Sunday, October 19, 2008

Diaspora II

In the not-too distant future, I would be migrating from Malaysia to Perth, Australia, with my brother and his wife. A lot of people has being asking me why, although I suspect that they already knew the answers, if they are non-Malays Malaysians.

“It's gotta be the biased and unfair treatment that has long being practiced by the ruling coalition to rein in and control the minorities.” “I reckon it has to do with the bad economic conditions?” “The legendarily lame-duck government of the current PM, that must be it..” “He must be sick of playing second fiddle to a race which has being “spoiled” by the government to become weak and incompetent.”

That's all true. These factors, and more, are the major contributors to collective decisions to leave the country. However, there is also a factor of us, the migrant Chinese, the descendant of the Chinese Diaspora, being bred into believing that we are not in anyway part of the host countries' population. We are just there to work, be prosperous (usually by shady means) and hopefully, have a better life than back in China. It is not in our nature in integrate with the native population. In fact, it's often that our elders are against any such integration, which they believe will bring more woe than good. I do not know much of the opinions of the Malays about us, but I would not be surprised if they see us as intruders, often cheating them of land and business (this is often true, but in business, one has to be cruel to succeed sometimes). Therefore, we never had the feeling of being welcomed, and thus, it is often cited by our people not to have too much affinity to this country (or any country where the Chinese are the minorities).

Is there anyway that we'll be staying back? What if (I pray to God this would happen) a liberal, who had being blessed with a abundance of charisma, ideas, fairness and justice, comes into power? If this happens, I would be glad for my friends and other family members who remained behind. I would be happy for Malaysia, as she had provided me and enabled me to grow into this big,chubby, ungrateful fellow. However...we are still constantly driven by the need to shift, to move, to be nomads in our unending quest for a better place. So in classic Chinese diaspora-style, we will pack our bags and leave for that better (or...God-forbid, worse) place. To us, it's just being part of a larger sequence, that's mainly driven by economic and social means, but also by the fact that we can't find a stick strong enough to scratch the itch in the arses that had prevented us from “sitting” at one place for too long.

Ciao. May common-sense prevail.

DL

*Read Diaspora I.

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