My cousin Sumisha, studying in Australia, writes a fascinating piece on dual citizenship for her student union paper – dual citizenship is illegal in Malaysia, Iran and 58 other countries, apparently. As someone that holds a different passport to his wife and daughter this is an issue close to my heart, and, apart from the pride in seeing my cousin write such an insightful and interesting article, there are some really interesting questions raised in this piece.
Questions like – what would your perception of your Nationality be if you had dual citizenship? Which would you give up if you were forced to? Should dual citizenship be legal everywhere? These are asked and answered by Sumisha’s interviewees. In both cases, if forced to choose, they would choose their adoptive countries (less repressive and more wealthy regimes) over their birth nations, although their sense of personal identity seems to lie with the countries they grew up in.
For me, my links to Malaysia may never completely fade, but they are not ones I’m particularly proud of, as you’ll know if you’ve read my relatively recent posts on Sarawak, on the obedience club, on Bersih and beyond. My "national" identity stems more from my family than the Nation of my birth and I hold more ‘loyalty’ to the country I live in now than Malaysia (although National loyalty is rarely a thing that is tested beyond choosing which team to support at football friendlies). And indeed, many of the good things in Malaysia remain the legacy of British colonization.
Although perhaps the judicial and governmental systems they left us were too mature for our leaders, who seem to prefer autocracy and corruption.
Anyway, go read my cousin’s article. Sumisha, mate, good one. This is the best shrimp on the barbie yet. Too easy.
As an afterthought, I give you this music video – almost from down under too: