2nd Generation Malaysian Malay

When I got in UIA, I applied for PTPTN because my parents can't afford to pay for my subsidised uni fees. I'm not alone though. Almost everyone lined up to fill in their particulars for the loan application.
My chinese neighbours, who has the same number of cars and lives the same standard of living as us sent all three of their children to Australia to study. Because I studied in a private school during my highschool years (because I didn't sit for UPSR), almost all my classmates are non-malays. Most of them studied overseas.
I never wanted to settle for less. It was all circumstantial. But when I realised that my parents can't even afford my university fees, I was devastated. "You never planned for me to go to college is it???" is a question I never ask. Strangely enough, malay parents do have a rather rigorous saving habit. They save up for their children's marriage.
Everytime I see a new machine/device/furniture in my parents's homes, a permanently placed air bubble that says "That money could've been well spent on my education" looms.
Now that I'm almost going to graduate, a new problem presents itself: life after uni! Having to pay PTPTN diligently right after graduation, there is very little money to be spent on daily logistics. This is why malays graduates flock flats and apartments and eat at unhygenic food stalls. I talked about this with my dad and he said "Biasalah bang hidup bujang."
"You want me live like you when you were young? If I were you, I would want my son to have a better shot at life. I want to give my son all the advantages in life so he could better utilise his youth in becoming something of a success." is something left unsaid.
I'm frustrated, yes. Dissapointed, slightly.
But how can I be? They raised me up remember? They woke up in the middle of the night to give me milk remember? How can I deny them their material happiness when they reach their golden age when they diligently fed me milk and rice and put me to school and taught me how to pray and be a good person?
This is what all parents who had fail to provide their children education or a shot of a bright future thinks. For them, it's only logic. For me, it's wishful thinking. That logic only worked 30 years ago. Today, I see things in a different light. Everything becomes more relative, untempered with sentiments.
I hope all parents of 2nd Generation Malaysian Malays realise this and make up for their past unwise spendings. If your children graduated already, help them out by financing their home or new businesses, not your second home. If your children is still studying, ask them to stop their PTPTN and pay the fees yourself.
You're not spoiling your kids. You might think so but you're only laying a foundation to enable them to go further in life. But don't give them too much, because then you'll cripple them from having ambitions.
Whatever it is, stop planting flowers on your deathbed and start planting veggies and fruits for your children.


Anoneemus™ said...

Yeah I agree. Why didn't our parents set up a college fund for us? I'm facing what u're facing.

And I always say to myself that PTPTN will be the last resort for my future kids.

Anonymous said...

hey afiq,
as a child (coming from a middle income family), of course i understand your views.
more or less... i do agree w some of these views.

but be careful.

you might become bitter just by thinking this way, it's unhealthy.

pls rem, all parents want e best for their children.... just like all children want e best for their parents (i know you can't bear to use your parents retirement money after all).

not everyone is lucky enough to be rich. but guess wat?
you might have a happier life instead!
-at least you know you tried harder than these ppl to make something of your life. isn't that more meaningful?

somehow i can relate. ;)


AfiQ, I'm quite ambigous with you on this one. I can relate to what you are saying through personal experience, somehow I reach a different conclusion. This will be another blog post on someone else's blog but as a reply I beg your deference.

1. I don't understand what not taking UPSR has to do with going to private school as I did not take my equivalent standard 5 five assessment and ended up in MRSM. I have friends in your equivalent batch who did not take UPSR as well having been like me been brought up overseas for some reason or other (and not necessarily their parents were public servants) and still ended up in public school, without PMR no less. Still Patrick Teoh's latest posting on his Blog "NIAMAH" regarding the trouble he's facing with moving his son from Bukit A'bangsa to PJ might agree with you. Yah he concludes.. "NIAMAH!";

2. My father passed on to the lord when eldest sibling was 13, your truly 12, my younger siblings 5 and 6 respectively. With shrewd financial management my mother managed to make up some substantial savings. Yes that my late father was foresighted enough to leave some insurance policies enabled my mother with a crutch to jump start our lives without him. Some 25 years on today his legacy has in a way survived today but only because Mother who never remarried was as financially shrewd. Therefore I agree with you on the forward financial management part. Thank you mum.

3. However we were never brought to bear on the family legacy if there was any. I'm talking about something reasonable for a middle class-income-government servant-sort of legacy. My mother who she herself was a lower ranking government servant has always reminded us siblings: She will support us thru High School. Public School. So go figure. If we wanted to go to university we have to fight for our own financing from the government. Two of us went local. Two of us went overseas. All on government/ MARA scholarship whatever. I studied as hard as I could (and partied equally as hard) and had my MARA loan at UIA converted to a full scholarship. I must admit though that My mum had to fully finance our other expenses and partying expenses. Which in the case of an architectural student with a car wuch as yours must be quite a lot. We had no inkling of beinng able to do any sort of business either. So again I agree on the financial shrewdness of the parent part. But still we knew we hd to fight hard for the scholarship portion. And pay back we must if it comes to it.

4. Dear Afiq, not all of us were born with a silver spoon. If you wanted me to stake my finger on it, My brother-in-law who is an anak polis from keramat whose police-man father died when he was in university is already retired at the ripe old age of 40. Yes I consider my BIL retired. He is forty and brings his young family overseas for holidays every year.

5. My ex-wife who is 39 whose ex-government parents extent of support was largely moral in nature, took her new family including my daughter inn 2009 to Gold Coast once, Amsterdam once and London thrice for holidays. All on her own income.

6. How they achieved 4 & 5 is a totally separate discussion. But believe me it includes blood and sweat and no parent. If you really want to know, ask me. I will reply personally.

7. I come to a close conclusion that your current posting is written by a brat... BUT it is good that you can ask and think about such matters. It matters to you and it matters to your friends and ather readers.

Having said that I guess if you have a strong enough WHY you will find your HOW.

13:11 read it carefully. God will help you only if you help yourself. So if comes to it, God has nothing to do with your success, you do (yeah flame me!!).

Read it carefully because it also mentions having angels in the front and at the back. Therefore I think guidance you parent your real guardian angels support is also necessary even if it is only moral...


Afiq Deen said...

So you have to be rich and born with a silver spoon to receive tertiary education. I think not. It's all about priorities. The moment a baby is born, parents should already start a college fund. You need not to be rich to be able to send your children to college and universities.

In a way, I am sort of a brat. I can't deny this. I demanded for what is best for me and in return, I will produce and be the best. I just don't get how parents can brag about their children eventhough they played very little part in their children's develepment.

Anonymous said...

don't blame you. you are young.

young is good.


Aah, I get it. Hehe.

Its called Proud Parents Syndrome (my coinage).

When Breeders get together it starts with " Anak I..." and non breeders start too roll eyes... as would their children.

Its about parents playing a very low-key at teen agers birthday parties (read: Sleep in Master bedroom and lock the door, oor better yet go to a movie).

Yup all parents have in one way or another (if not everyday) been guilty of the prefix " Anak I..." even if the one who sat for SPM and scored the 9As and slogged for it is yours truly.

They must be reminded that sperm and ovum contribution alone just does not cut it...

Where was I? What was I talking about?... entah...


Oh I agree on the Edu Fund Part... check check and check...

(nothingness) said...

perhaps you are right. malay parents don't put their children's education as a priority.

but then so do australian parents, i noticed. many of my friends work part time to support themselves.

i have two friends from hong kong who took a break from university to work - just so that they can pay off their university fees.

at the end of the day, our education lies in our hands, i guess. some are lucky to have good parents, some are lucky to have the support of organisations and their government.

forky said...

my parents could well afford my studies. however i had to pay for my own education from the age of 16 all the way to my bachelor. all that because my parents think i should not study so much since i'll end up being a housewife anyway.

for what it's worth, at least we won't be one of them who follow the cycle of their parents, and the generations before.

welcome to the club, mate.