So a bunch of people left the country for the UK in hopes of obtaining British Overseas Citizenship. The Brits decided to tighten up their laws and they got stuck because they had voluntarily given up, the paper said “torn up”, their passports. Now that they are stuck, we are hearing reports of how they are “suffering”.
Based on the behaviour of our political parties of late here is what I predict will happen. Some politicians will be harping on the issue soon, if they have not already. I think they will playing the race card again by saying that these people are not welcomed back because they are of a certain ethnic group. The fact that they had voluntarily gone there and equally voluntarily given up their citizenship will be conveniently forgotten.
I believe that making it easy for these people to be re-accepted as Malaysian would be a travesty and an insult to all Malaysians who have stayed here and contributed our efforts and made sacrifices for the good of this country and her people, regardless of race, creed and religion. Going overseas for monetary gains and seeking a better life is a right of everyone but this not the issue. I too have close relatives who have chosen to live and work abroad and some have even become citizens of other countries but they became citizens of these other nations after they have stayed there for years and built a life for themselves there. They did not go there with the overt intent to give their citizenship, that came later. They became permanent residents and citizens because their lives are there now. This is starkly different from the case of these people who went away with the intent to give up their citizenship, possibly before they even set foot on the other nation’s land:
So they may want to return. I work and mix with my fellow Malaysians of many ethnic backgrounds daily. I know I can trust these people because they are like me, their roots are here and their families are here; more importantly, they are my fellow Malaysians. They are in no rush to abandon their nation for uncertain promises.
I find myself agreeing with the minister in the news this evening. Certainly they can return but they need to prove their loyalty now.
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