While Malaysians tend to look down on neighbouring countries because their workers are forced to work abroad and remit money home, few of us realise that, as a percentage of GDP, migrant workers from Malaysia remit more home than those from Indonesia and Thailand.
A friend of mine sent me the following:
Surprise! Remittances of Malaysian migrants back to Malaysia account for 1.6% of GDP, higher than remittances of Indonesian migrants back to Indonesia (1.1% of GDP) and of Thai migrants back to Thailand (1.2% of GDP). The quantum is higher for Indonesia and just marginally higher for Thailand.
Given the attitude of Malaysia and many Malaysians to migrants, it may come as a bit of a shock that migrant remittances to Malaysia account for a higher proportion of our GDP.
The available report does not show the composition of migrants — i.e. where they fall in the class structure. But it is possible that the Malaysian attitude may be a function of the different composition of Malaysian migrants compared to Indonesian, Indian, Bangladeshi, Vietnamese migrants.
See here for details and the whole report. IFAD is the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.