The spirit of MF

Malaysia Forum 2011 just ended – an annual event that a bunch of Malaysian students in the US have been working extremely hard for- and I can finally sigh a sigh of relief. We’d been on our phones and computers for almost three months, religiously checking and replying every mail, painstakingly promoting the event and getting incredibly inspiring speakers and coordinating a million and one things, and I dare say that this is probably the most well organized MF we’ve ever had 🙂

MF is an event that I’m very passionate about, mainly because I really believe in all the core values and principles. The premises are simple, create a platform for Malaysians in the states (and globally now) to actively discuss anything and everything related to Malaysia, and through discussions, try to encourage everyone to go out and make a difference in Malaysia or from abroad.

After four years of attending MF, and after four years of being abroad, it really makes me question my identity and role as a Malaysian. I was coerced to be on the panel to speak on my aspirations for myself and for my country (which I think I did very poorly, super unprepared T_T) so I thought I’d just share it with everyone here!

Before I came to college, I too shared similar ideals with many others who wish to be accomplished overseas. I imagined myself to be more of the ambitious, business-suit-wearing financial analyst/investment banker kind of person, making lots of moolah for the sake of helping my family and providing myself with material wealth. I knew even before I came here that I was going to major in Economics, and tailored my first year to finish my major as soon as possible.

Now, a month before graduation, I just dropped my Econ major, and I’m planning to go home to teach in high-need schools (if I get accepted to TFM, that is)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that chasing for material wealth is wrong at all. After all, we all want to pay our family back for what we’ve owed them, and we all want to live comfortably. It’s just that in these four years, I’ve changed my ideals and aspirations so much that I think I want to talk about how it’s totally okay to not conform to the usual stereotypical way of being accomplished and successful.

Being in a liberal arts college has really taught me to look at things very differently, and to challenge my former very rigid perceptions of how things work. Perhaps it has also made me very idealistic, but if idealism is the only way we can change things these days then I’m going to hold on and protect this part of me with all my life.

Someone asked me at the forum: “Why do you still want to go back when there are so many fundamental barriers, so many constitutionalized discrimination, so many political hindrance?”

I think that’s where people are quite mistaken when I tell them I want to help the country. There are lots of obstacles yes, but we don’t have to change the entire country overnight. There are many many small things you can do, small changes that will benefit whatever community you’re in. I think people are too quick to say “Aiya cannot one lah, you see all the corrupt politicians blabla” just so they have an excuse and something to blame, just so they don’t feel bad about not being proactive.

Actually coming to the states made me realize that no matter where we are, we will always have a million and one things to criticize. I used to look at America as the great country of democracy and proponent of free speech, and yet I see so many disgruntled Americans arguing about how bad things are. Granted, there are so many other pros of being in a developed nation, but my point is there is always something you don’t like – what’s more important is if you are going to do anything about it.

Going back to MF, I think one of the many small changes you can make is to first change the mindset of people around you. Instead of complaining about things and saying “aiya that’s how things are, cannot change already one”, try to encourage people you’re with to provide constructive criticisms. Talk about what you can do as an active citizen, go out and look for ways you can change the system, starting from the bottom.

I was so inspired by the other speakers at MF who talked about youth activism, and how they decided that it’s time they do something about the injustice and inequality they see in their everyday life. Be it buying books for orang asli kids, or building a platform for activism in their community, or writing about how to challenge youth to be more proactive. And then I was inspired even further by all these other people who’re also going back home and who want to do so many things given the limited resources they have.

I think this is what is lacking back home – a platform for active discussions. I was once the uninspired, apathetic student who didn’t think changes are possible because I didn’t actively reach out of my comfort zone, until I came to MF and met all these amazing individuals. One of our panel speakers, Johnson, put it quite aptly, “It’s not apathy that’s plaguing us, it’s thinking that we’re alone in this”.

There needs to be a paradigm shift, and not just one of those loosely used “anjakan paradigmas” we end our karangan with when we talk about gejala-gejala sosial. Start with talking about it, end the mindset that nothing can be done without even being involved in the action ourselves, then find other likeminded people who share similar ideals because there are more of them out there that you think.  And if we fail, at least we failed knowing that we’ve tried our best.

Hopefully one day we will all do great things and make our home a better place to live in, and ask the people who will then come back home where have they been all along.

—-

p.s: my liberal arts education has also prepared me to see both sides of the coin, so i know exactly what the counterargument might be. “you don’t know how hard things are because you haven’t been back for long and haven’t worked here” – i know it’s hard trust me, i hear friends and family talk about this all too often. my point is we should try challenging and pushing perceived boundaries first, before admitting defeat due to complacency.

“i know we should all be proactive and change the world, but basic necessities should come first, we need to have enough money to feed ourselves etc etc” – i think the point i’m trying to make is not we should all be patriotic and go back home despite having better opportunities elsewhere. there are so many ways we can be proactive, we don’t have to all quit our jobs and be superheroes. eg: supporting a cause in many ways, engaging in constructive discussions, not succumbing to the mob mentality or jumping on the bandwagon all too quick when it comes to criticizing the country.

actually i can talk forever about this lah. i just want the country to be a better place and wish everyone would believe that we all have a role to play in this too, be it small or big.

692 comments

  1. Bollywood Bill says:

    Hear, hear! I used to be a skeptic until I went to MF, and while I’m still nowhere near as noble as you, at least I now harbor hope and a desire for change. At the very least we ought to learn more about the situation rather than relying on hearsay and falling in with popular opinion lah – it’s almost as if it’s cool to shit on everything. Thus spake Bollywood Bill.

  2. iqa says:

    this is a really good post. after 5 years in the UK, i too felt really different on how i perceive things. just have to go back home to make it a “better” place for everyone. nothing beats home. 🙂

  3. neena says:

    I used to think that students who want to go back home (Malaysia) to “serve the country” are just underachievers who can’t get a decent job overseas, hence the noble excuse “I wanna change the country and make it a better place blah blah blah”. They say this to make themselves feel better and less incompetent. Well, this blog post has just further reinforced my belief. If you are a top scorer, you wouldn’t have/want to go back home to that failing country and naively think that you can really make a difference. If you are capable, try scoring a decent job in US and make your parents proud! Set the example that Malaysians can be successful overseas. By going back home, you are just another loser because jobs in Malaysia are so easily attainable and the quality is just so low. And yes, before you judge, I am just like you, went overseas to study and managed to score a job with a big firm overseas. And let me tell you, it wasn’t all easy-breezy.

    • kehrol says:

      i feel sorry for you that your measure of success comes from the country you work in. if that is how you see “success”, then so be it. but don’t patronize others and assume that everyone needs to see life and success from the same viewpoint when people have different priorities in life.

      i wish you all the happiness in your big, successful, overseas-living life.

      – a malaysian overseas.

    • BoB says:

      You’re just the demographic that Suet isn’t trying to convince. You’re too stubborn in your insubstantiated ways and too blinded by materialistic wants. People go home for all sorts of reasons: Suet is going back to teach, that alone indicates that she’s not in it for the money or looking for a “big firm”; I met someone this weekend who’s going home for familial reasons although he’s conducting some serious bio research in New York; Jeeng below is going home because, well, it’s home; I have a Master’s degree and I’m going back to work as an economist. In many ways, the work we’ll be doing will probably be more impactful than your more lucrative pencil-pushing big firm job. We all have different motivations; not everyone shares your dollar-sign eyeballs.

    • kori says:

      america..or other development countries.
      u’ll not see what u see today, the system they had, all the big buildings they had..big companies..or whatever..if their people keep running away from their own country and go to others.

      same goes to malaysia and malaysian.

    • The Loser says:

      First of all, I want to congratulate you on landing a job at a “big firm overseas”. I bet your parents are very proud of you, that you are on the path towards leaving “that failing country” of yours. I’m sure it was not without challenges that you have arrived at your current position right now. Good for you. Your parents back home can definitely boast to their friends and family during family gatherings, reunions, formal events…etc. I just can’t imagine how happy they must be!

      By the way, are you taking your parents with you? Well, I hope you do, because we wouldn’t want them missing you, do we? Oh, don’t worry. I assure you they will not be missed in “that failing country” where your lot came from. Why would a bunch of “winners” want to hang out with a bunch of “losers back home” anyway? All they do is deceive themselves with a “noble excuse” of “making a change/making a difference”, when all they are good for is practically nothing in reality. But you, the “winner”, is different. You should join the “winning team”, there’s absolutely no reason for you to go back to “that failing country”. Besides, we all know what one person can do… absolutely nothing! Right? Nobody in their right mind would go back to “that failing country” of theirs.

      So is there a particular date as to when you would like to bring your “winning” lot over to where you are? Well, I certainly hope you can arrange for it as swiftly as possible because frankly, I don’t think people like you will be missed by a bunch of “losers” right? And I’m sure the “losers” are sick and tired of “winners” like you.

  4. jeeng says:

    Dear Neena, I appreciate your sentiment, and I applaud you on landing that crazy-glam job with a “big firm overseas”.

    Firstly, I speak only for myself; I’m sure everyone has a different cocktail of reasons why they’re heading back to “that failing country” – and I like to think that there is no one simple reason why someone decides to pursue their career in Malaysia, or elsewhere.

    Perhaps a little background: I’m a graduate from a university consistently ranked as the top 3 in the world, and I’m going back to Malaysia. “Are you going back?” is the one question I’ve been struggling with in the past 6 years I’ve been away, and allow me to give my reasons.

    1. This isn’t Home. Regardless of how ‘developed’/[fill in relevant adjectives] this host nation in, I’m not completely happy here. Perhaps I could make more of an effort to integrate/ingratiate myself, but I won’t be able to actively participate and mould the country’s future.

    Which leads me to

    2. These are exciting times to be back home. There are lots of new initiatives, both in the public and private sector, and the rakyat is at its most vocal and participatory. By going back, I’ll be part of the grassroots movement that I’ve only, for the past few years, been reading about. For better or for worse, I’ll be in the thick of things.

    Naive, doubtless. But not impracticable. And definitely not impossible.

    I like to think, too, that my parents’ pride in me is not borne solely in the geographical location of my job. Yes, it might be relatively easier to get a job in Malaysia. But does that degrade the quality of our workforce? Does that negate the value of the work being done?

  5. strawberry says:

    Dear Nightmare-Giving-Blogger, if you ever run for president one day, I’m so gonna vote for you!!! Just don’t choose purple as your campaign color!!!! Love, Poor-Nightmare-Receiving-Reader

    PS. Let’s see if I will have nightmare tonight after reading this latest entry hahahahah

  6. Ben says:

    One awesome article. Do come back to Malaysia. Know how the education system work here. It is totally different to the US system. Stay optimistic, change is always start with the first small step. All the best. Kudos.

  7. me says:

    I gotta agree with Claire, why can’t you just finish your major first?
    Anyway, after all those sacrifices you (will and already) make, it’ll be quite funny if in the end you end up as a housewife who gonna stay at home to cook and waiting for her husband to come back from work T.T

  8. sweatlee says:

    bill, *touched!

    yvonne, yeah count me in ok!

    michelle, you should, we do it in Msia too!

    aaron, 🙂

    bjk, haha what for!

    iqa, yeah i think i mainly wanna go back cos im homesick =(

    neena, first i thought u were just a troll and u couldn’t possibly be serious, but now i just feel quite sad that your perception of self-worth and capability is based on if you could get a job overseas. good luck in your high quality job.

    claire, i am finishing! i just changed my major from econ to psychology instead 🙂

    jeeng, very well said

    strawberry, haha eh i don’t know why u keep dreaming about me also not my fault T_T wuwu

    ben, thanks, and you too!

    me, i am two classes away from my econ major, but i don’t like it anymore. anyway i had two majors so it doesn’t matter that i’m doing econ as a minor instead now.
    hahaha ya wei actually i do wanna be a housewife, but i can still be a proactive housewife who helps her community!

  9. YP says:

    Suet,
    well put. exactly how I feel minus the knowing that you wanted to major in Econ from the beginning, plus other factors inspired me more so than MF…..after trying out Econ in A levels for a day, I thought I would never take Econ again but Christiansen and Moseley drastically changed my perception…
    where else but liberal arts colleges where you find professors who advices students to drink chicken herbal soup when they’re sick or recount stories which moves and inspires…
    Good luck and I hope you get Teach for Malaysia =)

  10. shutup neena says:

    Dear Neena,

    You’re such a shallow person.Please just keep your ass in your OVERSEAS BIG FIRM and keep youself away from suet’s blog as your presense is totally degrading us! 😛

  11. Jodie says:

    Hello Suet,
    My first time commenting after following your blog for many years. I’m very proud of your positivity that is often cannot be found in Malaysians who used to study overseas.
    I’ve got my degree overseas and when I made up my mind to come back to Malaysia (Sarawak to be exact), my friends disagree with my decision.
    They think getting a job in a good company overseas is much much better than getting a job in an excellent company in Malaysia. (not to say earning Pound/USD *drool*, but the word “Overseas” feel like the wind blowing straight to your face. haha!)
    I’m glad I was strong enough to hang on to my decision back then. Currently, I’m doing well in my job, got a decent car and a dream home, earn enough for my family, a vacation or two every year, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I’m contributing to my country.
    Most people (mostly older generations) would think that the grass is greener at the other side. But did you actually take a good look at the varieties of the grasses we have back home?
    Anyways, I’m with you, Suet. Good luck and I know you will have an awesome future. And your future starts now. 🙂

  12. sarah says:

    Do you guys enjoy the traffic jam to n from work? Do you guys enjoy the public transport? Do you enjoy working with lazy low quality local graduates?do you enjoy the fear of being mugged while walking on the streets? Do you enjoy being second class citizens in your home country? Do you enjoy being stared at,especially girls by some seedy guys hanging out at the mall?I am a Malaysian too n as much as I love to go back,I have seen the worst and do not want to go through it again

    • Nicholas says:

      Where are you now? Must be utopia – without crime, traffic, and public transport 🙂 Let me know. I want to go too, because frankly, I get all those in London.

      I’m sorry you’ve not met any hardworking, high-quality local graduates, but I think you do them, and yourself a disservice by tainting all with a broad brush.

      I believe that labels are superfluous – does making yourself out to be a “2nd class citizen” make you feel better?

    • Babi pong teh says:

      Sarah, let me ask you a question: if things improved, would you go back? Since you said you would love to go back, I assume you would. Now the next hypothetical question is: how can things change? By the will of the people, and especially those of our generation. If you, as a member of our generation, refuse to come back because things are still crummy, then how are things going to improve? This is a classic Catch-22: you won’t come back because things haven’t improved, but things won’t improve unless you come back to help. See the fallacy in your argument here?

      • sarah says:

        Of coz these things exist in other countries,the traffic the crime,don’t say it like I am not aware of it.I m just saying it is particularly worse in Malaysia.if you like it so much then please go back home.it’s a personal choice and I am living better overseas than in msia.

        • sweatlee says:

          sarah, i completely agree. it’s definitely a personal choice, and i hope you don’t misconstrue what i or these commentors are trying to say. i’m definitely not condemning anyone’s choice to stay at home or to settle overseas, but what i cannot seem to understand is the lack of initiative in many of the disgruntled and jaded malaysians.

          sure, things are bad: traffic is terrible in the cities (can’t really think of a city that is not plagued with similar predicament), crime is aplenty (although petty crime is really nothing compared to the way more serious crimes here), workforce is of an inferior quality (wouldn’t that make the superior you fare better and have the responsibility and skills to change things?), most chinese feel like second class citizens (this, i have many things to say. i’ve been abroad for 4 yrs now, and i’ve never felt more out of place and more of a foreigner than before. sure, there is constitutionalized discrimination back home, but it’s also a place that i could identify the most with. here, i’m neither chinese nor am i asian american. i’m international, i’m malaysian)

          i’ve gone a little off tangent, but i share the sentiment that some commentors have brought forward. there’s no country in the world that is perfect, maybe where ever you are right now is for you and that’s great. but as for me and i hope for many others, we take this as an opportunity to be a part of the change, to make our home a little better for everyone else.

    • The Loser says:

      I do enjoy looking at different people on the bus, wondering how their day must have been. Traffic jam to and from work gives me the opportunity to discuss some amount of political news. I think our public transport needs more maintenance and an extension of service routes would be great! I once heard a French guy who said he feels like a French only in America. Being second class citizen is only temporary, because I’m going to do my part as a good Malaysian. I know where to avoid and how to dress to not get mugged so I guess I’m a true Malaysian and I’ve got more street-smartness than you? Well, I guess even I couldn’t pass looking at a girl doing an expo of her body in a mall. I’m a Malaysian too, but why are we so different?

  13. Christine says:

    Your post reminds me of a lecturer who actually advises me to find a job overseas and settle there. I only gave him a brief reply,

    ‘But this is home.’

    A local lecturer. I was so sad on that day.

  14. apeko says:

    Let’s work for a better Malaysia. We need more dedicated and talented educators. Education is the main priority in nation development. Suet Li, pls educate the youngsters that Malaysia is their home. We want to reverse the massive brain drain.

  15. Cayenne says:

    Inspiring post! just by reading on what you share, what you hope for, what you foresee and everything, i am proud of you =) there is an option for you, but you choose to come back to Malaysia and contribute what you are capable of, no matter how little it is. just like the Malay proverb “hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik di negeri sendiri”. you said you wanna teach, that would be nice! it’s a very noble job, and what you are thinking now is definitely more than noble. i wish you all the best, stand strong, there are many like you outside there.

    <3 your post. would love to hear more of your thoughts. ^^

  16. Chyi says:

    Suet,

    I somehow cant be bothered to read through what others have written in regards to your comments. Personally, many share the same sentiments with you. I do myself. I am fairly impressed in your determination and perserverance to have decided to pursue it. It is not an easy decision to make given there’s a lot of peer pressures and even self-doubt as well. Like mentioned earlier in your post, yes, nothing can be changed overnight. I am often very inspired when I come across one or two individuals who are determined to participate in the changes. Many often wince and whine, instead of looking into alternatives to change, or even try to participate in it. I am looking forward to your participant in the changes :), and I believe with optimism, and an open mind you can go very far.

    there are times when self-doubt can take over you, or days just look extremely grey. When it happens, take a step back and a deep breath. Do not look for quick result, i believe cumulatively you will achieve something. Live a life that you want, that is how you fulfill the true definition of life. Suet 🙂 Good luck. Vulnerability gives you sensitivity. Its like a two sided knife.

  17. joanne says:

    Pardon me, i m going to give a neutral comment about this post, no pun intended.

    I would not give much credit to you for writing this post because i don’t think it is in any way motivating or moving enough. All i could get after reading your post regarding MF, is about ur realization of how much important is for you to play in your beloved-country, and your urge to your fellow home-landers to do something to save your pathetic country. My suggestion is write some ideas here to share with your readers, about the possible and effective ways to contribute to your beloved country. in that way, i will not take your post as simply an expression of your overflowing emotions to do something for your country but a rational post that tells us that you really are someone who has ideas and is capable of making a difference for the sake of the community back home.

    at the same time, i m glad that you have a bunch of supporters who support your enthusiasm without much questioning. But not all readers are like that, some are very much provocative just like me. But the thing is, i hope you will not take me as a thorn that prick and split your enthusiasm about returning to your country and do something to your country because i m here just to stimulate you to be more proactive, because i believe ideas are meant to be shared. I hope you can take my suggestion in a constructive manner, hope your readers will not bash me for saying too much. We human have to work together, there’s no such thing as one man show, what more is when you are dealing with something known as society.

    • sweatlee says:

      joanne, thanks for your suggestion but i beg to differ. i don’t think it’s my responsibility to provide ideas on how we could contribute to our country, for everyone’s idea of contribution can be very different from what i have in mind. for example, i’m very passionate about getting msians abroad together to discuss important issues about our country, and my bigger career goal is to open a preschool when i go back. although that may not mean much to others, it’s my idea of changing something within my immediate environment that is attainable to me.

      i think if there’s anything malaysians have had enough with, is people spoonfeeding them and telling them exactly what they should do and guiding them through every step.

      my idea of proactivity is also quite different from yours. like i’ve emphasized probably way too many times in my post, i think people should start from engaging in constructive discussions, and then move towards finding likeminded people with similar passion and do something about it. if you really want me to spell it out, then i guess MY idea of an effective way to contribute is to first change the mindset of people near you that nothing can be done and to urge people that they have the ability to change things.

      i don’t think you’re wrong in thinking that this post is possibly all talk and no action, but i hope you understand where i’m coming from too.

      • joanne says:

        Your nature is good and i know that you are seriously sincere about contributing to your country. But just do it right, this is no trial and error stuff, for all our actions bring consequences.

        Alrite, good luck and all the very best to you.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Studying abroad always end up changing the way we think and make us appreciate more our country back home.

    Estudiar en el extranjero siempre termina cambiando la manera en la que pensamos y nos hace apreiar mas nuestro país.

  19. ccc says:

    well, we are building more highways. i come from tawau, transport is not bad. low quality then means i can get promoted faster. that’s true, so i want to improve the crime rate.

    sarah says:
    April 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    Do you guys enjoy the traffic jam to n from work? Do you guys enjoy the public transport? Do you enjoy working with lazy low quality local graduates?do you enjoy the fear of being mugged while walking on the streets? Do you enjoy being second class citizens in your home country? Do you enjoy being stared at,especially girls by some seedy guys hanging out at the mall?I am a Malaysian too n as much as I love to go back,I have seen the worst and do not want to go through it again

  20. elizabeth says:

    You have a good thinking suet! I agree that everyone has a different point of view, but at the end of the day, our country is still where we belong. All the best and I hope this will come true! Of course if possible, I want to join you to make changes! ;D

  21. jolin says:

    (I am not sure if this is a double comment, but if it is, kindly remove this)

    Your blog post is as inspiring as the note Shang Neng Tan, a student in University of Manchester has written. And I do agree with what Johnson has said, “It’s not apathy that’s plaguing us, it’s thinking that we’re alone in this”.

    I am truly glad to know that the number of inspired overseas University grads have increased throughout the years. I am one of those who will be graduating and returning back home to work, not because I failed to secure a job in the UK, but because I have chose to reject it for reasons similar to Suet. (And no Neena, I don’t find myself any less competent than you just because I decide to return to start my own business than working for a giant corp here)

    We do not have to be a politician to make changes because ultimately, politicians are voted by US, the people. They do not rule them, they represent us because we allow them to do so. If we are unsatisfied with how they do things, we have the power to voice it out, instead of criticising it with a group of friends or family and nothing else.

    Start from doing small things like do NOT give bribes to polices, pay your samans, register as voters and VOTE, pay your education loans, come back and serve the country if you are bound under a scholarship, or at least pay back the government the amount of money they have spent on you. Because when you don’t, you have just taken away someone else’s chance of studying abroad.

    I am personally annoyed by graduates who do not pay their education loans and scholars who break their government bond by paying a very minimal amount compared to what they earn. It is your choice to work overseas, to earn a better living but it is NOT your choice to be irresponsible to the country who have at least paid for your education.

    Last but not least, I wish you all the best, fellow Malaysians regardless of where you are now.

  22. Chia Huey says:

    Well said article!
    It’s definitely worth the price to pay, to live a life for the cause that’s greater than ourselves.
    I respect you for having the courage to pursue what’s in your heart, and determine to live out what you believe in, to make an impact right at where you are.
    It’s definitely far greater than just to flow along with the trend, values and expectations of the current society.
    Malaysia has hope with young people that thinks like u guys! Gambatte!

  23. Daniel says:

    Firstly, thank you Suet Li for writing a very well thought out article. I sincerely hope that you and all the other patriotic Malaysians out there will be able to make a difference back home or abroad.

    I am currently working overseas for a not-so-big corporation and am looking forward to the day I can go back home to KL and work for an even bigger corporation. Hopefully the increase in pay will more than offset the weaker ringgit against my current currency!

    But in all seriousness, people like myself (and you) are lucky enough to have the choice on whether to stay or return back to the tanahair.

    Let us not forget about the poorer folks back home who are ‘just barely getting by’ on their below average incomes.

    I suspect a number of the students commenting here have not yet grasped the meaning of “just barely getting by” vs spending less of their parent’s hard earned money by eating Mee G instead of proper meals.

    Furthermore, when you move out of the 20’s phase and you start thinking towards things like settling down and raising a family, these issues will make the decision to stay or return harder.

    Therefore I personally believe some of the eagerness with some of the above commentators to return home and fight the good fight is without consideration of the above issues that I have mentioned. However if they have done so and considered the necessary issues at hand and made their decision on a fully informed basis, I wish them all the best and hope things work out as intended.

    Overall, I believe that the decision for each person with the privilege of choosing to stay or return home is a deeply personal one, and it is up to each individual to decide for themselves and not to be influenced by anonymous comments on a patriotic young girl’s blog. (including mine)

    I personally intend to return to the life of eternal traffic jams, poor work life balance, institutionalized racism, high crime, corrupt politicians, sexism, high cost of housing and cars for the following:

    1. Family

    2. Am fortunately not on the wrong side of the income gap

    3. I can always leave Malaysia again if I don’t like it, but I gotta try it first to make an informed decision.

    4. Bail out my journalist/activist friends who will invariably get locked up the next time political unrest will erupt.

    And regarding the topic of pushing for change in Malaysia, I think we’re talking amongst the wrong people. Nobody really cares about what the middle class overseas non-bumis think. We are electorally insignificant.

    If you want to push for significant change, we need to engage those middle ground Umno loving Malaysians to convince them to push for policy changes be it within Umno or externally. But that is another conundrum for another day.

    Cheers

  24. jusme says:

    I last commented here a LONG time ago 🙂 Just wanted to say thank you for this entry. IMHO, it really reflects your maturity. From the jist of what you wrote, it hit me that it’s really about the UNITY in our vision to bring good changes in OUR OWN capacity as individuals with different callings- not simply conforming to what the people around us expect of us. We all have our own way of contributing back to the country I love but too many a times am guilty of complaining about. Whether we become martyrs or migrate overseas, as long as we’re true to ourselves, who are we to judge one another? We choose our own paths, and screw the rest of the world who tries to dictate what we should do. I only hope there are more people like you in our generation (which like you said, will be a GREAT comfort) and that there will be a larger platform for us to serve our country through our unique individualities.

    As for the golden balance of idealism and realism, I think you’ve nailed that point and I wish you ALL the best.
    Kick ass and open your preschool. Education is grossly underplayed back home. Yeah, it’s gonna be tough, but I hope your vision and passion carry you through. Rather than raining on your parade to say this post is just emotions (because that in itself can be powerful) and all talk (because it is an avenue to inspire others), I choose to spur you on and say YOU CAN DO IT 🙂
    Much love from across the ocean.

    P/s sorry for the corniness. but do your best, babe. you are definitely not alone

  25. Sarah says:

    super duper LIKE this post!!! i agree wholeheartedly – change doesn’t come overnight; it’s all about the little steps and changes that each of us make that will make the big difference. 🙂

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