Many find it hard to advance here

  • Letters
  • Monday, 14 Jul 2008

I REFER to your report that the United Kingdom may impose visa requirements on Malaysian passport holders soon.

Over the years, Malaysia has been losing visa-free travel privileges to many countries.

For those who may not remember, we used to be able to travel freely to Australia, Canada, Japan and I believe even the United States.

Now, the single Western country that we have the most ties with - Britain - is contemplating revoking our visa-free travel privilege.

This is a bad reflection on us and cannot be blamed on any conspiracy. It shows how many Malaysians are finding it hard to progress at home and need to resort to becoming illegal immigrants. Many would rather work as kitchen hands in Japan.

Closer to home, one only needs to look at the daily traffic jam during rush hours at the Johor-Singapore border to realise that Malaysians play a large part in powering our neighbour’s economy.

As a frequent traveller, I appreciate visa-free travel to many countries.

In fact, it is probably one reason why many multi-national companies like to employ Malaysian professionals who can at a moment’s notice be on a plane to perform their duty.

We do not want to lose these privileges. It will be very serious if Britain imposes a visa requirement on us, which could be followed by the rest of the EU.

Perhaps it is time we think about self-screening our travellers first for suspicious motives.

We must all surely agree that abusing the privileges conferred upon our own passports is something that we do not condone.

However, the long-term solution is to develop ourselves such that we don’t need to become illegal immigrants to make a living.


Kuala Lumpur.

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