The Malaysian diaspora are Malaysian emigrants from Malaysia and their descendants that reside in a foreign country. Population estimates vary from seven hundred thousand to one million, both descendants of early emigrants from Malaysia, as well as more recent emigrants from Malaysia. The largest of these foreign communities are on the Australian external territory of Christmas Island where they make up the majority as well as significant minorities in Singapore, Australia, Brunei and the United Kingdom.
|Regions with significant populations|
| Christmas Island|
|More than 981|
|United Arab Emirates||6,000|
|Languages of Malaysia and various languages of the countries they inhabit|
|Religion in Malaysia|
Emigration from Malaysia is a complex demographic phenomenon existing for decades and having a number of reasons. The process is the reverse of the immigration to Malaysia. Malaysia does not keep track of emigration, and counts of Malaysians abroad are thus only available courtesy of statistics kept by the destination countries.
Reasons of emigrationEdit
- Economic reasons
- Education opportunities (e.g. study abroad)
- Family reasons (most common with recent immigrants or permanent residents)
- Marriage to a foreigner with a job in the foreign country
- Business opportunities
- Religious reasons
- Political disenchantment/issues
- Access to health insurance, and other health reasons (see Universal health care)
- Evasion of legal liabilities (e.g. crimes, taxes, loans, etc.)
Malaysians can only lose their citizenship in a very limited number of ways, and anyone born to at least one Malaysian parent, or born on Malaysian soil, is considered to be a Malaysian citizen. It is not automatic for a child born abroad to one Malaysian parent to obtain Malaysian citizenship if the Malaysian parent has been living abroad for a long time.
Malaysians residing overseas who have not registered as a Normal Elector before or who wish to be registered as an Absent Voter to participate in any Malaysian election may register with the respective consulate generals, embassies or high commissioners. As of 2013, only 8,756 Malaysians (1%) out of over 700,000 Malaysians living abroad have registered as postal voters. 6,092 of the 8,756 registered citizens overseas or 69.82% had cast their votes at 100 Malaysian missions worldwide for the Malaysian general election, 2013.
Population by continentEdit
The list below is of the main countries hosting Malaysian populations. Those shown first with exact counts are enumerations of Malaysians who have immigrated to those countries and are legally resident there, does not include those who were born there to one or two Malaysian parents, does not necessarily include those born in Malaysia to parents temporarily in Malaysia and moved with parents by right of citizenship rather than immigration, and does not necessarily include temporary expatriates.
|Continent / Country||Articles||Overseas Malaysian Population|
|United Arab Emirates||Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates#Malaysians||6,000|
|India||Malaysians in India||2,500|
|Christmas Island||Christmas Island#Demographics||More than 981|
|New Zealand||Malaysian New Zealander||14,547|
|United Kingdom||Malaysians in the United Kingdom||63,500|
|United States||Malaysian American||26,179|
Many Malaysians have relatives in Brunei, similar to Singapore, especially amongst ethnic Malays of Bruneian Malay origin residing in southern Sabah, Federal Territory of Labuan as well as northern Sarawak. There are approximately 9% Malaysian diaspora in Brunei, mostly expatriates working in the petroleum industry (Brunei Shell Petroleum oil company).
As of 2012, there are 15000 Malaysians studying in China.
Malaysians in India consist of expatriates and international students from Malaysia as well as Indian people of Malaysian descent and most of them are ethnic Malaysians of Indian origin, working as well as studying in the home country of their ancestors.
The overseas Malaysian diaspora in Singapore is one of the largest with the number standing at 385,979 in 2010, with most of them being ethnic Chinese.
There were 6,000 Malaysians living and working in the United Arab Emirates as of 2010.
There are around 5,000 Malaysians living and working in Qatar as of 2013 statistics.
Around ten thousand Malaysian students have benefited from Taiwan's overseas compatriot education policy, with the country looking for more Malaysian students.
At the 2016 Census 138,364 Australian residents stated that they were born in Malaysia.
As of 2006 census, there is around 14,547 Malaysian-born people lived in New Zealand.
The Malaysian community in the UK is one of the west's largest, this is mainly due to the influence of the British Empire on Malaysia. The 2001 UK Census recorded 49,886 Malaysian-born people, with September 2009 Office for National Statistics estimates putting the figure at around 63,000.
According to answers provided to an open-ended question included in the 2010 United States Census, 26,179 people said that their ancestry or ethnic origin was Malaysian.
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