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6/06/2007

A Malaysian diaspora speaks up....

I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States . I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those countries. Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries. I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George's Girls School in Penang .. Did I get a university place from the Malaysian government? Nothing. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my Malay friends were getting offers to go overseas. Even those with 2As got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parents last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents. Today, I understand it was the Malaysian Government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies. Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach. Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university. Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistan t) on top of everything else. For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), carpet layer, computer lab assistant, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load. Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called `blue collar' positions. Those of you who think you know all about Australia , US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid a mortgage, paid taxes, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in thes e countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations. These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking. There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else's hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority.) Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow. It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one's family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia ; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty. If you want to say discrimination is here in the US , yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia , you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law! Here in the US , my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities. Why would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia ? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-malays have for over 30 years? As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy 'slave' earning a good income as an IT project manager. I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends an d family when I want (no permit needed) and I don't worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn't. I feel so sorry for her and all Malaysians in the same fate.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for her. Why come back and face outright discrimination from your country of birth. Stay and contribute to the country that adopted and took care of you. Let the country that forced you away go to the dogs.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Fret not, madam.

These types of people exist everywhere. In Singapore, you can find them working for the govt.

When they speak, they become assholes, filled with xenophobic bigoted national pride, and are quick to tell everyone NEVER to migrate because emigrants will always be "looked down upon" in their new countries, and thus suffer "discrimination" leading to economic adversity.

I never take these fuckers seriously — because they've never had to do an honest day's work in their life — let's face it, they are the govt — they have to steal money from you to pay themselves.

People in Private Enterprise tend not to care too much about "racism" or "discrimination", because we all know the key to economic success is to make as many other people "happy" or at least temporarily "happier". If one is good at creating VALUE, there'll always be willing buyers.

Someone may not LIKE YOU because of your race, culture or religion, but if what you have is of VALUE to them, they will almost always forget about the petty differences and TRADE with you. Why? Because they act in THEIR OWN SELF INTEREST (something govts try to stamp out by brainwashing kids in the public school system), not as a "favour" to you.

Govt is full of assholes who like to SHIT ON THE DREAMS OF PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS.

Never allow anyone to shit on your dreams, because if you allow then to do so, you will CHEAT YOURSELF out of a life — your one and only, unique life.

Best of luck,

M_S

Anonymous said...

There is a subtle message about foreign immigrations in the US that I doubt our local officials reading her letter will ever get it.

The Americans can be generous and accepting of foreigners and foreign talents ONLY becos their government has first put in place a fair and conducive environment for their own local populace. You cant simply tell the Americans foreign immigrants are good for their economy without first making sure the medical and social welfare systems take good care of their own. The citizens must be top priority, first and foremost not on par or worse off, before the govt talk about the virtues of foreign policies and talent inflows. It wont gel otherwise.

For the Americans and more so for self centred Asians, charity must always begin at home. This is key to the ungoing unhappiness about the immigration issues.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S. Redbean: consider archiving the old blog posts. Your page is way LONG, with posts going back 2 months!
Just a suggestion.

redbean said...

ya i know.

i have set it to monthly achiving. but somehow it is not working. i have reset it again. just a few days to see if anything happens.

Anonymous said...

The Malaysian Chinese deserved their 2nd class status because they didn't fight for their rights and allow the Malay to dominate them. Just as Singaporean deserved to be screwed by PAP for their support. Each deserved the government they voted for.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually the rich towkays always manage to align themselves close to the govt. Most towkays I've met in Malaysia loved Mahathir.

The situation differs from S'pore and Malaysia somewhat, because in Malaysia part of the culture is that the Bumis get more rights than others. So if you are Chinese or Indian, average middle-class chap, it is extremely difficult (though not impossible) to fight against a culture which discriminates openly against you because of your race.

I tend to have a little more understanding and compassion for the Indians and Chinese in Malaysia, and am of the opinion that UMNO is a terrorist organisation.

In S'pore, I agree with you 100% there is no excuse — the people keep the PAP in power, and have a the privilege of being perennially screwed by actually paying BIG BUCKS for their own oppression. So fuck them.

Ultimately though, do the people get the govt they deserve?

Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

In 1963 when Malaysia was formed, the Malaysian Chinese agreed to allow the Malays more rights....hence, they deserved to be 2nd class citizens.

...and in 1965, PAP wanted a Malaysian Malaysia and NOT a Malay Malaysia....and Singapore is born.

redbean said...

the chinese and indians in malaysia really deserved to be ill treated for not fighting for their own rights. and so are we.

the best part is that many are very happy with the crumbs on the floor.

Anonymous said...

I feel even sorrier for Singaporeans robbed of opportunities by these 2nd class Malaysians in schools, universities and at work.

Anonymous said...

Anon June 15 2:07 asked:
> Is it true people who uses abusive vulgar
> language are deficit in communication abilities
> and needed the use of attention grabbing
> phrases to express themselves?
Red Bean said:
> i also keep away from those forums when
> people become too personal unless i am
> prepare to slug it out with them. i have done
> that before in other forums. but it is very
> unhealthy.
..........................................

8 signs of a vulgar person:
1. He label others #$%^* just because they have different views.
2. He is either poor or ugly. Sufferer of low self esteem.
3. A low-life who uses vulgarities all the time comes from dyfunctional families and hence his lack of a proper upbringing.
4. A loser who can't debate sensibly. He can't tell right from wrong. Worst, he can't tell when he's wrong.
5. A loser who is self righteous. See sign #1.
6. A loser who is struggling with his life. With life. With other lives.
7. Loser with dysfunctional brain. The attitudinal kind of dysfunction. Not physiological.
8. Since he can't win a debate, he'll try all means to stop u from posting, including irrirating u with @#$%.