As promised, FAB is back with more anecdotes from fellow Africans in Asia! This time, it’s Malaysia, heart of Asia, home to 27.5 million people of multitude ethnicity and not forgetting the “men of the jungle” also known as the orangutans! So what is living in the southeastern tip of Asia like? Never been there before? Thinking of dropping by? Well, you may be interested in what your fellow African Okwy Ukwuaka has to say.
Ukwuaku left Nigeria early this year, he chose Malaysia over Europe and America to further his studies. “It’s cheaper there”, said Ukwuaku.
“Commodities and services are affordable there.” Malaysia is divided into three parts mainly – the main island, Sabah and Sarawak. Inter-State travel is by train, bus or air. Intra-State movement is by taxi or bus. Intra-State movement by bus costs 2 Ringgit (1 Ringgit = 52 NGN) but by taxi, it is between 10 and 15 Ringgit.
Eating in a local restaurant usually costs 5 Ringgit. For one to rent a 3 bedroom apartment, one must make the initial deposit of about 1500 Ringgit (77,800 NGN) ; monthly rent is about 600 Ringgit.
He cautioned those who are coming to Malaysia to be mentally prepared that finding a job there especially for Africans is troublesome. There seems to be a strict immigration rule – any local company who wants to hire a foreigner must be able to prove that there is no one suitable for the position. “Working in Malaysia without a work permit is a serious offence and any company hiring unauthorised personnels will be taking a big risk.” Africans are not granted work permits, so what most Africans do is to marry a Malaysian wife so that they are allowed to perform business but under their wives’ names. But then again, tying the knot with a local dame is bitter process. Many of them don’t understand English, while the majority of those who understand English prefer whites.
Ukwuaku finds Malaysia very well developed with social life at the peak of the beauty of the country. “Malaysia is much better than Nigeria in terms of development.But opportunities are much higher in Nigeria than in Malaysia. If Nigerian Government would stop corruption and embrace selflessness, in a few years to come, Malaysia would be no match for Nigeria.”
When asked what plans he have set for himself in the next few years, Ukwuaku hopes to travel out of Malaysia after his finishes his course to check out neighbouring for better job opportunities.
Nnewian blood runs deep in him, Ukwuaku received all his prior education in the second largest city of the state. “I really miss a lot leaving Nigeria. I miss my family’s affection, my friends’ companionship and some local food I could not do without at home.”
“I hope to be home soon. There is of course no place like home.”
These people have felt the Ganges, cruised the Malacca straits and seen the Yangtze. They were pondering and afraid in the beginning but they went for it. These people never regretted; these people are Africans.
To find out more about others in Asia, be sure to check us back regularly!
Coming up next: Jennefer Daniel in Chennai, India
Pictures of Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu | asiarooms.com
Malaysian Multiracial Traditional Costumes Credits: ultimategerardm.blogspot.comCredits: World-guides.com
To find out more about others, click Part 1.