I was having coffee with a work acquaintance of mine who has lived in Malaysia for more than 10 years now.
He was born and grew up in Singapore but worked in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and Taiwan, before he came here. He alternates between Malaysia and Singapore, where his wife and children reside.
I asked him
" Several Malaysians are grabbing any opportunity they can to leave, many of them across the causeway. "
" Why would you choose to live and work here to earn our paltry Ringgit? What more when you have a family to support in Singapore? "
" Isn't Singapore better, cleaner, more modern, more developed? Don't you have more freedom for thought, for speech, for liberacy? "
He sat in silent amusement for a while. Then he responded.
" The bird in the cage looks at the bird in the wild and says 'How lucky he is to have so much freedom! How amazing it must be to have the wind beneath his wings, to soar the skies, to be able to be with his siblings in the wild! How I wish I were him!' "
" The bird in the wild looks at the bird in the cage and says 'How lucky he is to never have to worry about where his next meal will come from, or where he will sleep tonight! How amazing it must be to be cared for, to have comforts and luxuries all to himself instead of having to share with others in the wild! How I wish I were him!' "
" My girl, the grass always seems greener on the other side. While Malaysia is far from perfect, what I know is that neither Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan nor Taiwan are free from different yet equally distressing problems of their own. "
" I have been here for a long time. I have also lived in other countries prior. What I have to say about Malaysia is - things here are still pretty good and Malaysia is a relatively comfortable and peaceful place to reside in. "
Happy Malaysia Day.