Friday, August 3, 2012

Why I Will Forever Stay Malaysian

Because I have a responsibility to my nation and people. And yes, I've been told a couple of times that I sound like a moralist when I say that. So what the heck. I have moral values and I try my best to stick to them. And if that is not what a moralist is by definition, well it seems to apply for me.

So yes, I am an Indian and a Hindu, which makes me a minority in this country. And I am not denying that people of my ethnicity might not have been treated equally by other sections of society. Even our government has been humble enough to admit that during recent times. So no arguing there.

But I feel like I have been blessed that despite a rather mediocre SPM result of 7As, I was presented with not only a full scholarship to pursue an English language teaching degree in England, but also a five year contract to serve under the government. Not only was I given the golden opportunity to study abroad and gain a British university degree, but I will also have secured myself a stable job as a teacher once I graduate and return home.

I hope it's now clear why I feel like I have a moral responsibility to my nations and people. My scholarship money is not something I simply inherited from a dead rich Australian uncle, nor did I will any genetic lottery that allowed me to be born with a silver spoon in my mouth. The money comes from the taxpayers from Malaysia, including my parents and relatives. That is why, as much as I feel like a nerd for saying this, I feel like I have a duty to be fulfilled. I am indebted to these people, and forever will be.

It breaks my heart to see some youngsters who feed on the scholarship they are given, only to later stay abroad and find a job there. In most cases, like mine, they are contract bounded and have to return to serve under their beneficiary for a certain amount of time. But no! Some of these people just stay overseas to find a high paying job and it's their guardians who have to pay back their scholarship money. It amazes me how these people even sleep at night.  

And then there is the age old argument -  that we minorities are treated like scum in this country and we deserve to migrate somewhere where we will be treated as we deserve. Well, if you are the child of millionaires who funded your education overseas and you owe the Malaysian taxpayer nothing, then by all means there might be no reason for you to see yourself ever being in debt to the people. But if you are, like me, bounded by a contract, and is funded by money from the people, than your conscience should tell you otherwise.

Am I a fan of all of our government's policies? Not necessarily. Am I a big fan of our opposition? IrrelevantAm I politically inclined? Absolutely not. So why do I care so much about this brain drain issue? The reason is I cannot speak for everyone. But if you see a brighter future for yourself abroad, then nobody should stop you from pursuing your materialistic dreams. But there are contracts that are not bound on paper. Things like moral duty and responsibility are some of them. Anyone with a clear mind will know how to make the right decision. 

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