These are the postings of three people; who went through it all.
For those who are already in oversea and live comfortably. There is no reason for you to come back to Malaysia. Life in Malaysia is getting tougher each day.
Frankly, as a Chinese, I don't see there is any future for our next generation.
Another dangerous mentor that people always use is JFK "Don't ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country."
Is sound nice, but isn't how German Nazi and Japan militarism started the world war using the same mentor? Under the great "ask what you can do for the country."
Patriotism? Yes, I understand how you feel. Your love for the country was spoilt by the political party. Since non-malays will always be a second-class citizen, so you are probably the same in any other countries, if not better.
You get cannibalised by your own countrymen, intellectually and professionally.
As someone else advised, be a global citizen.
Patriotism does not need you to be in Malaysia to work your due. Let no one pointed at you and say you are a traitor if your true intention is to generate good deeds for Malaysia wherever you are.
Save your time about coming back to Malaysia. Nothing will change in Malaysia. At least not even in this lifetime. Racism will still be here to stay, and also everything else.
I think there is such an entrenched discrimination against the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia, that it will take probably a whole generation to undo the damage.
This is happening in whole spectrum of the Malaysian government, civil service, state governments and universities. Just look at percentage of malays in all these government bodies - 98%..........
A whole generation of malays has been brought up to think that it is their inherited right to own Malaysia. The other races are damned.
I think the malays especially those in power, are scared right now that if they will to compete openly with other races, they will surely be the loser. You will see very strong resistance to hire other races even the most qualified.
The malays are never brought up to compete on even ground. This is fault of previous PM and now the present PM has to tread a balance ground to ensure the malays are not cast away as well as to make Malaysia competitive worldwide.
In US I never met a malay immigrant, although there are thousands of Malaysian Chinese and Indian immigrants. Why? Malays in Malaysia have an easier life where they are literately prince of the land.
We have infrastructure good enough to be considered first world or better. Look at the Cyberjaya, Petronas Twin Towers, Putrajaya?
Gleaming high-rise buildings but also in every city, dirty toilets abound, litter clogging up the drains, public telephones damaged, plus unreliable rubbish collection and disposal. We just treat public facilities badly, not caring about others.
Being an urban dweller myself, I am constantly disheartened by the poor public infrastructure and upkeep in our capital city.
Faulty pedestrian traffic signals, illogical positioning of bus stops, poor public cleanliness, poor quality sidewalks (which are paved using slippery tiles), un-integrated and poorly managed public transportation system, the list goes on.
Your children can't even walk safely along the Kuala Lumpur streets, as they might be bags snatched, kidnapped, murdered, raped, or robbed, as they do not know the jungle laws of Malaysia. The police won't help much as they now have a big pile of corruption cases running after them.
You owe nothing to Malaysia, you pay your due, so live on.
So, my last advice. Don't come back unless you are really suffering in oversea.
I am sorry this sounds very racist but I think we have to be honest in discussion.
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 bumi 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 assistant) on top of everything else.
For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), computer lab assistant, carpet layer, 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 taxes, paid a mortgage, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these 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-bumis 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 and 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.
How about you.............?
Well, here is one for you if you think that economic ground is the only reason for many to emigrate.
I will be leaving this country within the next one year.
If you must know, currently I am earning a five figure salary, living in a luxury condo in the heart of KL, own another landed property in Bangsar and have two kids who are three and five respectively. I also have a maid, who for a mere RM400 a month, helps my wife to look after the home and kids.
Yes, I will be emigrating to the land of the white-man soon. And guess what, I don't even have a job to go to yet in this white-man's land. But you know something? It doesn't matter to me as I know that with my skills, I can get a job there if I look in the right places.
They do not ask me if I am Muslim or a bumiputera before giving me a job. All they look at is my CV which speaks for itself. And I don't need to be connected to a 'Dato'.
I wouldn't even mind taking up a lower level job as long as I can look after my family and at the same time give my kids the option of a better and fairer future. There is no guarantee that my kids will become doctors or scientists. But merely knowing that they have a fair option is more then enough for my family to decide to take this giant step to uproot.
My lifestyle in this white-man's land will definitely be different. But just as I had strived for 10 years in Malaysia to create my wealth from nothing at all, what is there to stop me from doing it all over again? In fact with the same effort, I should be much better off.
To put it bluntly, I am prepared to take the risk of emigration at the age of 38 with my family 'on tow'. The question arises - why should a person in my capacity want to leave when I have all that a person can wish for?
One should stop looking with malice at people like me who make a choice to emigrate for the betterment of our family's future. He might want to do a proper study on how much Malaysia stands to lose from skilled people leaving this country simply because they have had enough of it.
Please crawl out of your tempurung and look around at the amount of money that is being wasted in this country to make the well-connected bumis rich. They have nothing to complain about as the government is prepared to give you anything even when in many cases you might not deserve it.
If you want to talk about fairness, then look at the titles that have been given to bumis who had not done much at all. The round-the-world sailor who had to be assisted by the Royal Malaysian Air Force with an expenditure of about a million ringgit and the swimmer whose feat is not accredited by organisations monitoring English Channel crossings.
What about the first Malaysians to make it up Mount Everest, where are their 'Dato' titles? Perhaps a title for the medical student who recently crossed the English channel in almost half the time of the former 'hero'?
I know of bumi students in University Malaya. I know them well. You see, I didn't get the chance to do a proper science course locally and had to struggle to fund my overseas education by begging and borrowing.
You might also want to find out the real reason why the 128 students were not given medical seats in local universities even though they had very high scores. Are you saying that these students are inferior to the matriculation students?
Do you know the pains of studying in order to score excellent results in the STPM?
Please, feel free to furnish me facts so that poor souls like me would be convinced that the policies of this country are just and fair.
If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime," you will realise that many non-bumis have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the bumis.
One day the fish will run out.
We made a decision to emigrate to Australia 15 years ago deserting my high fly corporate position with our three children.
If history could turn back, we would still do the same.
It is a joke when our three children are fully qualified in their respective professions, then our Malaysia leaders only realize that "Actually English is very important in this era of globalization, let us go back to English again in our primary school for science and mathematics subjects."
It is fortunate that we had our own thinking and were able to jump out from this "black box" of trial and error type of management in practically every aspect of the government administration machinery. As a result, our children do not waste their precious years.
Our children enjoy the experience of equal opportunity not only in education but also in employment. That has a very strong impact in character development because then they believe in themselves, i.e. their own ability and equal opportunity available for personal development to the fullest extent.
And they could fight for their own rights too simply because the environment encourages them to do so, i.e. freedom to think, and freedom to express. They enjoy their work in their respective professions and they have both close Asian and Australian friends.
The Australian authority treats the problem of racial discrimination very seriously and takes action very fast. I still remember those days when my youngest son was teased by certain racial remarks by his schoolmate. My wife reported the case to the school authority and after a proper investigation, the Aussie kid was made to make a public apology to my son and was suspended a week from school attendance.
Australia herself is a country of migrants from all over the world, the Britishs, the Italians and other Europeans also never give up their citizenships although they may stay for over many many years. If they tell you to go back to China, you have equal right to tell them to go back to whatever country they come from. "Fight for your right" is the spirit.
What we are concerned is actually the management of the country. There is enough wealth to be distributed among all the people who can theoretically enjoy better education, better life and medical facility. But poor management and the evil "corruption" have eroded away what the people deserve. If people demand a change, "racialism" is always a powerful tool to protect the regime.
The Australian government extinguishes any little spark that concerns racial issue. There are strict laws and they are very good in enforcement. The two party systems ensure no one monopolizes the government. If the government is not good, people will vote it out for sure.
It is a land of plenty, and of equal opportunity for everyone. One will make his way if he is prepared to seize the opportunity and work hard for it. No one believes in "God" will give, and most believes the creation and reward from their own hands and intelligence.
Though we pay high taxes, the future is more or less ensured as in case we are sick or in difficulty, we have all the assistance from the authority. It is the right for every kid in Australia to have the opportunity to finish his tertiary education if he could make an attempt and possible financial assistance is always there.
Australia's economy is very robust now and most graduates and school leavers are doing very well. My three kids who are qualified as professionals at a very young age are doing very well. They would not have achieved that type of level if we were to remain in our country of birth. Thank God!
We face less racial discrimination in university and workplace in Australia than in our country of birth.
The ironical fact is that we are being treated more a first class citizen in our host country than in our own country.
Human rights, good administration, equal opportunity and transparency convince us that it is no point wasting our precious time in our own country.
If you really miss our own country, earn and save more money in the host country and join the shiver hair program later on. If you have the money, any country will welcome you for sure.
In general, it is an educated society. People talk not shout, and people reason not accuse and more over it is a much cleaner and more beautiful place to live. I am pleased with my decision and have no regrets at all.