To find out what Malaysians felt was important in their decision whether to return home or not, I did linear regression analysis on the survey data collected.
Here are the main findings of the survey:
* Of all the factors surveyed, only three had a statistically significant correlation to a respondent’s decision whether to come home or not: perception of whether returnees can make a difference, job prospects, and moral duty towards the country.All three of these factors have a >90% certainty of statistical significance, but only explain about 13% of the variance in the results (meaning 87% of the decision of respondents whether to return to Malaysia or not is due to other unknown factors). Some of these factors will be covered in the comments section.
* For another regression, I set expectations for Malaysia’s future as the dependent factor to find out what influences Malaysian’s expectations of their future. To my surprise, the 16 factors I plugged in as independent factors (see table on Future tab) accounted for 63% of all the variation in how Malaysians view the future of this country, which is a very strong connection. I found that both experiences based on personal attributes (gender, ethnicity, family ties) as well as general perceptions of how the nation is progressing (economy, politics, education) play into one’s decision whether to return home.
In my survey, men and Chinese in general rated Malaysia’s future less optimistically. Respondents who said family was important in their decision to return home, as well as those who believed that returnees would make a difference to the country, tended to rate the future more optimistically. Higher ratings on the economy and education has 100% correspondence with a more optimistic view of Malaysia’s future. High ratings on the political situation, safety, human rights and inter-racial harmony also had a very high corresponded to higher ratings for the future (97-99% statistical significance).
* When I set “making a difference” as the dependent factor, I found that the higher a respondent rated the political situation, education, moral duty, future of the country and family, the more likely he or she was to believe that returnees could make a difference to the country. While the political situation and education are important practical factors, it was evident that moral and familial concerns also played a role in their decision. The more important job prospects were to the respondent, the less they believed that returnees could make a difference. Also, younger respondents tended to be more idealistic.
More tables can be found in the appendix.