Asinine remarks, Mr Prime Minister! A Malaysian who has settled down in the US, who calls herself MIA (short for Malaysian In America) whenever she comments on this blog, has described Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's remarks [No Citizenship for Malaysians who have given up Citizenry, Bernama July 10] as "backward thinking" and "asinine".
I have Malaysian friends who work and live overseas. Some have given up their citizenry but they still refer to themselves as Malaysians because Malaysia is their country of origin. I've been to some of their homes. Not mansions, no yachts. They have to work hard for a living.
On the other hand, there are Malaysians who are here in Malaysia only in name but their hearts are elsewhere. They buy mansions overseas and park their money in Swiss banks and are more loyal to the countries that give them their PR. They should be asked to surrender their citizenry and become Australians and Singaporeans.
Anyway, I am reproducing here MIA's comments, which she just left under my posting on The Malays are Leaving for all of us to ponder:I was speechless for a minute after reading the Bernama story. It is difficult to fathom such backward thinking from a leader of a country.
In the first place, shouldn't a more reasonable response be to understand why your citizens are leaving the country and to try to address those issues and remedy the situation? It seems rather asinine to say that since you've given up your citizenship, therefore you can never become a Malaysian citizen again. Much like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
People leave for many reasons and I don't see how penalizing them for doing so benefits anyone. It seems to me that in this case, it puts Malaysia at a disadvantage. Wouldn't it want to lure back the expertise that has gone elsewhere?
The other point I wanted to make is that I'm sure that those figures do not provide a true picture. There is no way of capturing the real statistics. Notice how he said that those stats are of Malaysians "who have surrendered their citizenship"?
How do you collect stats on those people who become citizens of other countries and do not surrender their Malaysian citizenship for various reasons?
I became a citizen of another country many years ago and I have never officially surrendered my Malaysian citizenship for the simple reason that it just never occurred to me that I had to do this. For me when I became a citizen of my adopted country I took an oath to give up any alliance to any other country and that was good enough for me. How many people are out there like me?
You always have to look at stats with a wary eye. And let's look at them without emotion and rhetoric to cloud the real issue(s).
Thursday, July 12, 2007
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