Wednesday, 1 October 2014


I met up with a few friends recently. We have known each other for a long time . We were having a good time talking about our past and what is going to happen in the future. It came to my amazement when one of them asked about the best way to donate some money to opposition parties in Malaysia. That man was of a wealthy background. He did well in his career. He held a senior position of a listed company in Malaysia. I suspected that the company he worked for must have benefited one way or another from the government. I could not be sure and would not ask such a question.

I did ask why would he want to donate some money to opposition parties? His answer was simple. "I do it for my children," he said. He explained that it was his choice to send his children overseas for tertiary education. He had no qualm that he had to spend extra money to send them overseas. He was however unhappy with the limited job opportunities in the country. One of his child opted to work in another country. The other child who is still in Malaysia is currently unemployed. This child is also contemplating a job opportunity overseas.

One of the reason why my friend's children prefer to work overseas is the remuneration package. The remuneration in Malaysia is low but the cost of living is high and keeps rising. Costs of vehicle and shelter have become very high to newly graduated professionals. Young professional are not able to have a decent living standard despite their high education level. They still have to look to their parents for financial support.

One big dilemma to my friend is that he cannot have his children staying near him or at least in the country. He does not have the chance to spend more time with his children once they decide to work overseas. Yet, he cannot force them to work locally if that would compromise their income and career prospect. Life will not be easy either for the children to live away from home and parents.

My friend's children are fortunate that their parents can afford to send them overseas for education and they have international qualifications. They can find a job overseas when the job opportunity in Malaysia is undesirable. Many younger generations in the country may not be as fortunate

My friend further emphasized, "Our government is either running out of ideas to continue building this country or it is simply incapable of doing so. Malaysia is losing to neighboring countries in terms of improving living standard. What we see is that our government talks a lot more than what it actually does. It spends more publicity money on newspapers, TVs and billboards than ever before. Perception seems to be more than the real situation."

I am inclined to agree with this friend. It is painful to not be able to spend time with our loved ones. It is like we are being separated away from our children by force. What have we done wrong to suffer this kind of separation from our children? We are law abiding. We pay taxes without delay. What is the good of a government that cannot take care of the welfare of its own citizens?  No one will enjoy this feeling.

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