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M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

My Photo
Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Get Out Of The Student Loan Business

Get Out of the Student Loan Business!

M. Bakri Musa

It is an astounding admission by the Public Services Department that about 10 percent of its over 100,000 student-loan borrowers have not paid a penny on their loans. Some of the defaulters had completed their studies over 20 years ago.

The government through MARA, JPA, and others has disbursed the colossal sum of over RM12 billion over the years. Additionally, the GLC National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN – its Malay acronym) had given out nearly RM19.06 billion to 982,000 borrowers since its inception. Even if those figures represented rupiah or pesos instead of ringgit, they would still be a huge sum.

To say that the involved departments were inept and inefficient in their loan disbursements and collections would merely draw a yawn. What else is new?

The reality is that such activities as credit assessment and loan processing are alien to these civil servants; they are wholly unsuited by training and temperament. Those activities properly belong to banks and financial institutions. The only realistic solution to the government’s present mess would be to get out of the student loan business by privatizing it, and selling off the existing outstanding loans.

Privatizing Student Loans

Giving loans for students to continue their education is good investment. The rate of returns to the individual as well as to society more than justifies such investments. Beneficial though student loans are, this does not mean that the government should be doing the actual lending. Malaysia would do well to learn from the experiences of other countries.

In America, the government is not directly involved in the student loan business. Instead it merely provides the regulatory and administrative framework; the loans are given out and collected by participating banks and other lenders. The government determines the maximum amount of loan for which the student would qualify (based in part on the family’s income), and caps the interest rates and other terms of the loans. This in effect is an indirect subsidy. There is also only one application form, thus simplifying and reducing the administrative costs.

The lenders are of course free to offer loans at more favorable rates and terms. Many indeed do so because of the competitive marketplace pressures with students free to find the most favorable loans from the various participating lenders.

The government does give out direct student loans (a program comparable to the Malaysian one), but that constitutes only a very small fraction of the program and applies only to the needy. Likewise, students could bypass the government’s program and borrow directly from private banks and be subjected to the banks’ regular credit and lending criteria. Private banks in Malaysia offer similar services.

By getting out of the business of direct lending to the students, the government would substantially reduce its bureaucracy, quite apart from enhancing the efficiency of the program. The loans would also be disbursed more quickly and the delinquent rates significantly reduced as banking professionals instead of civil servants would now be servicing the loans.

The American program is not without its drawbacks. The recent scandal where many college financial aid officials were indicted for receiving kickbacks from lending institutions in return for referring students attest to the fact that even a well laid out program can be subjected to abuse and corruption.

Malaysia could improve on the Americans. Instead of guaranteeing the full amount of the loan, the government could guarantee only a portion (80 percent) of it. That would prod the banks to be more diligent in their collections as they would share the loss with the government.

Auction Off Existing Loans

To complete the government’s withdrawal from the student loan business, I would recommend selling off all existing loans. Package them in marketable quanta of RM1-200 million. I would also group them based on geographic units, for example, loans taken out by students from East Malaysia or Klang Valley. Other groupings could be based on where the students studied. Thus student loans from those attending Australian universities would be packaged together and separately from those studying in United States or Britain. This would encourage Australian, British and American banks to bid on these loans as they could use their vast domestic database to trace the borrowers.

There could be groupings based on the field of study. Loans given to would-be doctors should fetch a premium price. Those doctors would be easy to trace, and they are also likely to have a high income.

Selling these student loans would effect immediate savings in at least two ways: one by dispensing with the current massive but ineffective bureaucracy, and two, by getting a fresh infusion of badly needed (albeit discounted) funds right away from the commercial buyers of these loans.

As with America, I would give these borrowers the option of forgiving their loans in whole or partially if they were to enter public service, provided of course their services and skills are needed. I have in mind here especially the doctors and other professionals.

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Loans

An innovative scheme, the brainchild of the late Nobel laureate in Economics Milton Friedman, is the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) loans. Unlike traditional loans with their defined interest rates and amortization periods, borrowers would repay their ICR loans based on a percentage of their future income and for a specified period.

I propose 10 percent of the borrowers after-tax income for a duration double the loan period. Thus if the loan was given out over four years, the student would have to pay 10 percent of his or her income for eight years after graduation.

If the student were to secure a lucrative job, he or she could end up paying considerably more. Conversely if the student chooses a less well-paying but professionally more satisfying career like research or teaching, he or she would not be severely burdened.

Students would have to choose this option at the time the loan is being disbursed. Yale had this kind of program. It was doing so well that the financially successful borrowers were complaining that they were paying way beyond what they had borrowed.

This ICR scheme has an element of risk sharing associated with it; thus it should be more Sharia-compliant as compared to the traditional student loans with their fixed interest rates and repayment schedule. Additionally, it might just encourage our young to opt for lower paying pubic service jobs like teaching.

The government’s present student loan scheme needs a major overhaul. It is expensive, inefficient, and not serving the needs of the students or the nation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This problem is not new to everyone in this country - this is the saddest day for all Malaysians.

Everyone knows that the entry point for various courses is different for different races. This is the truth as once you enter the university, you will definitely know it. This might sensitive to certain people, but this is the truth in our "third class mentality" university education system.

Singapore is so concern of the talented students, and will try their best to tie them, even try to sponsor our students here and "settle" down there. But for Malaysia, it is not.

They rather spend the money to compensate those stupid crony companies rather than sponsor the talented students to continue their "dreams" and then service the country. Don't blame the graduates for not coming back to Malaysia and service to the country.

Every year at one time I get very depressed reading of these discriminatory practices in higher education. I see numbers put forth by the higher education ministry to justify their actions as if those numbers are just statistics.

I hope these people realise their failures is tantamount to betrayal of a nation for, to cast aside talents that would have gone on to nation building can be equated to national treason and sabotage.

Yeah, I think it is very sad that those talented students (which apparently happened only in non-malays, and mostly are Chinese!) are not being selected to enter local university.

Every time when I read such kind of news, I benefit nothing but my anger is burning deep inside my heart. Are non-malays not contributing much enough to help this country? And I believe all of us always hunger for the equal treatment, but will it be implemented?

All things happened has its chain reaction, and you don't have to wait too long to see it! I myself graduated from biotechnology, back to my years in university, I worried what am I suppose to do after my graduation?

I learned the skills, I spent my time (3 years), but end up I heard most of my seniors are in different lines, some even as a chemist (what we learned is more to biological application), even myself not in the line. Isn't it funny?

All this happened is because most of our talented students remain in overseas (many of my course-mates in Singapore now), never thinking of coming back to develop the industry (even they want to come back, there is nothing government can do to help them), so eventually we are stuck as no one guides the industry!

Our next generation, will become "industry retards" in the future! And this happened not just in my course, I think other courses also facing the retarded development!

All this happened because many talented students which failed to get offer from local university, went to overseas and have to folk out they parents money (not government money) to fulfill their dream.

So my friends, tell me, do you think that we can develop in any industry that proposed by the government? As long as this kind of problem persist, don't waste our money to create empty dream like Bio-valley or etc. (We pay tax every year! We want something solid!)

Talk big is easy, but do it without understanding the situation is nothing! Everything start from our next generation, our future is in their hands, so please, for those who approve the applications, do it properly or do it only to your family and you will know what is the bitter taste, like in your mouth!

Education is the key to build a strong and united nation. Sadly it has been used to divide the people through grossly unfair and unjust policies, including exploiting and manipulating the policies to favour certain race/group.

Instead of creating a healthy and inclusive education environment for all students from all races to grow, the government do the opposite by encouraging discrimination, divisions, intolerance, and etc.

The leaders are totally confused and lost, and do no know what is best for Malaysia in the immediate, long and short term needs and requirements. Vision 2020? This must be a joke!

The education policies to ensure the high rate successfully students/graduates in meaningful and rewarding employment have failed all races, including malays.

All graduates must look global. Go anywhere you could find good experience and training, not necessarily in developed countries. Malaysia's economy is very small and does not have the advanced technology expertise to meet your career expectations, what you have studied in university.

Your job security in this competitive and glaboalised world is your employment mobility, i.e. your ability to sell your knowledge and skills in the global employment market, i.e. India is doing this very well.

It is not easy to adapt to a new environment/country. But you will learn to adapt eventually.

The world is getting smaller and borders are disappearing. We can create a small Malaysia in another country with the very best of both worlds for our children.

Well, we (non-malays) have to get use to this. Sadly, this will do more harm than good. There were no quality among this group of malays and the end, they are the ones who suffer most. No company wanted to employ them and government needs to create more jobs to absorb them into the government. Just think, who will lose out? What vision we are talking about?

The government cannot be ignorant that education is the answer to economic and social development, especially at this age of globalization. The actions show that NEP was an excuse not just for the infamous 30%. It is a non-malay enfeebling programme. It is to keep the weak, and export the talents of the "adversary" races.

Grieve no further. This is about "ketuanan" ideal. Advise for the victim is try to do a degree while working and when time comes - look for an opportunity elsewhere. Malaysia do not need your talent.

Another prestigious project by BN to those suckers who voted them. Shake head……….

We are to stop whining and find ways to find employment elsewhere, work to save and complete our education later. Most of us know and are not willing to admit that we are ruled by a malay fascist regime bent on following racist policies.

We have somehow convinced ourselves into believing that "change" will come through the ballot box but instead the process of the ballot box was manipulated to produce race riots in 1969. It will be manipulated yet again when they feel themselves pushed to the wall.

Let us not whine anymore - but instead work to save and then leave for a better future to countries that welcome us, where we can hope to live our dreams and realize those dreams if not in our lifetime but in those of our children.

This is not the end of the world. Better things await you my friend. All is not lost for as long as we still have breath of life in us, to pursue the kind of life we want for ourselves and our children.

This is a routine problem that happens every year. It seems the government enjoy playing with the life of young student.

It is true that when you and me do not agree with Malaysia policies, we "Boleh" emigrate to other country. Why waste our time here if our talent will be appreciated elsewhere.

Stupid reasons such as the students are not coming back is merely a lame excuse to buy time to hide the real reason.

We got to take care and recognise that the unhappy students had the resourcefulness to voice out the unfairness. What we don't need are feel-good stories of those who were subsequently successful on appeal which were aided by the dogs of MCA, and their like.

My comment wouldn't be complete if I do not relate a personal experience of the state of dependency or entitlement, the government's policy of discrimination has bred in the malay mindset.

And here I am, struggling very hard to keep up with board, fees and lodging for my son. It is not just solely an issue of finance. It is more the denial of opportunity in my own country, country of my birth.

The very reason why I felt my son had to leave early for elsewhere. Or else, there will be most likely be an absence (at best) or denial (at worst) of opportunity and choice when he has to go tertiary.

When he qualifies as a valued worker and contributor to society in future, does the government really expect my son to return, on the "incentive" of, say approval to import a car from overseas? And the government expects blind loyalty……….?

It wasn't your mistake, dear, but the nation's leaders. They hide behind the vile of racism for personal greed and gains. It is not your fault. Blame destiny of being born here, if you will.

"Why does my beloved country love me not?" I asked myself back then. I have since grown out of it - I have left the country very probably, for good.

Yes, it is perfectly right that we can always emigrate to other country when we are so unsatisfied with the policies here.

Hey man, racism is everywhere. You are right. But at least they have laws that make discrimination in any form illegal - which means you can seek redress through the courts.

Not so in Malaysia where racism has been legitimized and institutionalized.

Plain truth - Umno do not want smart and clever Chinese professionals. Those score high marks are given donkey courses - zoology. Those lesser are enrolled into professional courses. They do as what is happening in Middle East and in 1940s.

Same story year after year……….

No, the vast majority of us is not fooled, but we Chinese mentality is, above all else, do not rock the boat.

It is public knowledge that even malay patients favor visiting non-malay doctors. And in the long run, it is to the detriment of our beloved country as a whole.

The truth is most middle-class Chinese have at least given up on local universities. The only people I know who hope to get into local universities are dirt-poor relatives.

My hawker relatives, who scrap by with small income, save every penny they get to send at least one child abroad so that eventually all of them can move over.

Among those who attend local universities, each and every one of them head down to Singapore as soon as they graduate for jobs and only when they fail, do they try to get a job locally.

Comparing the education received by my relatives in the US, Singapore, Australia, and even China, I can simply tell non-malay parents: Your children are screwed from the day they step into primary school.

Compared to the rest of the world now, everyday he spends in school here is falling behind everyone else. If you can afford private school here, they at least don't fall behind too badly that they can catch up later but otherwise, it is likely they will never catch up with others for the rest of their lives.

Even education is not spared from the dirty and manipulative politics of race and religion. How low would one go to achieve one's goals in life by hook or by crook?

This is most shameful and disgraceful by any reasonable standard of fairness and decency. It makes you want to throw up.

The ethical and decent malays must speak up and distant themselves from this totally unacceptable practices and behaviour in a decent society - tak ada maruah.

I spent my primary and secondary in Malaysia. After studying and living in overseas, I realised our common knowledge about the world are so little.

From western countries such as US and Canada to developed territory in Asia such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, children have approached some world history such as Jewish holocaust or the great Alexandra in primary/elementary School.

I was surprised to see how serious the insufficiency was in our Malaysia education and found huge difficulties to just catching up the history when I studied humanities. I don't know how is the primary and secondary school syllabus now.

But every time I went home to visit my nieces, I worried about them. Because each of them has talented and potential but the unfortunate truth is, they are non-malays and in Malaysia. Maybe I sound too pessimistic but it is what I think in my deepest heart.

There it is. It all started very soon after our so-called father of development PM, started the NEP and all discriminatory hell broke lose after that.

By my reckoning, it is been a whole generation 30 years where our tertiary education selection process has been twisted to the detriment of deserving students whose sole fault was that, they were unlucky to be born non-malays.

Ever since statistics was used to rationalize the cause of May 13, Umno has perfected the art to lie with statistics, or to create statistics to lie.

Sigh. Another reason to join me in Australia. Yet another reason not to return to Malaysia. The medical students from Malaysia, specifically from IMU, said the standard of teaching they received is atrocious.

They were even not taught how to do a literature search, or how to conduct a critical appraisal of a chosen pacer, something that we learned in our first year of medicine at UQ. Endless entertainment, I tell yes!

Cheating and deception and gross misleading are now a norm to get whatever one wants. This is about a universal right to proper education, not contracts for multimillion dollars projects!

What has happened to Malaysia society! Religions are strongly emphasized but people are more corrupt and immoral. There is no basic human decency anymore.

Gerakan, MCA, MIC, and other smaller parties in BN do not know anything about this for so long? The country is really sick!

With this type of shit going on in the country, how could the victims of the policies be loyal to the country!

Yet they accused you of disloyal and untrustworthy when you leave the country to find better life and opportunity for you and your families, and not sent knowledge and money home.

The malays pride themselves with great values of honesty, principles and trustworthiness. How could the malays descended to such a low level and shameful?

The non-malays, in particular the Chinese, should stop accepting this discriminatory treatment.

The ordinary malays might think the non-malay businessperson is cheating and greedy as the price is too high, not knowing that the non-malay businessperson has to pay additional costs to run the business, not to mention time.

Decent and reasonable Malaysians of all races must stick to their "own kind" and get rid of the "other kind" that are destroying the social cohesion, decency, dignity of the society and Malaysia.

(Gerakan, MCA, MIC) They know. They are now kowtowing, kneeling and begging Umno to let a few more brilliant students (who are financially poor) get into universities. Then they can publish (with big photos) in their newspapers that they have done heroic jobs.

There will give 100 reasons to back their kind of so-called meritocracy. The fact is we will not be able to change the situation unless the whole government being changed which I think is impossible due to the racist card they played so well.

The only solution is use Malaysia as a jumping stone to emigrate to other countries if we are lucky enough to come across a chance. For non-malays, work hard to save for your kids education and do not hope too much from the ruling.

The saddest thing in Malaysia is that the poor and bright students are denied the only chance for them to change their family economy through education. What rights are the ruling talking about? This is a total discrimination of one race to extinction.

Just like the economic reports, from the sky, they fill up the rate they wanted to report. Growth rate up, exports up, employment jobs up, up up up. It seem that every is good, telling people, don't worry. But petrol also up, interest up, goods up……….

Man, am I glad I am out of this screwed up country. Drain the brain……….I say drain it all. Let them have their wonderful malay country. See how they screw it up in less than 5 years. By then, there won't be a 10MP because there won't be any money left to plan for anything!

There are damned lies, lies, and statistics. Go figure, folks!

Providence will not be mocked by deceit and unfairness. The karmic retribution will be evident for the racist plotters sooner or later.

Well, we are not just dealing with false and misleading statistics, but also false degrees. A former medical lecturer (non-malay) at one of the local universities related to me how he was forced by the dean to pass malay students who were not even fit to enter the medical profession.

Brain drain, it is going to continue. I am preparing my children for overseas education, and hope that they will find good jobs overseas, and not come back to Malaysia. PhD level is very necessary. Their future there is much better and fulfilling.

As someone mentioned, such manipulations based on race have been going on for more than 35 years and in fact our various government agencies are getting better at manipulations and covering them up with beautiful terms like CGPA, meritocracy, no racial quota, etc.

Of course, almost everything in this country is based on race. It cannot be otherwise because our dominant political parties are simply based on race - the mother of all race-based activities. Furthermore, all activities must favour one dominant race.

A lot of lies and blatant lies have been told since independence, more so in the last 30 years. Mahathir was best at giving us all sorts of lies - just look at the number of people who now come forward to tell us the truth behind some obviously silly deals and happenings that occurred during Mahathir era, marked with beautiful slogans, "Amanah. Bersih. Cekap." etc.

Let your children work and stay in overseas then apply for PR and eventually become the citizen there. This country is very sick. 50 years later, Malaysia will be another Indonesia.

That is precisely what I have done with no regrets. I don't think I will ever return to Malaysia at all. I would rather fly into Singapore. Why? Because Malaysia is the most backwardly cultured country that I have ever seen.

It is a country that isn't based on achievement, competition, free market, innovation, profit, research and development. It is a country based on corruption, lie and race.

It is a country that will never get any better because it isn't democratic, Umno has its dictatorial strangle hold in government. It claims to be democratic, but doesn't really give people any freedom at all.

Sure you are free to worship any God you like, but if you are Islamic, a malay, you get more benefits, advantages - this freedom come at a price of inequity. Inequity because of incompetence. That is the truth.

I can't and I am not going to wait for year 2020 for a "maybe" to happen - Good luck Malaysia. If you think Boleh is pride, why don't you try to achieve something that is engineered, designed and built wholly from your own malay brains!

I will not put it beyond our darned leaders to surprise us all, and accomplish the destruction of the country within 20-30 years, not 50 years. It is only so long that wrong medicine can prolong life? Sooner, rather than later, the sick nation succumbs……….

I wonder if the government will spend millions of ringgit just to celebrate the destruction of Malaysia in years to come. Someone might just get the contract for pyrotechnic show.

You cannot separate race from religion - not in Malaysia. All malays are Muslims. The government is aware that some Chinese and Indians who do convert to Islam are doing it for obvious reasons, i.e. to gain economic advantages.

Our grieve will not be heard domestically and internationally. Because since the government is not an accountable government, they have no reason to listen and transform to destroy the cronyism relations they built long ago.

However, we can use media by taking our anger to the street, a peaceful one with enormous numbers to attract the international attention. Well, there might be one more possible channel: Amnesty international, the human right international organization.

In fact for all non-malays, my advise is to apply for universities in China and India before even applying Malaysia locally. I have seen incredible transformation of universities in China that even the mid-tiers ones are better than any local universities here.

There is no debating that the best universities in India like IIT are comparable anywhere in the world but beyond the top ones, the quality. However many are improving and I would argue many are better than even the most of what Malaysia locally have to offer. The only thing is the infrastructure is very poor in India although changing but much slower than in China.

Racism will never ever be erased under such fertile conditions. On the contrary, it will thrive and God knows what can happen!

That is only human. Economic migration is as old as history. So after all that I have read, I can sense there will be a next wave, a huge wave.

To you bold and courageous people, I wish you well. Tell your children and their friends and their youths to gird up and go. Don't look back, if you are fortunate your children's children will be better off in the new land.

15 years ago, I gave up on this racist administration and decided to move my children 1 by 1 overseas to study. They are beginning to make it.

Study like hell and work like crazy - it is for their future! Work and study. That is possible overseas. Do your homework. Tell your kids to improve their English as much as possible.

I write this with a very, very, very heavy heart. Malaysia is a beautiful country in some ways otherwise except for the ruling politicians. (I will save my breath and my descriptions of them.)

I would suggest those high flyers who can't afford expensive quality education to apply for scholarship overseas, especially Singapore.

Singapore since Lee Kuan Yew, has been excellent in attracting talents (while we are good in driving them away). The Malaysia country can't blame you for this, because if they are not willing to develop your talent, and another party is willing to, it is not your fault.

Be resourceful. In the age of information technology, information is the master. Seek it.

What I try to imply here is that education is just a head start, after which your real learning begin, in order to be successful.

We cannot go against the government for practicing discrimination because there are just not enough votes to sack them. But we can certainly do our bit to work against private businesses that promote discriminatory practices.

We read that many non-malays are able to achieve happiness overseas, but not in Malaysia. This brings mixed feelings. While I am happy to see that you and your off-springs will not be subject to NEP anymore, I am sad to note that NEP has actually succeeded on its way to attain the ultimate objective of making Malaysia malay land.

It is sad because in 1950s, Malaya and Singapore had about equal number of malays and non-malays, and people lived happily in a truly multi-racial and multi-religious environment. But the so-called social engineering, or more accurately demographic engineering had Malaysia ended in being a malay Muslim state.

We chose to emigrate, in effect running away! I agree 100%. But in emigrating, we take our talents away with us, in effect depriving Malaysia and creating a brain drain.

As you may have noticed from reading, you should have arrived at the conclusion that it is the consequence of the policies adopted by Malaysia that is driving us away, benefiting (and prospering in) our new homes.

Should the Malaysia economy stagnate secondary to migrated talents, well, from my point of view, this is due to government policy. It is not my fault. Hey, I will even allow you to call me a chicken! The difference is, we choose to express it by emigrating.

As for telling my Aussie friends (yellow, white and black) here, yes, I tell them about the repressive Malaysia environment, and they encourage me to stay! I tell them at work, play, church. Support is universal.

Like the United States of America, Australia is built on the tear, sweat and blood of migrants. Remember that. A lot of my friends have parents/grandparents who migrated from Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, etc.

With English as my first language, Mandarin as my second language, a rapidly aging population over here in Australia, world class medical facilities, and my future desire to specialise in geriatrics, I think I am well set.

You said that we think we are very clever. That is right! I think I am clever. I think someone and all who have left Malaysia are very clever. I pray, hope that you are clever enough to initiate and push through change.

The ball is not in our court. Never was, is, will be. We have left the court, the sports arena, into the ever greener pastures. You are left with the rest, like playing tennis with the wall. The ball is always in your court. Bust a hole in it, preferably with a rocket!

Malaysia will not realize what it is missing until they are gone. That phrase sums up our choice.

Let us not over dramatize. Let us keep it in perspective.

Like I said before, all you need to leave the country for greener pastures is a suitcase full of old clothes, a spirit of adventure of "nothing lost nothing gained" and a month supply of money. Since, you have lost everything then make it, "nothing to lose but everything to gain".

Hey, migration happens all over the world, all over the time and all over the century. Aren't your parents themselves - the product of an immigration wave from Mainland China?

The Chinese are after all migratory birds - and I don't mean that in a derogatory sense either.

Nobody is running away. We are merely leaving in pursuit of a better life elsewhere - and then when there too does not work out, we then pack up our suitcase full and keep moving until we are ready to put those down for good - either because they have grown fat and old or we are just ready to sit themselves down, and die.

The government does not have a magic wand to create graduates from inferior candidates and the sooner we move towards a meritocracy system, the sooner all Malaysians will benefit.

For one we will not have so many graduates who are really unemployable. Some enlightened malays have even chosen to send their children to Chinese schools as they believe their children will do better there.

God will know all the bad things they all have done, punish them soon……….!

I have been somewhat apprehensive that quite a number of commenters has praised their adopted new countries no end. Nothing wrong in that, if that is what they and their families are experiencing living in better circumstances. It is good to see many have upped-and-away successfully.

Peace be with you all.

My parents brought us up with the intention that we may emigrate if we so choose. Hence my first language is English. I recently learned to speak Mandarin, ironically in Australia a predominately English speaking country!

Practically almost all my English speaking friends have left the country by the time I reached Form 4, leaving me at the mercy of my own Chinese speaking kind.

Those who can't make it out, drive home the importance of English to your children. Especially with jargon rich courses, like engineering and medicine, a top-notch grasp of English is essential in order to be incorporated into one's vocabulary.

My Chinese speaking friends now regret a poor mastery of English. With children, it is like a vicious cycle. Who knows, English could just be that springboard as it was with me.

Perhaps I am lucky. I have relatives helping with funding. I am not the first in my family to benefit from this either. Soon, I will join this "family diaspora" and help another lucky, chosen relative. Enough said.

My heritage was "sacrificed" so that we can race (pun intended) ahead and when we did emigrate, better adapt to our adopted home. It is quite a huge regret as well, learning Chinese only very recently, since I could only now start communicating with my grandmother. Only very recently is she able to tell me stories from her good old days!

It is fate that brought us together. We all have our problems, stay or leave is just a matter of choice. It won't change the fact that we are coming from the same land and once breathe the same air. Be united, be cool!

It is such a pity for this country. I don't know why politicians have to extend their hands to influence the appeal/acceptance of university admission. That means if you find the right politicians, you will have a better chance of getting accepted.

I strongly believed that politicians should let the education ministry do its own job. The politicians should go ahead to set the criteria in accepting students so that there will be no more complaints.

How can improvements be made if the main ideas were to imitate without substance and to deceive with pride, prejudice and without merits!

We go through the same cycle every year. Ours is the only country in the world where taxes paid by the minorities are used almost exclusively to financially support the majority.

It is shameful and criminal. Undeserving people are given priority over more deserving ones. Even people under communist governments are treated better.

How long are we going to tolerate this situation? Until there is nothing left in the kitty? It is so despairing and we cannot even see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel yet. I cry for our country.

11:44 AM  

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