An Overview Of Immigrant In Malaysia Economics Essay

Throughout human history, migration of human existences is a pre-requisite of human advancement and development. Without migration, human being would be doomed to an being worse than that of the animate beings. Even animate beings migrate to seek a better life. The first worlds migrated out of Southern Africa 1000s of old ages ago and distribute throughout the universe and people have been traveling approximately since so. Peoples besides migrate because of factors like wars, poorness, favoritism, and for political or even spiritual grounds. In modern times, people frequently migrate for security, work and even for instruction chances.

Organised immigrant labour migration and free in-migration in Malaysia took topographic point under the British colonial disposal in the nineteenth century. During this period, the British required immigrant labor from China, India and Indonesia to assist them in the development of natural resources of the colonized states set uping plantations and edifice substructure. It is chiefly because of immigrant labor provide a steady, equal and inexpensive supply of workers at a clip when the locals labour was either deemed unsuitable or was non interested in working under the same rough conditions as migratory labor. This period of free motion into Malaya saw big Numberss geting to work every bit good as returning place. However, because of free in-migration and economic troubles in the states of beginning, many immigrant workers decide to settle down in Malaya for good.

Malaysia ‘s rapid economic development since independency has relied on Malayan workers traveling from rural-to-rural and rural-to-urban countries and immigrant workers, particularly from Association of South East Asiatic Nations ( ASEAN ) and other Asiatic states. In the instance of motion from rural-to-rural countries, rapid migration was swift chiefly by authorities intercession in rural development and agribusiness. Rural-to-urban migration accelerated after authorities intercession in urban and industrial development was stepped up, particularly after the 2nd Malaysia Plan.

The “ push ” and “ pull ” factors at the international degree in the part besides caused workers to migrate to Malaysia for employment. The accelerated economic development programmes and the sustained high economic growing rates in Malaysia over about three decennaries caused the inflow of immigrant workers to run into the increasing demand in the Malayan labor market.

2.2 WHY Peoples MIGRATE

There are many theories that attempt to explicate why people migrate. Among others is the “ demand and emphasis theory ”[ 30 ]. This theory holds that every person has got his ain demands to be fulfilled. These demands take assorted signifiers including economic, societal, psychological and cultural. The higher the opportunities that an person ‘s demands will non able to be fulfilled, the higher the emphasis he suffers from. If this emphasis grows beyond tolerable bounds, the person will coerce himself to travel to a different country, which seems to assure possible fulfillment of his demands.

The migration of people from one state to another state is non a new phenomena. Since early yearss of colonialism, the colonial powers travelled around the universe in hunt for natural stuff and new district. Some of them moved to seek for freedom of worship and some even moved because of the instability of the authorities. The migration of Muslims from British India to organize an Islamic province of Pakistan is one of the biggest voluntary migrations in history[ 31 ].

Wars and struggles are another ground for mass motions of people and this sort of motion is categorized as safeties. Because of the state of affairs are so serious, the international scrupless were moved and many voluntary administrations were formed to help these refugees. The Vietnamese Boat People is a good illustration of the mass motion of people of this nature. Today, we still can see refugees flying their state because of war and a good illustration is the latest state of affairs in Liberia and Sudan. These people who enter another state through unofficial channels are known as illegal immigrants who subsequently, may make job to the host state.

In modern yearss, seeking for a better life and a stable economic system become the chief factors that influences migration. Sociologist have long analysed migration in footings of the “ push-pull ” theoretical account[ 32 ]. This theoretical account differentiates between push factors that drive people to go forth place from pull factors that attract migrators to a new location. Push factors occurs within directing provinces, that is, those that send migrators abroad, while the pull factors occur within having provinces, that is states that received migrators from abroad. Push factors are negative facets of the sending state, while pull factors are positive facets of the receiving state[ 33 ]. In fact, these distinguishing factors are truly two sides of the same coin.

In traveling migrators must non merely see a deficiency of benefits at place but besides a excess of benefits abroad. There are besides more equivocal factors, called web factors that can either facilitate or deter migration. By and large, the web factors are the webs of friends and relations already settled in finish states that serve as beginnings of information and ground tackle communities for fledglings[ 34 ]. The web factors besides include, cost of travel, the easiness of communicating and international concern tendency. These factors are non related to a specific state, but still have a profound consequence on international migration.

The Pull Factor

By and large, there are two factors pulling migrators to having states. First, the higher criterions of life and higher rewards ; economic provide the both biggest push and pull factors for possible migrators[ 35 ]. Second, Labour Demand ; about all developed states have found that they need immigrant labor. Rich economic systems create 1000000s of occupations that domestic workers refuse to make full but immigrant workers will traverse boundary lines to take[ 36 ]. In the instance of Malaysia, a moving ridge of labour migration began in the early 70 ‘s where deficit of labour became critical particularly in the plantation sectors. In mid 80 ‘s, the labour deficit becomes acute and this has attracted more immigrant workers into the state.

The Push Factor

By and large, there are several grounds driving people to emigrate from their place state. First, deficiency of jobs/poverty ; economic provides the chief ground behind migration[ 37 ]. In some states occupations merely do non be for a great trade of the population. In others, the spread between the wagess of labor in the sending and receiving state are great plenty so as to justify a move. Second, civil discord, war, political and spiritual persecution ; some migrators are impelled to traverse national boundary lines by war or persecution at place[ 38 ]. Some of these migrators end up in having states as refugees or refuge searchers. Third, environmental jobs[ 39 ]; environmental jobs and natural catastrophes frequently cause the loss of money, places and occupations.

The Networking

The demand-pull of occupations is linked to the supply push of low rewards and joblessness by migration webs. Migration web encompasses everything that enables people to larn about chances abroad and take advantage of them. Others are motivated to travel abroad by household members who are working or settled down in the host state, contractors, labour agents and other often-shadowy jobbers or “ tekong ” who promise the migrators better trades.


The theory of migration occurs because of the “ sending ” and “ having ‘ factors chiefly due to the “ push-pull ” and “ supply-demand ” forces. The inflow of immigrant workers to Malaysia is non a recent phenomena. Malaysia replicates the complexness of international migration that exercises both of imports and exports of labor. Better economic growing and Malaysia ‘s geographical location that portions common boundary lines with it neighboring states has become a “ pull-factor ” for migration to Malaysia. In contrast, the economic disparity, inequality and poorness in the state of origin service as the “ push-factor ” for them to migrate, looking for occupations and better life. By and large, there are many other grounds why these immigrant workers choose Malaysia as their finish. First, Malaysia geographical location, 2nd, the stable and sound authorities, 3rd, labours deficit, 4th, higher rewards and eventually, the employer attitudes.

Geographic Location

Malaysia geographical location, which is in the Centre of South East Asia is easy accessible either by land or sea. In add-on, the easy entree and the deficit of implementing bureaus along the drawn-out shores and entry points into Malaysia have caused the entry of many illegal immigrants undetected.

Stable and Sound Government

Since independency, Malaysia has been governed by a stable authorities and with sound economic growing. This political and economical stableness has become the chief attractive force for migration. Relatively, Malaysia has been seen as the most stable state in this part in comparing to her neighbors. As such, others have regarded this state as an “ oasis ” in the part.

Labour Deficit

Malaysia has been sing a really high degree of industrial development and it has developed farther to be classified as a freshly industrialised state. Therefore, from the human assets perspective the state has generated a immense demand of the work force particularly unskilled workers for immediate employment in the industrial and fabrication sectors. The labour deficit in Malaysia has become an of import issues and using immigrant workers is considered to be the most feasible short-run solution.

Higher Wagess

By and large, the immigrant workers in Malaysia can be regarded as an economic migrator. Relatively, Malayan employers pay higher rewards to the immigrant workers for a similar occupation back place. This state of affairs is made even worse, where the rewards offered is considered low for the local workers. Therefore, it opens the occupation chances to the immigrant workers.

The Employer Attitude

The Malayan employers attitude is besides another “ pulling factors ” that attracted foreign workers. Beside that, it is suspected that there has been a coincident entry of immense figure of illegal workers as good. Similar to the legal workers, the illegal workers were besides employed in the building, fabrication and service sectors at a really low pay rate. It is a known fact that employers prefer this agreement for assorted grounds such as a lower operating expense cost and forestalling them from registering to the Employees Provident Fund ( EPF ) , Social Security Organization ( SOCSO ) , medical and societal benefits. For the illegal immigrants, because of their improper position, they become less demanding in footings of wage and other privileges. As for the employers, in order to hike their production, the illegal immigrant workers can be easy employed to work excess hours with minimal rewards.


Most of the immigrant workers in Malaysia came from her neighbouring states ; Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand[ 40 ]. However, in early 90 ‘s, immigrant workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and few other states started to rule the Malaysia ‘s labour work force. Therefore, it is merely realistic to place the state of beginning of the immigrant workers and analyze the “ push ” factors that make them migrate to this state.

Dutch east indies

Bing the largest state in this part with 1.9 million sq kilometer, Indonesia is confronting administrative jobs in seeking to regulate the states huge parts every bit. To develop the whole state, it requires monolithic attempt and resources and this have created a spread between the states. Some parts of the state bask multi multi-fold development while others are still left far behind[ 41 ].

The jobs of socio-economy seem to hold centred on its large population, since Indonesia is the 4th most thickly settled state with about 225 million. The Indonesian economic system is dependance on oil and gas, plyboard, fabrics, gum elastic and palm oil. However, the limited resources and substructure available were non equal to suit the demands of turning population[ 42 ]. This among other factors has caused poorness, which is estimated 24 % of its population. Beside that, unprecedented convulsion in recent old ages, foremost the Asiatic fiscal crisis, followed by the autumn of President Suharto, the first free election since 1960, the loss of East Timor, independency demands from edgy states, bloody inter-ethnic and spiritual struggle and lay waste toing tsunami had worsen the economic state of affairs, increased the rising prices and unemployment rates.


Like Indonesia, Thailand is besides confronting the job of poorness, where 80 % of the population lives in the rural countries and most of them are hapless husbandmans. The ground is simple ; the Thai authorities is concentrating more on defense mechanism instead than the socio-economy development of the state.


The Philippines, which consist of 3,666 islands, is confronting about similar job like Indonesia in footings of disposal and developments of the states. Beside that, spiritual struggle between Islam and Christian has imposed serious menace to the state. This is coupled with the uneven development between the states, which has created a disparity state of affairs amongst the citizen while the armed revolution by the activist groups in Southern Philippines post a major menace to its internal security.


This little state with a big population is confronting many jobs. The high rates of poorness and political instability of the state has influenced the citizen to look for better chances in other states. The state besides invariably experiences natural catastrophe such as inundations and drouth, which made the state of affairs worst.

Union of burma

The “ close policy ” of Myanmar to the outside universe is one of the grounds for the retardation of the state. The poorness rates is really high amongst the population of 85 % Buddhist. Bing a hapless state, Myanmar faces the same socio-economy job and political instability, which hinder the development of the state.


With its ancient civilization and the Himalaya as a background, the landlocked Kingdom of Nepal has for many old ages been the finish of pick for foreign travelers in hunt of escapade. The state with an country of 147,181 sq kilometer and 26.3 million people is one of the poorest states in the universe where more than 40 % of its population is estimated to populate in poorness. Bing a landlocked state with limited agribusiness and other industries, Nepal economic system relies chiefly on tourer industries.

However, the current political convulsion and the turning Maoist guerilla insurgence motion that keeps the tourer off are now sabotaging the Nepal economic systems. Maoist Rebels have been engaging a run against the constitutional monarchy in a struggle that has left more than 11,000 people dead since it started in 1996. Based on the UN studies, it is indicated that, the rebellion has displaced more than 100,000 people[ 43 ]. Nepal besides has been at odds with neighbouring Bhutan over the repatriation of 1000s of refugees populating in cantonments in Nepal. The refugees, Bhutanese of Nepalese descent fled force in their fatherland in early 1990s. With these ongoing jobs, worsen economic system and political state of affairs has drive away the people to look for a better life in other states.

Other States

Other than the states mentioned, there are besides immigrant workers from India, Pakistan, China, Middle East and even African states. These states are besides confronting the same socio-economy job and political instability. However, the Numberss is non every bit high as the other immigrants from the Malaysia ‘s neighbouring states. Some enter the state lawfully but had extended their stay although their visa had expired. Their chief ground in making so is to gain a better life in this state.

2.5 Summary

In drumhead, Malaysia needs the immigrant workers for the development, but their presence should non rule the labour work force because they will decidedly present some positive and negative impact every bit good as menace to the national security. The positive and negative impact of their presence varies. From the economic position, their employment helped the uninterrupted development and economic growing of the state by make fulling the spread of the acute labor deficits. On contrary, their presence and employment depress rewards and this has reduced the fight of local workers and frustrates attempt made by the trade brotherhoods to better their working footings and conditions. A productive and competitory work force is important for Malaysia in order to develop a knowledge-based economic system and to accomplish its aspiration of going a to the full developed state. However, most of the immigrant workers are unskilled or semi skilled labors with lower academic background. Therefore, the authorities has to explicate a comprehensive policy regulating this demand, which will decidedly incur excess cost and processs to the employer. As a consequence of this bureaucratism, the employer frequently blamed the procedure of importing workers as being drawn-out and boring procedure. Therefore, they recruited illegal workers who are readily available for employment.

Socially, being less educated, hapless and lower societal category, these immigrants workers seem to be un-stabled economically, physically and mentally. As a consequence, negative competitions for a better life can emerged from these state of affairss. For illustration ; their incursion into non-designated occupations like junior-grade trading imposes unneeded competition to the local bargainers. They besides compete with the locals for cheaper lodging particularly in the urban countries, which resulted the rise in rental and short supply of houses. Some of them are even move into developing new illegal homesteaders and this has impose strain on the basic comfortss in the countries. Any slightest struggles resulted from this competition might turn into societal clangs between the immigrants and the locals.

Immigrant workers have besides been seen as a menace to security and political stableness. This stems from their ignorance of the state ‘s jurisprudence. This can be seen from assorted activities such as, illegal entry, involve in condemnable activities, over remaining, opening authorities land illicitly, and many others. These activities will decidedly hold serious deduction on security. Illegal entry for illustrations, implies that Malaysia ‘s has porous boundary lines and was unable protect the boundary lines, leting non merely economic migrators to come through but besides any insurgent elements. Illegal entry will besides enables those with contagious diseases to filtrate through and distribute it to the population.

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