Koreans in Malaysia

Koreans in Malaysia

Ethnic group
|group=Koreans in Malaysia
poptime=5,920 (2005)
popplace=Kuala Lumpur (Ampang, Mont Kiara), Selangor (Ampang, Bandar Sunway, Kota Damansara, Subang Jaya)cite news|url=http://properties.emedia.com.my/listfocus.php?propNewsID=452&CatID=F00|work=New Straits Times|last=Phoon|first=Zoe|title='Hwan Young Hap Ni Da'|date=2007-11-26|accessdate=2008-01-01]
langs=Korean, English, Chinese, Malay

Koreans in Malaysia during 2005 numbered 5,920 individuals, making them the 20th-largest community of overseas Koreans, according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.cite web|url=http://www.mofat.go.kr/mofat/mk_a006/mk_b037/1189818_634.html|publisher=Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea|date=2005|accessdate=2007-05-14|title=2005년도 재외동포현황 (2005 Present Status of Overseas Compatriots)] Unofficial estimates suggested that the population had grown to 30,000 by 2007, and was projected to grow to as large as 50,000 to 70,000 by 2009. The Korean community in Malaysia consist mostly of expatriates working in South Korean companies, as well as an increasing number of international students.cite news|url=http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/Engnews/20070131/480100000020070131080009E3.html|title=Malaysia emerging as destination for Korean students seeking global education|last=Kim|first=Hyun|work=Yonhap News|date=2007-01-31|accessdate=2007-05-04] The number of retirees coming under the Malaysia My Second Home immigration programme has also been increasing. Their history goes back almost half a century; Malaysia and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1960, and in the following decade, when Malaysia faced a shortage of doctors, a number of foreign doctors, including Koreans and Filipinos, were authorised to practise in Malaysia. [cite book|date=1970|last=Henderson|first=John William|title=Area Handbook for Malaysia|publisher=American University|id=ISBN 0081759917|pages=p. 151] cite news|last=Ariffin|first=Roslan|date=2007-03-08|accessdate=2007-05-04|title=Najib Dijangka Kukuhkan Hubungan Dua Hala M'sia-Korea Selatan (Najib plans strong Malaysia-South Korea bilateral relations)|work=Bernama|url=http://bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/bm/news.php?id=250285] Some construction workers, pilots, and sailors were also sent to the country. [cite book|title=Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Koreans in Los Angeles, 1965-1982|first=Edna|last=Bonacich|coauthors=Light, Ivan|publisher=University of California Press|location=United States|pages=105-106|date=1991|id=ISBN 0520076567|pages=p. 104] Malaysia's first officially-registered school for Korean nationals, the Malaysia Korean School, was established on 7 December, 1974; it had 26 teachers and enrolled 148 students as of 2006. [cite web|url=http://www.interedu.go.kr/edu_net/overseas/sch_informal_inform.htm?no=731&page=7&key=2|title=Overseas Korean Educational Institutions: 재말레이시아한인학교|publisher=International Institute for Education Development, Republic of Korea|date=2006|accessdate=2007-05-13] Most Korean residents are concentrated in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, especially in Ampang, where a Koreatown is beginning to sprout.cite news|last=Rhee|first=Hyun Ah|title=Koreans find green pastures in Ampang|url=http://www.malaysiakini.com/rentakini/61135|work=Malaysiakini|date=2006-12-18|accessdate=2007-05-04] The popularity of Korean dramas in Malaysia has meant an increasingly friendly reception for Korean expatriates by local people. Real estate investment is another factor drawing Koreans to migrate to Malaysia, due to the taxes imposed on people who own more than two properties in Korea; Malaysia is the second most popular market for overseas real estate investment by Koreans, after the United States.

Roughly 2,000 of the Koreans in Malaysia are students; Malaysia's multicultural environment offers them the chance to practise English as well as study other languages such as Chinese or Malay; they describe the educational environment as being more relaxed than in Korea. Korean churches form an important part of their social life.cite news|title=Feeling at home in Malaysia|url=http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2006/7/16/education/14728091|last=Tan|first=Ee Loo|date=2006-07-16|accessdate=2007-05-04|work=The Star|publisher=Malaysia] cite news|title=Great chance to mix|url=http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2006/7/16/education/14828745|date=2006-07-16|accessdate=2007-05-02|work=The Star|publisher=Malaysia|last=|first=] Their parents also prefer Malaysia to other countries for several reasons. The low cost of living and education in Malaysia is a major pull factor; Parents also believe Malaysia offers a better environment for English study than neighbouring countries, as prevalence of Islam in Malaysia means that the nightlife is less of a distraction. A representative from one Seoul company which helps to arrange overseas study for local students estimated that 90% of Korean students going to Southeast Asia choose Malaysia as their destination. However, some international schools have stopped accepting Korean students because they have become too large a proportion of their student bodies.

Around 200,000 South Korean tourists came to Malaysia in 2006; Kota Kinabalu was their most popular destination.

See also

* Malaysian English
* Malaysians in South Korea


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