In the late 19th and 20th centuries, there was a large scale of labor migration from Indonesia, China and India to Malaysia. This was due to the promising development in both economic and politic of Malaysia which encourages them to migrate over. There were many other factors that contribute the supply of migration which are categorized into two factors which are in home countries or can be identified as push factors and in host countries or can be identified as pull factors.
First of all, the migration of Malays from Indonesia to Malaysia can be tracked back since before the colonial era. One of the pull factors is interracial marriages between the Sultanates. For example, the Javanese’s princess, Princess Raden Galuh Chandra Kirana married to the Malacca’s sultanate, Sultan Mansur Shah. Aside from that, during the colonial era under the British, there was a lack of work laborers as Malaysia became the resources provider for them. At that point, the Indonesian became the third labor source. Meanwhile, according to Djafar, F., & Hassan, M. K. H. (2012), the push factors are represented by income and unemployment in Indonesia. For instance, tax charges imposed by the Dutch Colonialis was the reason for the poverty life in Indonesia.
Next, it was written in the history that the relationship between the Malacca Sultanate had an amicable association with China, which automatically make it a pull factor to why the Chinese would migrate to Malaysia. Similarly, as Indonesia, interracial marriages bring the relationship between these two countries much closer. This relationship was highlighted by the marriage of a Chinese princess known as Hang Li Po to Sultan Mansur Shah. Meanwhile, the destabilizing of the Qing Dynasty in the late 19th to early 20th was the push factor to the arrival of many southern Chinese groups.
Lastly, the Indians that migrate from India can be categorized by four types of groups where the first group of Indians were prisoners under the British ruler, the second group of Indians were brought to Malaysia with a contract system known as kangany system which they have to pay the expenses to bring them to Malaysia from India and third group of Indians were tied to a 3 years labor contract. The reason behind the migration was due to high population in India, which was the push factor. As the prices for rubber and oil palm increased, it provides job opportunity to them, which was the pull factor of their migration to Malaysia.
In conclusion, the migration of these people to Malaysia has made Malaysia as a multi-cultural and multi-racial country that is special in the eye of the citizen as well as the tourist. Malaysia has since developed well in the aspect of economic, social and politic.