Good riddance

There have been a constant bee-line for Malaysians abroad to apply for their citizenship of the Federation of Malaysia be ceased, in order for them to be a citizen of another nation.

Pro-Anwarista news portal TMI story:

Bidding farewell to Malaysia

BY DINA ZAMAN

Published: 30 June 2015 7:00 AM
Things can get busy on weekday mornings at the guardhouse outside the regal building of the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore at Jervois Road, as a string of Malaysians come to renew their passports, announce their permanent resident (PR) status and renounce their Malaysian citizenship.
Between 30 and 50 applications to renounce Malaysian citizenship are received a day in Singapore, dropped off in a special box for documents of this nature, one of the guards on duty told The Malaysian Insider there recently.

Submission of renunciation applications is from 8.15am to 11am from Mondays to Fridays, but those who come to drop their documents off have often been turned away by 9.30am and told to return the next day.

The day’s quota has already been filled, they are told.
It’s a telling sign about the number of people who are keen to give up their identities as Malaysians, although there are no official statistics available on the number of Malaysians who renounce their citizenship in the island republic.

There are more than one million Malaysians said to be residing abroad as expatriates, as PRs and as citizens of their chosen countries.

But official numbers of Malaysians who have renounced their citizenship are hard to come by.

In Singapore, the number of Malaysians becoming citizens had been on an upward trend between 2004 and 2008.

There was a dip in 2009 for a spell and an increase in 2012. That year, 20,693 citizenships were awarded to new residents.

The dip in 2009 was “mirrored in the annual uptake of permanent residency, which more than doubled from 36,900 in 2004 to 79,167 in 2008 but suffered a decrease to 59,460 in 2009.

Population statistics as at December 2011 put the number of people in the republic at 3.81 million, of whom 3.27 are citizens and 0.54 million permanent residents.

“Sharper declines were recorded for both citizenship and permanent residency in 2010, ahead of the May 2011 general election,” according to data available at the Migration Policy Institute.

The country also had a non-resident population of 1.46 million who are working, studying or living in Singapore on a non-permanent basis.

New lives

For two former Malaysians who are now Singaporeans, the choice to surrender the citizenship of their birth country was made for a better life, on their terms.

Friends Daphne Lim and Saranee Joseph (not their real names to protect their children’s interests) became Singaporeans recently.

Lim, a single mother in her 40s, said the idea of renouncing her Malaysian citizenship was not foreign. She had grown up being told that as a Chinese, she was not welcome in the country.

Treading a path familiar to many Chinese Malaysians, Lim furthered her studies in Australia, returned to Malaysia with a degree, married and followed her spouse to Singapore.

They applied for PR status, but after a while, she decided to become a citizen upon seeing the benefits accorded to Singapore citizens. She said her children have benefited from her decision and life for her in Singapore was never dull. The buzz of the city invigorated her and she was glad to be rid of the political negativity in Malaysia.

“It was never an issue for me. I knew that one day, I would no longer be Malaysian,” she said.

Lim admitted she had a great childhood in Malaysia, but the contentment she has now as an adult surpassed the memories. The opportunities and benefits she and her children have “are good. You can’t get them in Malaysia!”

Joseph, meanwhile, became a citizen after her having a child. She had already been working in Singapore as a consultant, and upon becoming a mother, felt she had to think of her child’s future.

If before she harboured thoughts of retiring in Malaysia, the child’s presence has forced her to assess their lives.

Having a Malaysian citizenship in Singapore would only court confusion for her daughter, Joseph said. Since she was born and brought up there, it would just be easier to be a Singaporean, she said.

The experiences of former classmates also had an impact, Joseph said, noting that a few had become bitter at not being able to fulfil their potential in Malaysia.

“The bitterness they displayed was not something I wanted for myself,” she said, adding that she felt lucky to have found work in Singapore and to settle down here.

What Lim and Joseph both remember about their lives in Malaysia was the absence of race and religious tension. It was a carefree time for them, but one which no longer seems to exist.

Lim said Singapore was safe to the point that she allowed her children to take the MRT by themselves at night.

Joseph said “Singapore can be restrictive politically… but the pros outweigh the cons.”

It’s also the way the city and its infrastructure are planned. Singapore is a green oasis, they said, unlike Malaysia which is facing indiscriminate development and deforestation.

Farewell

Back at the Malaysian High Commission’s stately building, would-be Singaporeans come to submit their documents with bittersweet feelings.

The documents required are the forms “K” and “MY-RN1”, and with these forms, other documents such as identity cards, birth certificate, a letter of approval from the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Malaysian passport.

The two forms are straightforward – the applicant only needs to state all his particulars, but not the reason for renunciation.

To renounce Malaysian citizenship, the applicant must be 21 years of age and above. He may have been a PR, or may have already decided that he wants to be a Singaporean from the onset.

As one drops in the documents into the box, the soft thud is a reminder of the finality of it all: he is no longer Malaysian. – June 30, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bidding-farewell-to-malaysia#sthash.dvgdIqt4.dpuf

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Many would feel that it would be good riddance for these bunch of Malaysians who donwannabes no longer remain as a Malaysians. By denouncing their citizenship, they would automatically lose all their rights and privileges.

They probably become their forefathers first as stateless people before they could be admitted as citizens of a new nation.

It is clear that these bunch should no longer be Malaysians because they are more self centred than anything else. This also means that they do not value their own family’s legacy and history how their earlier relations were Malayanised, unconditionally.

This episode about Malaysians wanting to leave is most likely the Non Malays of Semenanjung rather than Sabahans and/or Sarawakians. It is for simple reason that Sabahans and Sarawakians are very proud of their state and land of birth.

The fact is that history has proven that majority of the Non Malays were brought into Semenanjung for economic reasons by the British Colonialists to become coolie in their enterprises such as estates and mines. In the late Victorian era and early Edwardian era, opportunities were exploited to the maximum as industrialisation and trade in the United Kingdom was at its pinnacle.

As they were brought in as labourers and gradually later  some of the Chinese were allowed to set up cottage enterprises to serve the growing requirements of new settlements created by the plantation and mining activity boom, they were still ‘tools’ to the British economic eco-system.

HRH Malay Rulers, UMNO representataives, Menteri Menteri Besar and British High Commissioner at the Federation of  Tanah Melayu Treaty, inked on 21 Jan 1948 at King's House, Kuala Lumpur

HRH Malay Rulers, UMNO representataives, Menteri Menteri Besar and British High Commissioner at the Federation of Tanah Melayu Treaty, inked on 21 Jan 1948 at King’s House, Kuala Lumpur

Despite the administration of then Malaya was under British, these Non Malays are not subjects to HRH Malay Rulers, hence they had very limited rights.

When the wind of political awakening was arisen and fanned post WWII, the Malays and Non Malays equally state their grounds to earn and gain political standing. A milestone was achieved when 29 Malay NGOs formed United Malay National Organisation on 11 May 1946 and managed to convince HRH Malay Rulers to abandoned the Malayan Union which they inked and being announce at Westminster Palace, to formalise the colonialisation of the Federation of Malaya.

Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, 21 January 1948

Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, 21 January 1948

The demise of Malayan Union brought HRH Malay Rulers and the British Administrators to sit down and negotiate as UMNO as the political organisation representing the Malay masses attended as observants. On 21 January 1948 an agreement Federation of Malaya Treaty was achieved and inked.

The Federation of Malaya (Persekutuan Tanah Melayu) was formally incepted.

In the agreement, it was clearly stated that “The subjects of HRH Malay Rulers are the Malays” and Non Malays who want to be recognised as ‘Subjects of HRH Malay Rulers’ must adhere to strict conditions.

Hence, majority of Non Malays are classified as ‘Stateless Persons’. (With the exception of some who are considered British subjects by the virtue of their stature in Strait Settlements).

Excerpts of the Article 12 of the Federation of Malaya Treaty 1 February 1948:

There was a specific mention of Article 12 on citizenship, item

(a) “Any subjects of HRH Malay Rulers who were born on on before the date”,

(b) “Any British subjects who were born in the Strait Settlements on or before that date”,

(c) “Any persons which was born on or before the date in any of the Malay States within the Federation who is practicing the Malay culture and speak the Malay language”.

There was specific provision for the application to be citizens, which clearly state the requirement to be verse in Malay. No provisions for the rights of the Non Malays were mentioned.

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Needless to say, life carried on as business as usual till 16 June 1948 where three British planters were attacked and killed by Malayan Communist Party rebels. Majority of those who were drawn into MCP as terrorists and rebels are of Chinese ethnicity and they subscribe and inspired to the same communism led by Mao Ze Dong of China (then, rebelling against the Kuomintang National Government in mainland China).

The “Butchers of Malaya”

Even in the midst of communist rebellion, political movements still grow and political parties and organisations tend to represent the ethnicity divide. The working relationship started when UMNO (representing the Malays) worked with MCA (representing the Chinese) in an adhoc Kuala Lumpur Town Council election in 1952.

That political success brought towards a closer working ties where MIC representing the Indians were also drawn in. By 1955, the Alliance Party was formed and they agreed on a formula and were ready to face eligible Malayans for the first democratic process in the determination of the Federal Consultative Council.

Alliance Party won 51 out of 52 seats for grabs despite 84% of the eligible voters are Malays since although the population of Malaya between the Malays and Non Malays were almost balanced, most of the Non Malays are classified as ‘Stateless Persons’.

84% of the eligible voters in the 1955 Federal Consultative Council general election are the Malays, who were 'Subjects of HRH Rulers'.

84% of the eligible voters in the 1955 Federal Consultative Council general election are the Malays, who were ‘Subjects of HRH Rulers’.

Despite the issue of a good slightly more than a third of Federation of Malaya inhabitants are still classified as ‘Stateless Persons’, Tunku Abdul Rahman formed his first Cabinet comprises of UMNO, MCA and MIC leaders where a true power-sharing concept is born and practiced.

Never the less, Chief Minister of Federation of Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman had MCA and MIC leaders to accompany him to negotiation withe Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall for Kemerdekaan.

Tunku’s wisdom and charisma successfully managed to struck a balance between obtaining HRH Rulers agreement to opt for a Constitutional Monarchy system and admission of the ‘Stateless Persons’ as citizens of the Federation of Malaya, a fundamental component for this nation to be born is what commonly known as the ‘Social Contract’.

Komponen Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; Raja Melayu, UMNO dan Pesuruhjaya British

Komponen Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; Raja Melayu, UMNO dan Pesuruhjaya British

The new Independent nation was born on 31 August 1957 and all citizens are granted equally rights to everything and opportunities. Hence, the economy grew due to the infrastructure and conducive environment provided by the government which is generally driven by the Malays where as the Chinese optimise all entrepreneurial opportunities.

Within the first decade of Kemerdekaan, the Chinese socio-economic stature improved if not flourished as their entrepreneurial sense enabled many to nurture their businesses and enterprises, even at commercial level. Where as, the Malays as the majority remained stagnant as the country grows wealthier.

The extremists and radicals within DAP and Gerakan parading through Kg Baru insulting the Malays, days after the May 1969 3GE

The socio-economic and political landmark changed after a racial-riot sparked on 13 May 1969 due to instigation by extreme elements, left wingers and Chinese chauvinists and the Malays reacted, especially the insult against them compounded by effect to the anguish of being socio-economically sidelined.

A marvellous solution of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was drafted and quickly executed by then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussin where the objective is to narrow the socio-economic gap, disassociate any particular ethnic with a specific economic activity and alleviate socio-economic standing of all through programs such as education.

It also meant that the economic cake is widened more to participate and a portion was carved out for the Bumiputra agenda, with the specific intent that they are able to rise and catch up on the entrepreneurial and commercial game of the economy.

The wealthiest Malaysians

Naturally, the Non Malays particularly the Chinese who are the ones most active in the entrepreneurial and commercial game of the game benefitted most. The state of the nation today with the sound commercial sector of four decades between mid 70s till present day is the empirical evidence that despite NEP being implemented, the economy, socio-economic standing and wealth of the nation grew.

At the early of the 90s, the encouraging economic growth and track record provided then Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Mahathir Mohamad to launch the Vision 2020 policy where within 30 years, Malaysia is supposed to reach a developed nation status.

Hence, the entire system was geared towards achieving that goal through various policies. Many programs were introduced where the education system at tertiary level was liberalised and more students are sent abroad. Upskilling training programs were also introduced.

More and more opportunities are opened where students and youth are exposed to the various job opportunities and even entrepreneurial programs.

Many professionals from around the region started to apply for positions in Malaysia, especially in ICT sector. Particularly from India. Now, even Chinese and Filipino technical people are being brought in to fill in the industry requirements for human capital.

In short, Malaysia is a land of plenty.

However, if some Malaysians who benefitted from the transformation this nation has brought upon to their own rakyat through various programs in the past fifty years which has now bore fruit so many times over as living proofs still want to leave for greener postures, so be it.

Malaysian Chinese abroad holing the Jalur Gemilang upside down

They can rationalise and justify what ever angle they prefer but in actual fact, they probably failed to optimise all the opportunities and find their pot of gold, whilst others managed to make hay when the sun was still shining. Many continued to make really barns of hay.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s administration is very committed towards the transformation agenda, which itself is a continuum of all the programs that were proven successful by the five prime minister before. He is determined to ensure the sun remains shining and the posture continue to be green for Malaysians to nurture, grow and exploit.

It is good riddance for those who are unable to see the big picture and seize the moment, especially when they had several moments of hot iron to strike within their reach, at the right time.

*Updated 1500hrs

Published in: on June 30, 2015 at 11:00  Comments (33)