academic standard of their university education is far higher than in Malaysian universities.

When I left Canada for my home town Kuching in Sarawak in 1978 to visit my family, I had already studied and worked in Winnipeg in Canada for almost 8 years.  I was a Canadian Landed Immigrant, their equivalent of a permanent resident in other countries.  I was completely assimilated into the Canadian way of life, including their infamously cold winter.  I had a fat scholarship for a post-graduate degree in philosophy leading to a Ph D.  An academic career as a university professor awaited me.  Some of my classmates had in fact moved on to become important professors in Canadian universities.