e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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The Malaysian Chinese Diaspora in Melbourne: Citizenship and Belongingness

Low, C. C.

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2016

Keywords: Citizenship, belongingness, transnationalism, Chinese diaspora, Malaysia

Published on: 29 Feb 2016

This paper aims to examine the relationship between citizenship and belongingness among the Malaysian Chinese diaspora in Melbourne. It draws on migration and transnationalism theory in understanding the relationship between citizenship and the notion of home. The analysis shows that the Chinese diaspora still regards Malaysia as their "home" and equates "home" with "family." In order to preserve the sense of belongingness to their home, the Chinese diaspora adopts the strategy of maintaining Malaysian citizenship while preserving Australian permanent residency status. Transnational mobility has shaped their understandings in which they appreciate their Malaysian passport as a travelling document to their place of origin, while bringing their family to Australia for vacations. The idea of travelling back to their home country with a tourist visa seemed to be unacceptable to the Malaysian diaspora. This article suggests that the diaspora desires flexibility in their citizenship choices and inclines to maintain the status quo when it comes to the question of belongingness.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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