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.