Our education minister is recently getting a lot of heat after he blurted out some pretty controversial statements saying that the quota system for matriculation is needed because the job market is unfair to bumiputeras and that other races are rich therefore they can afford to go the private universities.
Netizens took to the internet to share their views on his statements and it’s obvious that what he said definitely left a big mark on his reputation.
Recently, local artist Chai Zi also wrote an open letter to Dr Maszlee explaining how his assumption of other races being rich enough to afford to enroll into private universities is not true. Poverty knows no race guys!
To debunk this, he shares his story.
He shares that he’s an SPM candidate of year 1994 and he was proud because he scored 9As, including Bahasa Malaysia.
Despite passing with flying colours, he was denied enrollment by local universities. He was left distraught, thinking it was the end of the world for him as his parents were already 57-years-old and long retired from their tin mining jobs.
His dad was not faltered. He insisted that Chai Zi must get a degree and was even willing to exhaust all his EPF savings to ensure his beloved son had a bright future. Aww, my heart! </3
Left with no option, Chai Zi was “forced” to turn to a private university for his education and did his twinning programme there as that was the only course that was offered at the time. The twinning programme meant he had to study for 2 years in Malaysia, and then another 2 overseas.
When he was in the US, it was all about studying hard and working hard, literally. Chai Zi had to toil away for hours at work to pay off his tuition fees and living expenses. He shared that he was not alone on this laborious journey.
Chai Zi shares with WORLD OF BUZZ that a senior of his advised him that as long as he pinched and scraped, he should be able to cover his expenses through university. He knew what he was getting into when he applied for the twinning course and was already prepared to work.
The second week after arriving to USA, he already started working!
“I used ‘WE’ here because I wasn’t alone. There were quite a few of my non-bumi unimates who were in the same situation like me. In fact, I had a senior, Soon, who even “sold” his blood and became a lab rat for Harris Laboratories to test out the latest medicines to earn his tuition fees.
“I didn’t have the guts like him, hence what I did was take up a lot of subjects in each semester to shorten my university life. I remember the most that I had taken were 7 subjects in a semester (most students would be at 3 or 4 subjects) and yet I worked for 20 hours per week.”
Chai Zi revealed the hardships he had to go through to pay these expensive school fees which included dish washing in cafeterias and cleaning toilets – it was bad because his hands were allergic to detergents but even when the skin cracked and bled, he still had to soldier on. On top of that he had to study for his 7 subject in a single semester which he exclaimed “is no joke”.
“Encik Maszlee, I am sure my story is just one out of many out there for those “berada” non-bumis whom you label and assume can afford to go to private colleges!!”
He ends his post explaining that he knows things are not going to change overnight for the “new” Malaysia, but he definitely hopes that there will be ‘harapan’ in the coming future.
Despite the colour of our skin or the depth of our pockets, perhaps education should be given to those who deserve it. What are your thoughts on this and also how did you feel about Maszlee’s controversial statements? Share it with us in the comments section!
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