Think tank predicts Chinese Malaysian population may drop below 20pc by 2030

According to the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli), Chinese Malaysian population may drop below 20per cent by 2030. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
According to the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli), Chinese Malaysian population may drop below 20per cent by 2030. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 ― Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese will form less than 20 per cent of the total population in just 13 more years if their emigrating trend and low birth rates continues, according to the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli).

“If the migration trend continues to 2030, Malaysian Chinese would only account for only 19.6 per cent of the population,” its COO Ng Yeen Seen was quoted saying in an interview with news portal Free Malaysia Today published today.

According to the report, ethnic Chinese was over one-third of the local population in 1957 or 37.2 per cent. The figure fell to 24 per cent or just under a quarter four years ago.

And two years ago, the number of Chinese Malaysians contracted further to 21.4 per cent, just over six million.

Ng reportedly cited a 2011 study by the World Bank and noted “brain drain” was now a serious problem among ethnic Chinese here with almost a million emigrating until 2010. More than half or 57 per cent of this figure quit Malaysia for Singapore.

She warned that Chinese Malaysians may even be outnumbered by migrant workers, who have been flooding the country in large numbers, by 2030.

Ng also commented that the Chinese Malaysian migration was internal, from the country’s rural areas to urban centres and said their departure created a gap in the local economy and workforce in rural areas.

She noted that it would not be ideal for certain races to be pooled in certain areas as Malaysians would be unable to learn to co-exist in a multicultural country.

She also highlighted the importance of the federal government's move to develop economic regions that fall outside of the Klang Valley.

“Putrajaya's push to develop the Iskandar region, build the East Coast Rail Link, Pan-Borneo Highway and East Coast Economic Region are vital, as it will stimulate economies there and create opportunities for all,” she was quoted saying.

Ng’s projections appear to tally with past figures cited from the Department of Statistics a year ago.

Last February, the department was reported by Chinese-language newspaper Sin Chew Daily stating that the local Sino population was experiencing a decline, from 24.6 per cent in 2010, it had declined to 21.4 per cent in 2015 and will dip further to 19.6 per cent in 2030. By 2030, Chinese Malaysians will form just 18.9 per cent of the total population and will make up 18.4 per cent by 2040.

This will be despite the ethnic Chinese population's expected growth in terms of numbers from the current 6.6 million to 7.1 million by 2040.

As for the Bumiputera community, their numbers are set to grow from 19.2 million in 2015 to 26 million by 2040, while their percentage will go up from 61.8 per cent to 67.5 per cent for the same years.

The ethnic Indian community will also have a similar upward trend, with numbers to go up from two million to 2.3 million or 5.5 per cent to 6.4 per cent.

* A previous report had an error, where Ng Yeen Seen's designation was incorrectly stated as CEO instead of COO. Malay Mail Online extends our apologies and the article has been amended. 

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