Just a couple of quick updates on Malaysian PR, or more generally on immigration:
I’m a bit late putting it here, but there was an interesting article in The Star a few weeks back, about mixed marriages (an article brought on by the ridiculous comments made by Malaysia’s embarrassment of an Information Minister), in which the plight of foreign spouses — especially foreign husbands — was nicely highlighted.
The article really drives home the fact that in denying foreign husbands PR, the Malaysian government has not really been discriminating against foreign men but rather against Malaysian women. Apparently, the government thinks Malaysian women are a little stupid, as shown by this comment from Datuk Michael Chong, head of the MCA’s Public Services and Complaints Department:
“Many foreign husbands have been awarded PR status but some are too impatient. They are not aware of the due process in applying for PR. They think you can get it straight away. It is more complex for foreign husbands because we have to be careful that Malaysian women do not get cheated by foreign men who want Malaysian PR.”
The government doesn’t seem to have the same level of concern that Malaysian men might get cheated by foreign women.
More recently, in an article published over at The Malaysian Insider, the chairman of the Malaysian American Electronics Industry calls for the government to make it easier for foreigners to get PR, and for both foreigners and Malaysians to have dual citizenship. He’s referring specifically to Malaysia’s ‘brain drain’ and the fact that attracting foreign talent can counter it, but it’s all relevant for foreign spouses as well — especially since (as shown in the Star article) prohibitive immigration rules have prompted a lot of Malaysians to move away with their foreign spouses, thus adding to the brain drain.
It’s interesting that the first article quotes Malaysia’s Home Minister as claiming that the rules for PR are clearly laid out on the ministry’s website, whereas the second indirectly suggests (and quite correctly) that the rules and procedures are in fact not very clear at all. I don’t think they’ve ever been clear; I do think the confusion has been deliberate. Even now, when things are actually looking up, there’s quite a bit of confusion among foreign spouses and other expats as to how and when they might get PR.
Anyway, I’m still going to try to remain optimistic about my own chances for PR. We’re going to submit all the necessary documents within the next few months; we’ll see what happens after that.
For some perspective, here are my last few posts regarding immigration and the quest for Permanent Resident status in Malaysia:
Like a (Visa) Virgin, Approved for the Very First (or 17th) Time
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Malaysian PR: Some McVay Guy’s Thoughts (and Mine)
Malaysian PR: Another Hopeful Sign
Malaysian PR: The Catch
Malaysian PR: A Brief Update