Unpacking ‘Malaysia’ and ‘Malaysian citizenship’: perspectives of Malaysian-Chinese skilled diasporas

Sin Yee Koh

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter identifies policy implications to inform Malaysia’s diaspora strategies by focusing on the perspectives of members of the Malaysian-Chinese1 skilled diaspora (i.e. tertiary-educated emigrants). Malaysian-Chinese emigrants have been described as ‘the second wave diaspora’2 (Cartier, 2003: 92) in reference to their ‘forced’ emigration which has been prompted by affirmative action policies privileging the Bumiputera (‘sons of soil’) Malaysian-Malays. These policies prioritise Bumiputeras3 in access to education, government scholarships, civil service jobs, property ownership and business licenses. As a result, there has been significant emigration of non-Bumiputeras including the Malaysian-Chinese and Malaysian-Indians (Sidhu, 2006) to Singapore and countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2010, for example, the Malaysian-Chinese made up 87.8 per cent of persons born in Malaysia who were resident in Singapore (DOSS, 2010).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDismantling Diasporas
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking the Geographies of Diasporic Identity, Connection and Development
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781472430342
ISBN (Print)9781472430335
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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