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Migration In Malaysia and Economic Impact

Keywords: draw factors of malaysia

Throughout history, migration of human beings is a pre-requisite of real human improvement and development. Without migration, human being would be doomed with an existence worse than that of the animals. Even animals migrate to get a better life. The first humans migrated out of Southern Africa a large number of years back and spread across the world and people have been moving about since then. People also migrate because of factors like wars, poverty, discrimination, as well as for politics or even religious reasons. Today, people often migrate for security, work and even for education opportunities.

Organised immigrant labour migration and free immigration in Malaysia occurred under the British colonial administration in the 19th century. During this period, the English required immigrant labour from China, India and Indonesia to help them in the exploitation of natural resources of the colonised countries building plantations and building infrastructure. It really is due to the fact of immigrant labour provide a steady, adequate and cheap way to obtain workers at the same time when the locals labour was either considered unsuitable or had not been considering working under the same tough conditions as migrant labour. This period of free movements into Malaya saw large numbers arriving to work as well as going back home. However, because of free immigration and monetary problems in the countries of source, many immigrant workers decide to relax in Malaya completely.

Malaysia's rapid financial development since independence has relied on Malaysian workers moving from rural-to-rural and rural-to-urban areas and immigrant personnel, especially from Relationship of South East Asian Countries (ASEAN) and other Asian countries. In the case of movement from rural-to-rural areas, swift migration was swift mainly by authorities intervention in rural development and agriculture. Rural-to-urban migration accelerated after federal intervention in urban and professional development was stepped up, especially following the second Malaysia Plan.

The "push" and "pull" factors at the international level in the region also caused personnel to migrate to Malaysia for employment. The accelerated financial development programmes and the suffered high economic expansion rates in Malaysia over approximately three decades induced the influx of immigrant personnel to meet the increasing demand in the Malaysian labour market.


There a wide range of theories that attempt to clarify why people migrate. Among others is the "need and stress theory". This theory keeps that every specific offers his own must be satisfied. These needs take various forms including economic, communal, psychological and cultural. The higher the possibilities that an individual's needs won't able to be fulfilled, the bigger the strain he is suffering from. If this stress develops beyond tolerable boundaries, the individual will push himself to move to a new area, which appears to assure possible fulfilment of his needs.

The migration of men and women in one country to another country is not really a new phenomena. Since early days of colonialism, the colonial forces travelled throughout the world in search for raw materials and new territory. A few of them moved to seek for freedom of worship plus some even moved because of the instability of the federal government. The migration of Muslims from British India to form an Islamic condition of Pakistan is one of the biggest voluntary migrations in history.

Wars and issues are another reason for mass movements of individuals which kind of activity is categorized as refuges. Due to the situation are so serious, the international consciences were shifted and many voluntary organisations were formed to aid these refugees. The Vietnamese Sail boat People is a good example of the mass movement of people of the dynamics. Today, we still can see refugees fleeing their country because of war and an example is the latest situation in Liberia and Sudan. These folks who enter another country through unofficial programs are known as illegal immigrants who later, may create problem to the coordinator country.

In modern days, seeking for an improved life and a well balanced economy become the key factors that affects migration. Sociologist have long analysed migration in terms of the "push-pull" model. This model differentiates between force factors that drive people to set off from yank factors that catch the attention of migrants to a new location. Drive factors occurs within mailing expresses, that is, those that send migrants overseas, while the draw factors take place within receiving state governments, that is state governments that received migrants from overseas. Thrust factors are negative aspects of the mailing country, while pull factors are positive aspects of the obtaining country. Actually, these differentiating factors are really two attributes of the same coin.

In moving migrants must not only see a lack of benefits at home but also a surplus of benefits in another country. There are also more ambiguous factors, called network factors that can either facilitate or deter migration. Generally, the network factors will be the networks of friends and relatives already resolved in destination countries that provide as resources of information and anchor communities for newcomers. The network factors also include, cost of travel, the simple communication and international business development. These factors aren't related to a particular country, but nonetheless have a profound influence on international migration.

The Draw Factor

Generally, there are two factors appealing to migrants to receiving countries. First, the bigger criteria of living and higher income; economic provide the both biggest push and take factors for potential migrants. Second, Labour Demand; almost all developed countries have discovered that they want immigrant labour. Wealthy economies create millions of jobs that home workers won't load but immigrant staff will cross edges to take. Regarding Malaysia, a influx of labour migration began in the first 70's where scarcity of labour became critical especially in the plantation sectors. In middle 80's, the labour scarcity becomes acute which has enticed more immigrant workers in to the country.

The Push Factor

Generally, there are several reasons driving a vehicle people to emigrate from their home country. First, lack of jobs/poverty; monetary provides the key cause of migration. In some countries jobs simply do not exist for significant amounts of the population. In others, the space between your rewards of labour in the sending and acquiring country are great enough to be able to warrant a move. Second, civil strife, warfare, political and religious persecution; some migrants are impelled to cross national edges by conflict or persecution at home. A few of these migrants finish up in acquiring countries as refugees or asylum seekers. Third, environmental problems ; environmental problems and natural disasters often cause the loss of money, homes and jobs.

The Networking

The demand-pull of jobs is from the supply drive of low pay and joblessness by migration sites. Migration network encompasses everything that permits people to find out about opportunities overseas and take benefit of them. Others are motivated to go in foreign countries by family members who will work or settled down in the number country, contractors, labour broker agents and other often-shadowy middlemen or "tekong" who promise the migrants better bargains.


The theory of migration occurs due to "sending" and "receiving' factors due mainly to the "push-pull" and "supply-demand" causes. The influx of immigrant staff to Malaysia is not really a recent phenomena. Malaysia replicates the complexity of international migration that exercises both of imports and exports of labour. Better financial progress and Malaysia's physical location that stocks common edges with it neighbouring countries has turned into a "pull-factor" for migration to Malaysia. On the other hand, the economic disparity, inequality and poverty in the united states of origin serve as the "push-factor" to allow them to migrate, looking for jobs and better living. Generally, there are a great many other reasons why these immigrant employees choose Malaysia as their vacation spot. First, Malaysia geographical location, second, the secure and sound federal government, third, labours shortage, fourth, higher wages and lastly, the employer behaviour.

Geographical Location

Malaysia physical location, which is at the heart of South East Asia is easy to get at either by land or sea. Furthermore, the easy gain access to and the shortage of enforcing companies along the extended shores and accessibility details into Malaysia have caused the entry of several against the law immigrants undetected.

Stable and Sound Government

Since freedom, Malaysia has been governed by a stable authorities and with acoustics economic growth. This politics and economical stability has become the key interest for migration. Comparatively, Malaysia has been seen as the most secure nation in this area compared to her neighbours. As a result, others have deemed this country as an "oasis" in your community.

Labour Shortage

Malaysia has been experiencing a very high level of professional development and it is rolling out further to be categorised as a newly industrialized country. Therefore, from the human assets perspective the united states has generated an enormous demand of the task pressure especially unskilled employees for immediate employment in the industrial and manufacturing areas. The labour shortage in Malaysia has become an important issues and employing immigrant workers is known as to be the most feasible short-term solution.

Higher Wages

Generally, the immigrant employees in Malaysia can be regarded as an economic migrant. Comparatively, Malaysian employers pay higher wages to the immigrant employees for a similar job back home. This situation is manufactured even worse, where the wages offered is considered low for the neighborhood employees. Thus, it starts the job opportunities to the immigrant employees.

The Workplace Attitude

The Malaysian employers attitude is also another "pulling factors" that drawn foreign employees. Beside that, it is suspected that there has been a simultaneous access of large numbers of illegal employees as well. Like the legal staff, the illegal employees were also used in the construction, making and service areas at an extremely low wage rate. It is a known fact that employers like this layout for various reasons like a lower overhead cost and protecting against them from registering to the Employees Provident Finance (EPF), Friendly Security Firm (SOCSO), medical and cultural benefits. For the unlawful immigrants, for their unlawful position, they become less requiring in conditions of salary and other privileges. As for the employers, to be able to boost their development, the against the law immigrant employees can be easily utilized to work extra hours with minimum wages.


Most of the immigrant employees in Malaysia came from her neighbouring countries; Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. However, in early 90's, immigrant staff from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and few other countries started to dominate the Malaysia's labour workforce. Therefore, it is only realistic to recognize the united states of origin of the immigrant personnel and examine the "push" factors that make them migrate to this country.


Being the largest country in this region with 1. 9 million sq kilometres, Indonesia is facing administrative problems in trying to govern the nations vast regions evenly. To develop the whole country, it needs massive work and resources and this have created a space between your provinces. Some places enjoy multi multi-fold development while some are still still left far in back of.

The problems of socio-economy appear to obtain centred on its big populace, since Indonesia is the fourth most populous country with about 225 million. The Indonesian market is dependence on oil and gas, plywood, textiles, rubber and palm olive oil. However, the limited resources and infrastructure available were not adequate to accommodate the demands of growing society. This among other factors has induced poverty, which is approximated 24% of its human population. Beside that, unprecedented turmoil in recent years, first the Asian financial meltdown, followed by nov Chief executive Suharto, the first free election since 1960, the increased loss of East Timor, independence requirements from restive provinces, bloody inter-ethnic and spiritual conflict and devastating tsunami experienced worsen the financial situation, increased the inflation and unemployment rates.


Like Indonesia, Thailand is also facing the challenge of poverty, where 80% of the population lives in the rural areas and the majority of them are poor farmers. Associated with simple; the Thai federal is focusing more on defence as opposed to the socio-economy development of the country.


The Philippines, which consist of 3, 666 islands, is facing almost similar problem like Indonesia in terms of administration and developments of the provinces. Beside that, religious issue between Islam and Christian has imposed serious danger to the united states. This is coupled with the uneven development between the provinces, which includes created a disparity situation among the citizen as the armed trend by the militant communities in Southern Philippines post a major risk to its internal security.


This small country with a huge human population is facing many problems. The high rates of poverty and political instability of the country has influenced the citizen to consider better opportunities far away. The country also constantly experience natural devastation such as floods and drought, which made the problem worst.


The "close coverage" of Myanmar to the exterior world is one of the reasons for the backwardness of the united states. The poverty rates is high amongst the population of 85% Buddhist. Being a poor country, Myanmar encounters the same socio-economy problem and political instability, which prevent the introduction of the country.


With its traditional culture and the Himalaya as a backdrop, the landlocked Kingdom of Nepal has for quite some time been the vacation spot of choice for foreign travellers in search of adventure. The united states with an area of 147, 181 sq kilometres and 26. 3 million people is one of the poorest countries on the planet where more than 40% of its people is believed to stay in poverty. Being a landlocked country with limited agriculture and other market sectors, Nepal economy relies mainly on tourist industries.

However, the existing politics turmoil and the growing Maoist guerrilla insurgency movement that continues the traveler away are now undermining the Nepal economies. Maoist rebels have been waging a advertising campaign contrary to the constitutional monarchy in a discord that has left more than 11, 000 people dead since it started in 1996. Based on the UN accounts, it is suggested that, the rebellion has displaced more than 100, 000 people. Nepal also has been at chances with neighbouring Bhutan over the repatriation of a large number of refugees moving into camps in Nepal. The refugees, Bhutanese of Nepalese descent fled assault in their homeland in early 1990s. With these ongoing problems, worsen market and political situation has drive away the visitors to look for a better living in other countries.

Other Countries

Other than the countries brought up, there's also immigrant staff from India, Pakistan, China, Midsection East and even African countries. These countries are also facing the same socio-economy problem and politics instability. However, the statistics is not as high as the other immigrants from the Malaysia's neighbouring countries. Some enter into the country legitimately but had prolonged their stay although their visa got expired. Their main reason in doing this is to earn a better moving into this country.


In brief summary, Malaysia needs the immigrant employees for the development, but their occurrence shouldn't dominate the labour work force because they will definitely cause some positive and negative impact as well as risk to the national security. The negative and positive impact with their presence varies. In the economic point of view, their work helped the continuous development and financial growth of the country by filling the difference of the severe labour shortages. On in contrast, their occurrence and occupation depress wages and this has reduced the competitiveness of local personnel and frustrates look at created by the trade unions to improve their working terms and conditions. A profitable and competitive workforce is crucial for Malaysia in order to develop a knowledge-based economy and also to achieve its aspiration to become a fully developed region. However, most of the immigrant personnel are unskilled or semi skilled labours with lower academics background. Therefore, the government must formulate a comprehensive policy governing this requirement, that may definitely incur extra cost and methods to the company. As a result of this bureaucracy, the company often blamed the procedure of importing staff as being prolonged and tedious process. Therefore, they recruited illegal workers who are plentiful for occupation.

Socially, being less informed, poor and lower social school, these immigrants staff seem to be un-stabled economically, literally and mentally. Because of this, negative tournaments for a much better living can emerged from these circumstances. For example; their incursion into non-designated careers like petty trading imposes unnecessary competition to the neighborhood traders. In addition they compete with the locals for cheaper enclosure especially in the urban areas, which resulted the surge in rental and short supply of houses. Some of them are even move into developing new against the law squatters and this has impose pressure on the basic amenities in the areas. Any slightest conflicts resulted from this competition might become social clashes between your immigrants and the locals.

Immigrant workers have also been seen as a threat to security and political stableness. This is due to their ignorance of the country's legislations. This can be seen from various activities such as, illegitimate entry, require in criminal activities, over staying, opening federal government land illegally, and many more. These activities will definitely have serious implication on security. Illegitimate entry for samples, implies that Malaysia's has porous borders and was incapable protect the edges, allowing not only economic migrants to come through but also any subversive elements. Illegal access will also enables people that have contagious diseases to filtering through and distributed it to the populace.

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