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'Our children leave because they're second-class citizens here'

YOURSAY | Truthfully, the situation is ‘really no hope’.

Choosing to return to Malaysia, with hope

Have A Great Day: Malaysiakini contributor James Chai, I respect your stand in choosing to return to Malaysia after studying abroad, and I salute you.

But truth be told. I gave no words of encouragement to my son, who is a professional, when he talked about coming home to contribute his services to society. No, he has not taken up citizenship in his country of domicile at the moment but I will only be too happy if he decides to.

Yes, I am one of those rooting for change. But until that day comes, I feel my son will only be coming back to a country where he is a second-class citizen, at best.

No one need point out to me that discrimination also happens in advanced countries, but at least it is not institutionalised.

Wira: James, all my children have emigrated. I encouraged them to.

If we have to start a new life and establish new networks in our working life, we had better do it in a more conducive place. Certainly not in one where government leaders occasionally remind you that you are an immigrant, despite having three generations of forefathers who were born here.

Our forefathers came here for a better life. We should do so too, especially for one who is already endowed with global exposure and education.

So James, review what you have written today every five years and let us know whether that flame in your belly is still there.

Anonymous_1372506588: James, my family emigrated to a foreign Western country almost 30 years ago, even though I had no job to go to. I left a secure job doing work that I enjoyed for a life of uncertainty.

I eventually got a job in a country that is Malaysia’s neighbour, and had hopes of returning to Malaysia. But I saw that race policies continued, religious intolerance increased, corruption had become endemic and seemed like a way of life. Malaysia has become more racially divided and many politicians behave like thieves.

When I retired, I returned to the foreign Western country where at least there is fairness, where my children and their children have opportunities equal to other children and there is rule of law.

Anonymous 1719401496919916: James, wait until reality sinks in, then you will definitely start regretting your decision.

You are entitled to your opinion, but a few hundred thousand having left Malaysia in just 10 years, their opinions ring much louder.

TalentCorp Malaysia and the government propaganda machinery will present you with "facts" - around 3,000 people have returned to "serve" Malaysia. What percentage is that against those who emigrated? To me, these returnees could not hack living overseas and were unable to assimilate.

I hope when you finally realise this, time will still be on your side. Truthfully, the situation is "Really no hope". I know, I lived through the last 40 years to see only the negativity of the government’s failed policies.

Legit: You are wrong, James. It is not the pay that encourages Malaysians to emigrate to other countries. Far from it.

It is the worsening trend that this country is going through, especially for the non-bumiputeras, be it in economic and educational opportunities, treatment of non-bumiputeras as second-class and third-class citizens, religious bigotry, decaying quality of education, endemic corruption, failure of the government and its institutions to uphold justice and fairness - and the list goes on.

Let me tell you, things are not going to change for the better and in fact, they will only get worse. I would encourage Malaysians, especially the non-bumiputeras, to send their children to countries where they can get a better education, are valued for their intelligence and capability and where they can make a better life for themselves.

It is too late for the old folk to move as they are all set and used to in their way of life in this country. Maybe you will realise this yourself, after being here for a few years.

TheAxman: James, you said in your article that "being a member of a home carries with it an implicit promise of helping each other when we fall, doing more than our share, and making room for the greater good".

Sorry, James, when the whole home has to work harder and do more simply because a few members suck up everything, then what kind of family is this?

I, for one, have said that enough is enough. I am a guest in a foreign country right now and they treat me far better and fairer than my own home country. And I am a bumiputera!

Intheair: At 24, I shared the sentiment of this young writer. I even defended the discriminatory policies, arguing that it was for the betterment of this nation. With hope, I also chose to return. Fast forward 32 years, I am still hoping.

The Observer: Yes, Malaysia is a beautiful country. James, your decision to return should be applauded, because it is people like you that will make the difference.

Draw a line in the sand and show that they cannot defeat the spirit of a patriotic people united in the defence of their homeland, called Malaysia. Stand together and make Malaysia free again.

Mahsuri: Exactly, James. Spot on. In the words of Karen Carpenter, "I felt he found my letters, and read each one out loud".

You will be surrounded by defeatist and worse, angry people who have given up. Use your fury constructively, let it fuel you to change what is wrong, not blind you nor deflate you.

Don't let the naysayers and indifference-mongers bring you down.

Ace: Malaysia is a sad country. Here, parents, instead of encouraging and looking forward to their children's return after their studies overseas, push and encourage them not to come back.

Does anyone think that these parents relish doing that? No. It's because they have seen the trend over the past 60 years and it looks like it's only getting worse.

James, many of us fervently pray and hope that you are right and all those parents are wrong. We wish you good luck and success.

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