Employment among the reasons given for leaving Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: It is not for lack of love for the country that nearly 1.7 million Malaysians have sought employment on board.

Citing limited career opportunities and difficulties in making a decent living, they chose to work abroad.

Singapore is the most advantaged country with 54% of the Malaysian diaspora making a living there, followed by Australia (15%), the United States (10%) and the United Kingdom (5%). The Emir Research house estimated that this talent drain reduced the growth of the country’s gross domestic product by 2%.

Three of these Malaysians share their stories with the sun.

“In New Zealand there is a better chance of having a decent job that pays well while being assured of my rights,” said mechanic Kendrick James, 32, who lives in Taupô. “The minimum hourly wage here is NZ $ 20 (RM57) versus a mere RM7 to RM10 here.

He said the number of financial commitments and the rising cost of living made it difficult to survive on whatever salary he could earn in Malaysia.

“It would be impossible for someone earning a minimum wage to have a good work-life balance. You’ll need to work overtime and have at least an extra job or two if you want to avoid financial stress. It causes mental fatigue and stress, ”he added.

An online survey conducted by Reddit Malaysia last August found that a majority of respondents dissatisfied with life in Malaysia would move abroad if they could.

Polling 3,200 people, the survey asked Malaysians nationwide as well as those who had moved abroad what they thought of their homeland and how life might be different in other parts of the country. world.

Only 9% of those polled agreed that they were happy living here in Malaysia and would not think about leaving, while 28% said they had considered immigrating to other countries but would stay there very probably.

James, a New Zealand permanent resident card holder, is wary of political unrest in Malaysia. He said he should consider giving up his Malaysian nationality to ensure a better future for his family.

“I love Malaysia, but the politics are getting out of hand. Politicians openly play the race and religion card, and many of our voices have been suppressed. I will not let my children go through what my partner and I have had, ”he said.

However, he hopes the country can get out of the grip of a toxic policy.

Cyber ​​security analyst Thevaindran Santhrasegar, 26, left for the same reasons. Now working in Auckland, he has chosen not to renounce his Malaysian nationality. But if the future opportunities and benefits exceed those of Malaysia, he may reconsider.

“I love my homeland. Malaysia is home to wonderful people and delicious food, but as a minority we have always been seen as underdogs. From job opportunities to renting houses, there is so much prejudice against those in my community, ”he said.

Thevaindran also chose not to raise his family in Malaysia. “I think they have better opportunities here,” he said.

Postgraduate student P. Dheenesh emigrated to Birmingham, England, not only to seek better employment opportunities, but also to further his education. Dheenesh, 31, said he received fair treatment, better diversity and inclusion and equal treatment in almost all aspects in a foreign country.

“The cost of living is also relatively lower than in Malaysia.

“I am no expert but I think it will be at least 10 years before Malaysia can get rid of racial differences, cronyism, corruption and be able to provide equal opportunities for all. Until then, I plan to raise my family here.

“I would like them to grow up in a country that offers opportunity for all and rewards hard work and honesty instead of corruption and cronyism.”


Julio V. Miller