I’ve been slightly troubled lately about a personal issue. After some considerations, I’ve decided to share it with you here.
At the dawn of new year, I’ve begun to seriously wonder if I should become a British citizen, after living in England for nearly 16 years.
Many people who have known me are surprised that I’m still not British. I’m a proud Malaysian and I was born and bred there, until I went abroad to study at the university. I’ve now spent many more years abroad than in Malaysia. To many, to gain a western passport is a glory, an achievement in itself. I’ve never thought that way, however. I stubbornly feel that your passport is the statement of your identity, representing your root, your past, and, your dreams. It’s never crossed my mind that I need to ‘upgrade’ myself to become British.
I’m also a proud resident here in the UK. I have a respectable job as an academic, I pay tax, I drink English tea and I can describe the English rain using different words, such as spitting, drizzle, chucking it down, pelting down, bucketing down, spot of rain, soft rain, hard rain, shower, deluge …….
More than just rain
I’ve tried to be logical in my analysis. Are there any obvious advantages of becoming a British citizen for me? As a Commonwealth citizen, I have the right to vote at the UK general elections. Without being a British citizen, I have already voted a few times in both general and local elections.
In early 2011, I was surprised to be called by Her Majesty to perform the jury service. In spring 2011, I performed my 2-week duty in a distinguished Crown Court as a juror. I remember vividly I spent a whole week gazing adoringly at the young, dashing attorney who spoke posh upper-class English. Even his wig looked cute. And his client won of course. It was a tremendous honour and I would say my jury service was definitely the highlight of my life in this country. I wouldn’t mind being called again.
I was called to be a juror in a Crown Court in 2011.
Without being a British citizen, I can vote, become a jury, have equal rights at work. Why change? Continue reading