Bank Negara and the colonial mentality
Written by kazi mahmood Tuesday, 19 October 2010 15:04
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If you are a foreigner living in Malaysia, life is not easy for many reasons. But if you are a foreigner married to a local, life is made even more impossible. I endured 18 long years of the colonial mentality from the Malaysian immigration and I also found out that the same old colonial attitude is alive at the Bank Negara!
The Bank Negara which is the Malaysian National Bank is not only the regulator of the 'rules' of local banks, it is also weights in the consultation for foreign investment in the country. That give it a lot of power indeed but unfortunately for the country, the colonialist mentality is still alive in the bank's decision when it comes to 'foreign spouses' in particular.
If you are a foreign spouse, without Permanent Residence (PR) - it is not lame to state that very few foreign spouses has the PR - your life may be like hell in this country that claims to be a 'Muslim' or 'Islamic' state. I for one being a foreign spouse living in this country for 18 years now can state it loud to the colonialists at the Banks and in particular at the Bank Negara, that their dirty game is destroying the country's image and will not help its economy in the long run.
For example, foreign spouses can't get a loan to purchase a car or a house unless you have a 'working permit'. Most foreign spouses in the country, fed-up working for bullying bosses who like to take advantage of foreigners, have resorted to obtain the 'spouse' programme visa to live with their families in Malaysia. That does not mean the foreign spouse has no money or is incapable to pay for the loan, which I can easily do with the kind of money I can generate by writing on a freelance basis!
Foreign spouses with the 'spouse programme' visa are not allowed to open accounts in 'foreign banks' such as HSBC or Standard Chartered Bank. Local banks allows to open savings account nowadays after many of us complained loudly that we had to depend on our 'spouses' to even have a savings account!
And foreign spouses with 'spouse programme' visas are not eligible to apply for any banking facilities not even credit cards and in some cases even 'debit' cards are 'haram' for foreign spouses. This is great publicity for Malaysia and we will continue lambasting such colonial mentalities until those behind these regulations are either kicked into oblivion or feels the shame of their villany!