In 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi disclosed that 56,576 Malaysians renounced their citizenship between 2006 and April 2016. Of these, 49,864 were Chinese, 1,833 were Indians and 844 were Malays. The remaining 4,044 were people of other races.
Yes, there’s no denying that there are many successful Malaysians out there around the world, and there is nothing wrong with being inspired by that.
However, I just want to make the point that many of our fundamental qualities were forged on this motherland. When we seek success in a foreign land, we are also leaving our community, our country, and our people behind, BY CHOICE.
I grew up eating Lontong Johor for breakfast, Putu Piring for dessert, playing football by the mosque, going for open houses during Hari Raya, and speaking multiple languages.
I also started my part-time business during the school holidays without any hassle from the authorities.
Beach holidays were just a few hours drive away. Chilling with friends at the mamak till late night was how I spent my regular weekends.
Apart from a very small number of private companies, almost every job opportunity available here in Malaysia is made available for every Malaysian, regardless of our background, religion and ethnicity.
Throughout my life, I have NEVER been treated differently by anybody in this country before I met them, simply because of my ethnicity.
The more I look back on my life, the more I see that we were not sidelined by anybody in Malaysia. We merely chose to segregate ourselves from others.
There are policies that aren’t made equal for everybody, but it was with the purpose of lifting up the ones who are most in need.
We have one of the most business-friendly environments in the world and can do almost anything we aspire to do, but we choose to go away and contribute to a foreign land that has done nothing for us.
That is why I came back. I gave up the Australian PR that so many family and friends around me are yearning for.