He will be part of the figures that tally to Australia. Already, last year there were 3838 Malaysian migrating there (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald).
Now, firstly, I think Australia is a beautiful country. Its big and huge, lots of greenery, very fresh air with many wide open spaces, and most of all its Western. This is of course quite a stark contrast to Malaysia.
Well Malaysia is also huge to one extend, and is very beautiful - just look at our number of tourist arrivals. However, it fits into the Asian mould - South East Asian mould to be exact. That may not seem so cool to some - and I'm not just saying the weather. Besides, Malaysians don't travel around the country that much apart from visiting the major cities. Hence, the perceptions by Malaysians on Malaysia is usually not 'a wholesome one'.
This 'brain drain' doesn't only happen to Malaysia. In a report by Channel News Asia, it mentions that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in an interview with the United Press International (UPI) has said Singapore is facing a 'pretty serious' brain drain problem - losing about 4 to 5 percent of the top 30 percent of its population every year.
What could be the reasons people are migrating abroad? What has another country offer them that their home country don't? There are many pull factors as just mentioned, a change in lifestyle and working environment, and maybe also the paycheck, which when converted can be a lot of difference - my friend mentions that he is offered 4 times a higher salary in Australia now, taking into consideration the exchange rate of 1AUD = RM2.98! This friend who may take 10 years (not counting his previous income) to become a millionaire in Malaysia will now only take 2.5 years to do so.
I'm sure there are also quite a fair bit of 'push factors' - whether in working environment, family relationships, or on the local environment. In Singapore, the complaints heard are usually it's very restrictive or rather boring, despite Singapore being one of the top nightlife places in the world!
So, the grass is always greener on the other side. And in a huff and puff, my friend has made his decision to leave beautiful Malaysia.
The next question to ask is - is migrating a form of disloyalty? I guess this is an open debate. Some will definitely say a strong and resounding Yes. Some of course will say No - especially those who have left. Now, by the Festivals held abroad eg. Malaysia Fest in London or NY with huge Malaysian supporters, maybe they are right about them still loving the country.
My Own Experience
I myself have been questioned before, though I'm only based across a tiny Straits Of Johor. Though I travel frequently to KL and Malacca on business, but some have raised the issue of where I am based and my loyalty.
For me to answer this question, it is without doubt that my heart still belongs to Malaysia. Sometimes friends have always said 'Wah, this Malaysian da*n loyal one lei'. This is usually in response they mentioning something or making a statement about Malaysia that I don't feel right.
Or even when I'm with a group of other citizens in a foreign country and the native ask 'Where are you from?'. It would have been easier to just follow the crowd and nod what they have mentioned. But, this loyal Malaysian will not, and sometimes although it's only me alone, I still say I'm from Malaysia! lol :)
I will always be back in Malaysia despite traveling or being based elsewhere. And I'm sure I'll continue to do works on & for the country. Already, I have 3 projects dedicated just for Malaysia - Batik Inspirations, The Malaysia Page and now 50+1 Malaysia. That could sometimes raise questions by my friends - like why I'm being based in Singapore doing work on Malaysia. I guess, it takes one to be abroad to see that the grass is greener on the other side!
My opinion may not represent all Malaysians abroad, but I'm sure many feel the same as me. That their first love - is and still will be their homecountry. In this case, Malaysia :)