I left Malaysia, and I don’t regret it – here’s why

My mother is Malay and father is Indian. I have more Malay blood in me than some of the racists in Malaysia, some of whom have no Malay blood at all, being converts.

I was educated in a Malay school and went abroad to study. I never applied for any scholarship as I didn’t want to. My parents were humble government servants who worked hard and saved. They supported me. On the weekends and during summer holidays, I worked in restaurants, laundromats, retailers (including liquor shops), pubs to make ends meet. I made it.

On coming back to Malaysia, I obtained a government job. After a number of years, I resigned. I joined the private sector and did well. I speak and write Bahasa Malaysia and English well. I did my Form Six in Malay in my country.

While still in government, I attended Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau) courses. That was when I personally witnessed the brainwashing by the government that was going on.

Instead of unifying the people, the policy was to create Ketuanan Melayu. Everyone could see it including the Malays. But no one did anything. There were private conversations, that’s it. That’s when Malaysia started to fall. That was more than two decades ago.

Renouncing my citizenship

I surrendered my identity card, which was cut by the National Registration Department officers in Putrajaya. To be honest, the officers were very polite, and kept asking me repeatedly if that was what I wanted.

“Are you sure? You are so qualified and doing well, why?” I told them yes as I had already obtained a citizenship of another country.

I liquidated all my assets, closed all my businesses and bank accounts and left.

My friends were shocked, asking me not to do it as I was successful and already doing well. Why move? But my parents supported and encouraged me. Today the same friends tell me what a wise decision I had made.

Why I decided to leave

In my decision to leave Malaysia, I thought not of myself or my spouse. We were comfortable and already among the upper middle class. I thought of the future of my children and grandchildren.

I thought about the kind of society in which I wanted my next generation to grow up. I thought about the lies, corruption, religion and the racism prevalent in my country. I did not want my future generation to be a part of a system that is dishonest. A system full of hypocrites.

Today, when I look back, I only have this to say: Thank you, God, for helping me make the right decision.

I am recognised in my host country as an individual without any baggage. No one asks me or my family about my religion or race. There is no column in any application asking me what religion or race I belong to.

I do what I want. I only answer to God, not to some human beings and not to any religious leaders who are mere human beings. I can go to my friend’s house regardless of their race or religion and have a meal. If there is food which my religion forbids me to consume, my friends know and respect that.

The cause: power-hungry politicians

In Malaysia it’s all about race and religion. It has become so toxic that, in comparison, apartheid is a bed of roses. The politicians after the third prime minister Hussein Onn created this situation to remain in power.

The racist policies and the culture of polishing boots have cost Malaysia dearly. Can it be repaired? Reset? I doubt so but I do hope I am very wrong. But I am sure the current set of leaders just cannot do it. They have no will or want. Period.

As for Malaysia’s foreign missions, I find that diplomats can hardly speak English, let alone write a decent speech in the language. I just shake my head in embarrassment, quietly. Malaysia’s education system has failed miserably.

Let me tell you why it has descended to this level. Because you allow incompetent politicians to make decisions. And some of these politicians send their children abroad to boarding schools whilst the common man’s children attend local and religious schools.

Many others who also refuse to return

Where is the white knight in Malaysia? Is she or he coming? Look at the continuous fiasco, more so with the current devastating floods in the country. Look at the suffering of the people. The people didn’t vote for this.

There are many Malaysians comprising all races, including Malays, mostly professionals and businessmen, who refuse to return. When I ask them why, they say they do not want to serve an incompetent regime. They, too, are sick and tired.

The non-Malays abroad tell me they would rather be a recognised minority there than be second class citizens in their own country. In overseas, there is no quota whatsoever in educational institutions, all intakes are based on merit. The poor are given help regardless of race or religion.

Now, all my family members are citizens in different countries, which are their adopted homes.

Agreed, not everything is perfect, but I can tell you it’s way much better and we all sleep well at night. We don’t have to get up worrying which politician is going to make a ridiculous statement filled with hatred and bigotry.

Malaysia has become very divided after the 90s. All we can do is for some form of divine intervention to get things right. Have faith.