KUALA LUMPUR: More now than ever before. And they are selling their properties and their cars.
"On an average, we used to receive between 15 and 20 enquiries (on migration) a day," said Desmond, a migration agent in Kuala Lumpur.
"However, over the last two weeks, our phones have been ringing non-stop."
This "ringing non-stop" translates into about 6,500 enquiries for migration to Australia between Nov 14 and Nov 19.
There were 5,500 enquiries for New Zealand, and 4,000 for Canada, about 3,500 enquiries for other countries, including Norway and Switzerland.
"The country of choice is Australia, followed by New Zealand.
"If they do not meet the requirements for these two countries, their next option is Canada."
The most number of enquiries, according to Desmond, comes from professionals (60 per cent) and the rest from tradespersons like cooks, mechanics, tool-makers, carpenters and hair dressers.
"But the demand abroad is much higher for tradespersons compared to professionals," said another migration expert, Max Manesh, who is based in Subang Jaya.
Itís not as simple as "Australia, here I come" should you want to emigrate.
Desmond said not all applicants are successful.
A prospective immigrant has to take an online test to determine what his chances for migration are, and Desmond said many do not get through the entry tests.
Max said migration agents charge between RM6,500 and RM7,000 for the entire process, from the online test till the application for permanent residence (PR) in Australia.
Payments are made in stages ó 40 per cent up front, followed by another 40 per cent and 20 per cent upon applying for PR.
And who exactly are migrating? For a start, enquiries come from those who are 24 and above.
"I do not have the exact details, but I think the callers were of all races ó Malays, Indians, Chinese and others," Max said.
Checks with real estate agents also revealed an increasing number of people wanting to sell their houses.
"The reason given by most of them is that they are migrating and needed to dispose of their houses," said Chan, a real estate agent from Kuala Lumpur.
Chan said those who contacted him were from the middle income group and above and owned properties worth RM250,000 and above.
However, he said, it was not easy to sell houses now as property prices are weak.
Like real estate agents, used car dealers are also getting enquiries from would-be emigrants.
R. Selladorai, a used-car dealer from Subang Jaya, said there was an increased number of sellers in the market recently.