A passport to stay abroad

Had an opportunity to talk to a few students intending to do medicine in a private university offering twinning program to do medicine overseas.

I asked them, do you know what medicine is about? Do you know that a doctor’s life is not as rosy as many non medical people think? Do you know that it takes years of training to become a competent doctor and in the British system, to become a specialist takes many more years of hard work after the basic medical degree.

A few of them looked puzzled when I asked them these questions. When I asked them what made them think of taking up medicine, one of them gave the reply about doctors’ earnings. Finally, a smiling one confided that if they go overseas to study medicine, it would be their passports to stay behind whichever country they go to, since in most of the Western countries (Australia included even though it is down South), there is a shortage of doctors.

I suspect this is the main reason why suddenly so many people are taking the medical courses, and Malaysia has so now more medical schools than Australia, with UTAR also  joining in this year to offer MBBS degree.

These young people, for whatever reasons, want to leave their home country and settle down overseas.

In the past, Malaysians have always emigrated. Many Malaysians studied overseas, and some remained in those countries where they studied, but many did return.

For the past few years, there is a new trend that lesser and lesser of those who study overseas are coming home; and many of those who returned are mainly those who could not find employment overseas. For those who studied medicine, not many have returned. I have stated that none of my eldest 2 children classmates have returned home, and as far as I understand, none of their senior class returned home too.

Malaysia has lost the shine, so much i can say. with the economy stagnant, inflation overtaking increasing in earning,  polution and traffic jam getting worse, Malaysia is less liveable now than a decade or 2 before.

How do we expect these young and bright people, who could have helped re building the country, to come home when they can have much much better prospect of life and a better lifestyle overseas?

The only consolation is the food perhaps. We have one of the most varied food and it is still relatively cheap to eat out.


37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. clearwater
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 16:42:28

    There is no doubt about it. Malaysia today is less livable than yesterday, and will be even less livable tomorrow if things do not change for the better. The future does not appear rosy. In a nutshell, that is why bright young students do not return and also why many with young families choose to emigrate.

    Dr Hsu, you may not want to talk about it but another reason is that politics in this country is also ugly and politicians really suck big time. A daily diet of hypocrisy and platitudes from some of them is enough to make you ill from constant purging. So all the varied tasty food cannot be a consolation when you can’t hold it down. Sigh!


  2. chabalang
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 16:58:56

    Quite a depressing post but it’s reflecting the situation/truth in the current Malaysia.

    I am seriously thinking of leaving M’sia since I have my foreign PR. I was hopefully after 308 but it seems the ROT in M’sia is so deep that it will take two to three GENERATIONS to clean up. The education system in M’sia needs lots of work but with the political/race hurdles – can anything be done? Maybe, I should take the “easy” path to emigrate, maybe.


  3. ahoo
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 17:59:53

    Dr Hsu, without a fair system of entry into universities for the many qualified students, the obvious choice left is overseas. Furthermore with non conducive working environment here couple with much lower income than overseas, the decision to stay back is always there.

    While other countries are producing qualified and able doctors, we are ” manufacturing ” them by the hundreds. No wonder our healthcare standards have had dropped for many years now. One of the way to arrest this brain drain on doctors is to promote meritocracy for entry into university for doctrate. There cannot be any compromise on this. Only the best and most qualified ones are to be accepted for that course.


  4. disgusted
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 20:44:21

    The “Old Horse” just quipped that Malaysians must be prepared to pay higher costs of living.

    How? The take home pay is already stretched to limits.

    For the filthy and corrupted rich, no problem.

    For the poor, it’s like forcing a tiger to the corner.

    How much nutritional food can you buy with today’s RM50?

    Cilipadi, 5 durians with RM50 the 101 type?


  5. Amin
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 21:10:36


    Your reasons of :

    “economy stagnant, inflation overtaking increasing in earning, polution and traffic jam getting worse, Malaysia is less liveable now than a decade or 2 before.”

    may be irrelevant to those who wish to emigrate.

    I dare to venture to say, since my son who holds a Masters degree in Economy (UNSW) is also working overseas, that the real reason is more to do with all the issues in relation to the suppression of meritocracy in Malaysia. The bread and butter factor is nothing compared to achieving self-actualization and freedom of unleashing the full human potentials that only overseas countries can accord the opportunities to these young Malaysian brains who are cold-shouldered by their very own government.


  6. mycuntree
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 23:08:45

    I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again. The UMNO/BN government is very pleased that smart Malaysians are leaving the country. For how else can they be what they are if all the smart ones stay behind. The intelligence and capabilities of many of Malaysia’s ministers and top government servants demand that the smarter ones leave.. the more the better.

    Sigh! Guess I’m not smart enough to leave, and so have to put up with all these….


  7. cilipadi
    Jan 19, 2010 @ 23:23:30

    Let’s not be so pessimistic, Malaysians. 13th GE is a turning point that you people need to make it happens.

    If not,…..trigger your button, fly, you go.

    You have no choice, PR is the only choice ……..A non-Malaysian advice. Take it or leave it.

    My Malay friend asked me before, “Who is a Malay?”

    My answer to him, “You are a Malay”.

    Then, a dark skin (not brown) orchard worker chipped in, “I am a Malay too? You believe?

    With a funny look, my friend just walked away.

    Who is who is “Malay”? I confused.

    More to go ……..

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas


  8. bow
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 05:25:31

    If you are young and a bright Malaysian student, and without a politically connected background, migrate to an advance country after your tertiary education there is not bad an idea at all, after all, that individual is value more in his /her adopted country base on talent and ability instead of race and religion. Think about it …. and we should be happy for our talented and bright Malaysians that are in demand oversea instead of chastising them, the race and religion politicking in Malaysia is a killer itself for all the right thinking Malaysians.


  9. KK
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 08:16:02

    Doc the worst is yet to come, wait till the last drop of crude oil is drilled .
    Then Malaysians will be working in Thailand , Indonesia as maids and labourers.


  10. Simon
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 08:33:30

    Dear Dr Hsu
    This is an article extracted from an economic review and attached below:

    “PAKISTAN is only able to produce about 80 per cent of the electricity it needs, officials from the main power regulatory authority the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) say.
    Production shortfall has been blamed on issues such as corruption, short-sightedness, debts, a creaking distribution system, and a lack of money to invest in renewable energy as demand grows.
    Last July, during the sweltering summer months, chronic power cuts triggered riots in financial capital Karachi and the most populous province of Punjab.
    Mild weather and rains offered a brief respite in the last three months of 2009, but power cuts resumed in December.
    Rumbles of discontent have followed. Police baton-charged a crowd of 500 people protesting power cuts in eastern Lahore city in mid-January.
    It comes with the government’s reputation dented as ministers face court cases after the scrapping in November of a 2007 corruption amnesty.”

    Well Dr Hsu this what Malaysia will face in the near future;the road to hell hole.
    My advice to you to get out too and enjoy your retirement in security and comfort.
    Go to Lanzorote.; a lovely island off the coast of Morocco. The winter is only 20C & summer is 28C. I have a flat there but I live and work in London at the moment.

    Dr S. Khaw


  11. Dr Hsu
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 09:35:16

    Dr S Khaw,
    Thanks for your comment and kind advice. Like what I have advised a friend in an earlier post, for those thinking of leaving, wait f2 more years, exercise your voting rights and then decide.

    I am too old to move…Europe will be too expensive for retirees like us, especially we use Malaysian Rinngits, everything is five times or 6(in UK) for us.. Still the simple nasi lemah and char koay teow is best…I still can get it for around 4 RM.

    For younger people, it is different. They have their carreer path, their children education to think off. And most importantly, job satisfaction and recognition of excellence, which is sorely missing here.

    anyway, I am as obstinate as a bull, and I do not think I will ever leave the country unless it becomes something like Cambodia under Pol Pot or Myanmar.

    there is still hope . Change will come and change is inevitable.


  12. A true Malaysian
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 10:01:36

    占比里远赴阿拉伯见纳吉 新选民离奇暴增 霹雳即重选?

    Zambry meeting Najib in Saudi Arabia, sudden increase in electorate registration, re-election in Perak soon?



  13. clearwater
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 10:15:40

    Dr Hsu,

    I feel the same ; age and familiarity breeds inertia and a sense of comfort. Climate, food, cultural norms and purchasing power of the Ringgit here are kinder to older folks. Children are living overseas, there is always a place for the old folks to visit. Even orderly Singapore is not appealing, other than that it is relatively crime free and the government bureaucracy actually functions!

    The thing that really gets under my skin is the politics of race, religion, cronyism and downright discrimination by some selfish politicians to hang on to power. I want to stay in Malaysia if only to see these people get their comeuppance in GE13.


  14. Taikohtai
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 11:15:35


    Actually I don’t really miss Malaysian food anymore. In fact, there are so many Malaysian restaurants here in Brisbane and Gold Coast that we can get whatever we want and more!
    As Australia attracts immigrants from everywhere, we have the luxury of a potpourri of choices these days and authentic ones too! Question is whether you like them or not. Yes, we get to try so many different eateries these days and some are just amazing!
    Of course I do miss the king of fruit lah and Assam Laksa :), which always make my trips back to Malaysia a gourmet delight!


  15. CYC
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 11:24:07

    Brainy youth can opt for migration, how about those average and below average ? Our politicians and so called elites always shout and scout for talent but the average guy being intentionally or deliberately left out. When comes to election, they ask the average or below average to give them undivided support either by sweet talk or scared tactic. See, who is the person with dignity and who is the real coward ?

    Just read a book entitled “Currency War” written by a US trained Taiwanese financial consultant. The book is in Chinese, no English version. It entails some relevant “evidence” dated back to few hundred years on how bankers had use the might of the currency system to control and dictate political system of most of the democratic countries. Though many people who embrace the modern/democracy will doubt the argument put forward by the author, but it definitely some food of thought and perhaps economists and financial experts should really relook and remodel the current economic and currency system which emphasize too much on GDP growth rather than sustainable living both in terms of equitable and harmony among us. That suppose to be the true meaning of globalization.


  16. Kongkor
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:05:40


    I agree with you that most students will opt to stay behind. As a parent, I would encourage my daughter to stay behind when she graduated if I have the money to send her overseas for her studies.

    Being classified as working class citizen without any inheritance, I have no choice but can only afford to put her in local college that does twinning programs. Nevertheless, I am working “like there is no tomorrow” to fund her studies as well as to save some for my retirement.

    As it is, I see no future for my children in Malaysia given the current political and selfish UMNO/BN politicians making a mockery out of governance, rule of law, human rights, education and the list goes on to the extend of religion now. Malaysia as it is now is going nowhere but SOUTH.

    As for me, I have no choice but can only exercise my rights once every 5 years for CHANGE. Meantime, as an ordinary citizen, we cannot do much except to laugh at the stupidity and idiotic statements made by our so-called Ministers who I perceived as equally guilty in robbing the country from the very people whom they swear upon the Holy book to SERVE.


  17. Dr Hsu
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:42:09

    that is the scenerio facing every middle class nonMalays; working doubly hard to save and send children for a good education and hope that they can realise their potentials in foreign lands. That is the dilemma that this blg has always talked about and it is really the great parental love at work for us towrok doubly hard without leisure.

    We cannot change unless the majority race changes, and so far, in this Allah issue, we see many of the more educated from this group who has been more liberal minded and more tolerant. Hopefully, they can influence their kampong folks the majority of them are still very conservative.

    I agree with you AUstralia and NZ (Auckland) is becoming more cosmopolitican and u can find more types of food there.

    That is a great place to live, only thing after 4 or 5pm, there is really nothing to do except to stay home and watch TVs.

    A bit lay-back, but maybe that suits a lot of people wanting amore peaceful life.


  18. klm
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 13:40:57

    All the smart genes will eventually migrate out of the country. Over time, Malaysia will be left with mediocre genes. Malaysia will end up to be a mediocre country with mediocre population. This will be a self fulfilling prophecy.


  19. A true Malaysian
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 14:58:05

    It is undeniable that many of us here, if not everyone, agree that Malaysia is a nice place in term of its geographical position, climate (even if warm and humid, can go up highlands to enjoy its cool climate), rich in natural resources and relatively free from natural disaster.

    But then, many start to press panic button, emigrated or plan to emigrate to elsewhere, popular ones being New Zealand and Australia. Actually, to me, before you decided to do that, have you do enough to effect changes to get rid of the rots? I should say, many have not done enough to effect these changes mainly because have the thinking that “these people can never change”. So, who are to be blamed if not we ourselves?

    Migration, to me, is not a long term solution to get rid of the rots. If we are not in the position of power to make changes, at least we must exercise our voting power wisely. Let us combine our votes and make Malaysia a place to envy by others.

    Make sure you are a registered voter first. You know who to vote, don’t you?


  20. CL
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 18:30:40


    Malaysia is really a wonderful “place” but not a wonderful “country”.

    Do stay if,

    a) You are part of, related or connected to those in power.
    b) You love “undertable/creative” way of settling problems.
    c) You miss the on & off “threat” by those in power.
    d) You believe you only can be second best or inferior in whatever you do and accept this for those in power told you so.
    e) You really trust you can fight and change the regime….me too.
    f) You stay because you can’t afford/qualify/afraid for the transition.

    You no need pity for those already made the move because they can always be a “tourist” if they do miss Malaysia.

    You no need to worry that those in power will deprive of ex-Malaysian world class skills/service for they are much more richer than you and me (heck, Malaysia already belong to them). The bill will eventually be bore by you & me again.

    To be truthful, I trully & deeply regret that I return to Malaysia and give up my PR as well even after getting all the wise inputs because I naively believe only Malaysia is the best for me as I am a Malaysian.

    Now, I am working hard to either achieve the e) or reverse the f) above. Not giving up but I can sense the answer is getting clearer by the day.

    You may disgree with my thought, but do ask yourself sincerely.

    Thank you.



  21. KB
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 21:35:25

    Higher pay is only one of the reasons for young people migrating overseas and probably not the main driver. The lack of meritocracy and feeling of being second class citizens in Malaysia is a more powerful pull factor.

    Worries about the future of the country – the unchecked corruption, deterioration in the rule of law, the double standards and the hypocrisy – is also a major reason.

    Compared to our neighbours our economic situation is clearly going backwards with real wages declining in the face of stagnant income and rising cost of living. The starting salary for a new graduate now and 15 years ago is the same!

    The 13th G.E. is the last chance to correct the rot. Should BN win back 2/3 majority, the constitution may be changed to entrench BN rule. Should BN win by a slim majority it may precipitate a major crackdown for fear of losing power.

    This is the final showdown. All migrants who are still citizens should come back and vote if they still want a decent country to return to and not a maid and labourer exporting country mired in abject poverty.

    Remember, rotten politicians are elected by good people who do not vote.


  22. cbc
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 23:02:59

    its ok. it fits into the UMNO domination agenda.


  23. Simon
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 05:45:59

    Dr Hsu,
    Thank you for taking time to reply. I hope there is a GE13 which everyone is looking forward too.
    However, I think there might not be another GE. If UMNO senses it will not win power, it will declare an emergency and suspend parliament. [Tun Razak did it before in 1969; I left in 1970]. There are clues pointing to that direction.
    First there is in-fighting in UMNO; for and against Najib. The theft of two jet engines was purposedly leaked by the Ministry of Defence to embarass Najib. Also cabinet has lost confidence in Najib after the reappearance of Bala. Remember he sweared on the Koran that he did not know Atantullah. So Najib is in a very weak position and he could fall anytime and taken over by an Ultra UMNO man. Even Dr.M is seen to distant himself from Najib. A hard UMNO man is most likely to take over and create commotion under emergency rule. I would like PR to win but it is different as the army and police are still under UMNO.
    Well let’s wait & see.


  24. BabaNyonya
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 07:15:35

    Oil is not the answer. From an article by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times:

    Taiwan has no oil, no natural resources. It’s a barren rock with 23 million people who, through hard work, have amassed the fourth-largest foreign currency reserves in the world. They got rich digging inside themselves, unlocking their entrepreneurs, not digging for oil. They took responsibility. They got rich by asking: “How do I improve myself?” Not by declaring: “It’s all somebody else’s fault. Give me a handout.”

    He’s talking about Taiwan, but it could also apply to the little red dot down south. But he also perfectly describes the UMNO mindset – a sense of entitlement that they should get the rewards of life, expecting the govt (i.e. taxpayers) to give them handout; blaming their problems on others: Jews, George Soros, The West, Christians, pendatang.


  25. KB
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:53:32

    The essence of apartheid is privileges accorded by race only. Physical segregation is not a requisite for apartheid.

    Malaysia practises a form of apartheid called economic apartheid without segregation. Examples of privileges based on race only are discount for buying houses, preferential application for new share issues, participation in lucrative govt investment funds and APs for import of cars. These privileges are based on race only and have nothing to do with economic status.

    On the education front we have colleges and universities exclusively for one race, matriculation for Malays for easier university entry, university entrance quotas for other races and scholarships primarily for Malays.

    How did Malaysia get away with practising apartheid without condemnation from the international community? South Africa made itself a target by institutionalizing apartheid. Malaysia’s approach is more subtle and depends on tokenism and implementation of unwritten rules.

    Tokenism is when a small part is given to other races to give an impression of fairness. The 10% intake of non-bumi for matriculation is an example and the minor share for scholarships another.

    Implementation means the discrimination is by implementation although there is nothing written down in the law. For eg. there is nothing by law to say that non-bumi cannot participate in Felda schemes or own petrol station dealerships but they are implemented that way.

    This is the real Malaysia. Can we blame the skilled and the educated from leaving in droves?


  26. A true Malaysian
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 11:09:41

    For those who have plan to migrate, let’s exercise your “one last vote” this coming 13th GE. At least you will do a good deed to yourselves as well as to those who have no mean to migrate.

    For those who have migrated and still a Malaysian citizen and a registered voter, please come back for to vote, either as tourist or a voter. You kill two birds with one stone.

    I know many still vote for the establishment as their children already in overseas, and they hold PR of other countries. For such kind of people, it is for you to say whether they are selfish or not. I am not going to state the obvious. Many of such people are members of BN parties (I don’t mean you, Dr. Hsu. You have indicated who you voted). Can you imagine that?


  27. A true Malaysian
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 11:38:41

    I think it is a shame for all of us not doing enough for Haiti, which totally devastated by recent earth quake. For those who like to do some good deeds by donating to Haiti victims, please chip in by donating to a fund organised by Tzu-Chi. The details are as below:-

    Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merit Society Malaysia
    Malayan Banking Berhad (MBB) A/C : 004067500119


  28. KB
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 14:39:56

    Malaysia’s unfair racial policies is based on ‘bumiputraism’. This definition of a racial group elevates a certain race as ‘bumiputras’ and entitled to special privileges.

    The essence of bumiputraism is the ability to get economic advantages without having to work full measure for it. This includes rent seeking activities, handouts from govt and mandatory share requirement for bumiputras.

    But here lies the rub. The govt cannot give something for free without taking it from someone who has worked for it without compensation. If one racial group expects to get economic benefits without working for it, this must be taken from other races who have worked for nothing.

    This is clearly unsustainable and hence we see the drop in private investment, the migration of skilled people overseas and the listing of local companies in overseas bourses.

    Umno’s political power hinges on its ability to maintain the special privileges for Malays. To claim that these privileges can be maintained without affecting other races is hogwash as money does not grow on trees.

    But bumiputraism cannot be sustained in the long term especially with the growing Malay population and shrinking Chinese population. This means that the rewards of bumiputraism is increasingly being reaped by a special class called Umnoputras while the ordinary Malays are left out.

    This will ultimately affect the balance of political power as ordinary Malays see no advantage in loyalty to Umno.


  29. CYC
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 15:33:02

    Haha ! now u realise that there is no such thing as win-win situation. How can 2-1 still =2. This equation can only justified by BN including those MCA, MIC and Gelakan goons bestowed with putra titles.

    Shi Huang Ti may be right to burn all books so that those so called educated scholars could stop using their corrupted mind to confuse ordinary people such as creating “win-win” concept.


  30. cilipadi
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 16:28:45

    My Malay friend said he is OK with “Allah”. He is not confused.

    He said his “Allah” is different. He pronounces it as “Al Lah”, while the Malay speaking Christian as “Ah Lah”.

    You see, my Malay friend is full of wisdom.

    Al Lah makan cili, Ah Lah rasa pedas


  31. Celine
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 22:19:52

    “This will ultimately affect the balance of political power as ordinary Malays see no advantage in loyalty to Umno.”

    The above is the scenario I’d hope for, but I think the more likely scenario is this:

    Ordinary Malays, thanks to the years (at least 2 generations now) of dump-down education that had brain washed them to think that all those “pendatang” had robbed them of their rightful share of their country’s bounty are the one to blame for their poverty.

    Sitting on their “Islam is the only true religion” moral high-horses, they will rant and rage against other races, whom in their opinion are nothing but immoral thieves and gangsters. This kind of thinking and their actions are endorsed and encouraged by those in power as it blind these naïve and simple people to the ruling class’s incompetence.

    As the resentment, rage and hate grows, fed by a worsening economic climate that provide no opportunities and hope for a better future, these ordinary, simple people will direct their anger at those they perceive to have robbed them of their fair share of a good life, i.e. all these morally bankrupt ‘pendatang’!. They will demand that these people pay even more ‘compensation’ to them or leave – observe how casually the phrase ‘if you don’t like it, go back to your country’ are being thrown at non-Bumi ‘Malaysians’ by UMNO’s more radical members, and how those that had said them increase their popularity and influence within the party and the Malay population. There will be a day when there is no more to give…. When that day comes, we will not see a change of government, it will be ethnic-cleansing and genocide.

    These ordinary Malays are not bad or wicked people, but lack of knowledge and exposure to the wider world plus comtempt for other religion and cultures will make these poor ignorant people easily manipulated by the power that be. They, like the other races that they would treat with contempt and violence are also victims of the politicians that use fear and hate to rule over these angry and ignorant sheep.

    I pray and hope that it is just insanity and paranoia that put this depressing picture in my head… ‘Allah’/God/Buddha or whatever other big shot in heaven help us all if this becomes reality….


  32. KB
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 23:36:50

    Dear Celine,

    Your general view of the Malays is too pessimistic. They are in fact maturing and growing beyond the mental confines that Umno imposed on them. Umno wants to keep them fearful, dependent and lacking in confidence but most of them have broken out of this mental prison.

    The surest sign of this is the 12th G.E. when 45% of Malays deserted Umno and voted for the opposition. Education has opened the minds of the Malays and given them confidence. Umno has more or less lost the urban Malays and their core support of rural Malays is being threatened by PAS.

    Umno politicians will do what you describe above but it will not work. Their ability to manipulate the Malays is ebbing. Was there any widespread Malay response to Ahmad Ismail’s racist outbursts, Utusan’s instigation or Mahathir’s occasional racist blogs?


  33. cilipadi
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 00:10:32

    KB is right, my Malay friend says so, I too.

    My Malay friend says, ‘cari makan’ is a major problem for Malays, urban and rural. They need industrious Chinese friends to pump up economic activities, not Umno way of waiting money drop down from Al-Lah. They mess up with Al-Lah. 😀

    Umno without ‘Jewel of the Crown’ Selangor, their $$ run dry.

    KB makan cili, Celine rasa pedas


  34. KB
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 00:24:01

    The effect of the NEP was to fast track the creation of a Malay middle class but this was not without effect on other races. The lion’s share of national resources were channelled to one race and education and economic opportunities were reduced for other races. Chinese did not fare too badly but Indians had become an underclass.

    However it would be unfair to blame the Indians for not being industrious enough. The Chinese were on a better footing economically at the start of the NEP and the domestic Chinese economy was large enough to sustain them. They were also adept at finding niches of co-operative survival under Malaysia’s racist system. But chiefly it was their emphasis on education which sustained them economically.

    The typical Chinese parent would think nothing of toiling and struggling to send their children overseas for tertiary education when doors in public universities have closed for them.

    The imbalance in education opportunities could not be more stark. While the govt thought nothing of spending RM100 million on one college reserved for Malays, Chinese and Tamil schools were left to fend for themselves.

    With limited places for minorities in public universities the Chinese community clamoured to set up a privately funded Merdeka University but this was not permitted by the govt. Even TAR college was not allowed to be upgraded to a university.

    It took the 1998 general election when Chinese and Indian voters saved Mahathir in the wake of Malay discontent over Anwar’s treatment for Mahathir to agree to UTAR being set up by MCA and AIMST by MIC.

    It is regrettable that the educational needs of a community should be held hostage to Umno when they should have been administrative decisions which do not involve public funds.

    It would be pertinent to ask, “What were MCA, MIC and Gerakan doing?” Surely some right thinking leader from these parties would have declared, “This is too much! We are going way beyond the intention of the Constitution.”

    Where were their voices when matriculation was introduced exclusively for Malays with a token 10% for other races?


  35. 1MY
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:37:48

    This is the mentality of our young generation. Everyone want to make as much money before they retire like the saying:

    “You should retire to live and NOT live to retire”

    I hope I can retire to live but with my existing employment and five mouths to feed, that is just a dream. I am a drop-out of SPM and my kids are not blessed with the brain to study medicine. It’s will be a bonus to me if they can gain entry to local public universities. That is within my capacity.

    An easier pathway to become rich is to join poltiics if you can bullshit – that is the max. qualification you required to be local politicians. You don’t need to struggle through any uni or professional exams. It is not merit based. There is no code of ethics to adhere to. Most members of professional bodies generally forget about ethics after admission.

    To those who can’t gain entry to medicine, don’t be disheartened. You may be the next politician and then elevated yourself to minister level and …………….


  36. PoliticoCat
    Jan 23, 2010 @ 20:33:57

    “The only consolation is the food perhaps. We have one of the most varied food and it is still relatively cheap to eat out.” – Dr Hsu.

    Sadly this is another faded Malaysian dream. Food is cheaper over in the States and the UK. I know I have been there. Malaysians are paying UK prices for food using a salary in RM.

    There are no jobs in Malaysia even if you want to contribute. This why I am going back out again.


  37. Woei Wei
    May 17, 2010 @ 19:56:12

    Hi Dr. Hsu,
    I read some of your posts and I’m very interested to get in touch with you.
    I received my BA in Psychology from University of CA Berkeley back in 2000, and have been working in the Human Resources field in the past 10 years, both in US and China.
    Recently returned to Malaysia for more than 1 month, the longest since I left this country.
    I’d like to do a research addressing the migration of Malaysians overseas…
    I was wondering if you could kindly send me an e-mail at khekwoeiwei@gmail.com, where I could describe to you in detail my project?
    Thanks so much for having your blog up, and of course, for your kind attention.

    Woei Wei


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