Negara Ku no more

By CeeKay
May 30, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

MAY 30 — I was born in 1958, a year after Merdeka. My dad came from China and my mom was born in Kota Bahru, Perak. I have known Malaysia to be my one and only home and I am proud to say that I am a Malaysian anywhere I go despite all the shortcomings of this nation.

I grew up in a kampung near Alor Star where there were fewer than 10 Chinese families but we were treated well by our Malay neighbours. We celebrated Chinese New Year and Hari Raya together, visiting each others’ homes, with no fear of whether the food was halal or against our religion?

Konfrontasi bought the villagers together and I can remember my Dad and my brothers helping out doing guard duties together with our Malay neighbours. May 13 came and went without any incident and, in fact, the Chinese families were escorted out to town by our Malay neighbours. Some of my best friends were from this kampung; we swam in the stream and played in the padi fields. These are fond memories.

After Form Six, I came down to KL to study at UM with a loan from the state government which I am grateful for till today. Graduated and started my career with a big MNC. Settled down in KL/PJ area till today and I must say that I have been blessed so far.

I was lucky to be appointed CEO of an MNC at the age of 34 and today, I am the managing director of a French company. Life has been good with regular overseas trips both for business and pleasure for my family and me and I have always asked myself this question: Would I be what I am if I have left the country in the early ‘90s? Would I have been able to make it to the CEO’s position if I had left for Australia like many of my friends? The answer is NO. And I have never regretted my decision to stay on in this beloved country of ours.

But things are changing; in fact the changes started over the last 15 to 20 years. We are more polarised now, no thanks to the politicians… something which I don’t want to elaborate here. I am beginning to ask myself whether this is the country that I know.

My two sons do feel the outright discrimination. Both are straight As students and thanks to their dad who can afford to fund them through private colleges/universities, they are OK. My eldest son left for a university in the US after his pre-U here and was offered a partial scholarship based on merit even before he landed in Milwaukee.

He graduated in 2008 and is now pursuing his PhD in molecular biology at a renowned university in Texas. Guess what? Do you think he will return to Malaysia after his post-graduate studies? Can Talent Corp entice him back in view of the current political situation? The answer is NO!

My second son is a qualified accountant and is with one of the Big 4 firms. He is doing well and if there is an opportunity for him to move elsewhere, he has my blessings. Malaysia will always be home and all that is required is a bit of travelling after my retirement to visit them and also their annual trips back.

Yes, this is a great place to live, a great place for hawker food and everything else but would I want to be selfish and allow my grandchildren to suffer and endure all these discriminations? Unless there is a political will to change for the better. Until that day happens, I am sad to say that this is no longer the country that I know, that I had enjoyed my childhood and growing up years in. This is Negara Ku no more!

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 10:35 am

    To each his own lah. Emigration versus staying back depends on individual’s unique circumstances, age, temperament & attitudes and felt experience. Pastures look greener on the other far side of the fence – when one climbs over the fence some find they land on actually a lush greener spot whilst others, a spot with pastures brown surrounded by patches of weeds!
    The main thing is to evaluate your own circumtances where on balance work better for you. Don’t make a decision based on herd intinct or what others say or experience – they are different in personalities experience and circumstances. Though politics here stinks let not that push factor alone overwhelm other positive factors if they apply to your personal circumstances, and of course don’t just blame politics or a life of quiet desperation here if that were caused by your own negative attitude or personal failures or flaws because emigration to host country won’t cure that baggage, denied.

  2. #2 by setu on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 12:18 pm

    the real serious problems are the low ranking climbing the ladder middle rung politicians who are going no-where and who are deliberately playing dirty politics, in order to be recognised as so-called successful politicians, all these at a very high stakes/risks to society, and they are not bothered / least concerned if it makes society suffer.

    And then, the old successful senior politicians in authority are keeping quiet and who silently condone all such acts in order to gain popularity through / from them, much more to retain their position, and they too remain blind even if the country suffers.

    then, at the policy implementation level are the little napoleans who harshly skew all their administrative actions, who want to curry favours and climb in their career ladders, at the
    total costs of discrimination and marginalisation of the minority society.

    of course, along the way, all the above sucumb to corruption, abuse of power, enrich themselves, etc. and unconcerned if the country goes bankrupt or to the ruins.

    what a pity to the whole population, all the rakyat wants is just a simple life, a simple living and are just going their way trying to earn a decent living for their families.

  3. #3 by hallo on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 12:43 pm

    Simple one word tell you people you know

    ‘VOTE FOR CHANGE – change of gov administration – to check country account, charge corruption politicians, free from racial…..

    Simple one word


    no need to talk any further or listen any further explanation or stories


  4. #4 by jus legitimum on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 1:01 pm

    This country at the rate it goes if unchecked is heading towards joining the ranks of Zimbawi and the Philippines.It is all due to selfish and corrupted politicians who abuse powers and will not care a hoot to the well being of the nation and its people.Just open your eyes,the scums from the evil party like Mamakthir and the like,Perkasa,Pembela,Gaps and many more.All of them are pushing the country into the drain.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 1:39 pm

    CeeKay has done well here like I am sure many others, notwithstanding NEP, changes in last 15 to 20 years which make us more polarised etc.

    To some of us (Non malays) the iniquities of the pro malay NEP policies have irritated and upset our sense of fairness but personally have never adversely impacted negatively at all on our livelihood, business and work. For others they have been profited from partners receiving the favoured treatment of that policy.

    I am almost embarrassed to say it but personally in business even, without Malay partners, Malay friends and clients have singularly helped me more than persons of my own race.

    Anyway CeeKay continues: “Yes, this is a great place to live, a great place for hawker food and everything else but would I want to be selfish and allow my grandchildren to suffer and endure all these discriminations?”.

    That is their election. Surprisingly some return, stay, and prefer to stay – even when parents ask them to go, and they have all the qualifications to go!

    However nothing can be reduced to a general rule on this issue. It is, as I said, individual circumstances, here, anywhere depending whether that person has his niche and comparative advantage.

  6. #6 by wanderer on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 1:41 pm

    Now it is Negara Cook-ku!…paradise for some, hell to others.

  7. #7 by wanderer on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 2:04 pm

    Jeffrey, yes emigration is a personal decision…which we both agreed. The other matters why we emigrate, you have not touched on. As a PR of my adopted country, I am given the unemployment benefits to tie me over when times are bad. I am given almost the best medical facilities and attention when I am sick…and in “angel arms” and well taken care of… when I am too old to dream. Above all, when the time comes for me to become a citizen, I can safely say, when I get into trouble while in a foreign land, I will be given the best attention by the Embassy. Try getting that sort of attention from Bolehland, you be lucky if they do not show you their kok faces!
    The only reason, why I am still keeping my Malaysian citizenship is to deny this UMNO goons the satisfaction that the Opposition has one vote less!

  8. #8 by cseng on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 2:14 pm

    Good for CeeKay and family!, they were blessed with choice. For those not have the choice, political damages are designed for you to suffer, it does no harm Ceekay and family. Many typical Chinese are putting CeeKay and family as the life- long goal (me included, still, I am not sure if this is fortunate or unfortunate). Many Chinese would send their kids out of Malaysian after form-5, looks proud outside, but crying inside their heart, who would ask their kids to leave if they really have the choice!….. Why must we putting that that choice as our life-time goal? Must we?

    Our great-grand-parents did that, we end up as Chinese M’sian, we would be the great-grand-parents of Chinese American, Chinese Australia, etc …. Maybe this is the burden of 5000yrs of civilization, burden of culture; maybe being Chinese itself is a burden? Even Chinese China are migrating out? We are proud, we belong to everywhere, as a result, nowhere is belong to us. B’coz of that, wherever we go, we end-up Chinese la…

  9. #9 by DAP man on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 2:26 pm

    We have people calling us pendatangs. Some stupid imam says we don’t deserve any benefits and we are parasites as the country is protected by a Malay army and police.
    One clown independent MP says we should not given scholarships.
    One old Indian who became a Malays says this is Tanah Melayu.
    They fail to realize that it is the Chinese who pay the most taxes and it is Chinese who provide jobs for thousands of Malays in their officers and factories.
    Now what makes the PM think our grandchildren should live in this country?

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 4:37 pm

    Wanderer, yes unemployment benefits medical facilities etc are all the pluses which developed welfare state offers but as I said it is individual circumstances. The particular unemployed here may find it easier to start his own small business and may make more money than if they try doing the same in (say) in Australia and with money they too can afford to pay for medical atention here or elsewhere. Those like CeeKay gets medical benefits from their companies. So it depends on what one does. As employee (if one can get a job in the first place competing with locals there) its alright but it applies here too if you have a good job like CeeKay or if a corporate remisier with good pay and local clientele or a businessman with connections with either UMNO or even DAP/PKR state assemblymen to secure land for property development, why would they move when opportunities are more for them as a local ? And friends and kinship another factor, you get free hospitalisation but no one to visit you, unemployment benefits but no employment?

  11. #11 by limkamput on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 4:48 pm

    It is always like that, when we do well, we think it is due to our own effort and ingenuity and after that, our children should do even better. I can’t help but notice the smugness in this piece – you know a kampong boy who made good to become the CEO of a MNC and children doing PhD and a chartered accountant. But this fellow has overlooked how he was able to manage that – you know financing his children through private education and studying overseas. Many in his generation and probably those earlier have all benefited from the rapid growth and opportunity this country has provided. We probably deserve our achievements; but not everything is attributed to our ability. We are part of the growth story of East Asia. But having said that, I did not imply at all the growth is due to the government of Malaysia. If there is anything, our growth could have been better and more sustainable if the government has been better and cleverer.

    Now everybody is feeling the pinch, because the opportunity is less, the growth is slower and the fact that other countries have become more competitive. The government now has to work harder, indulge in less wastage and corruption, and be more innovative and productive. But we the people too have to be more realistic, work harder and be productive and when necessary work elsewhere if other places have provided us with better opportunities. This particular writer talked about the great hawker food. Let me tell him and others what is so great about hawker food now – dirty, filthy, unhygienic and taste bad. Even our hawkers are trying to exploit foreign workers and do not want to work an honest day’s work. So how then can we be great?

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 4:52 pm

    Realistically when ppl whinge about Malays, they really meant UmnoB n Perkosa Malays, who exploit d racial situation here 2 enrich themselves at d expense of all sorts of M’sians
    Ppl must ask: Y is it so difficult 2 get rid of n bring down UmnoB/BN?
    AIM 2 get every sensible patriotic voter 2 vote 4 PR n terminate UmnoB/BN’s rule

  13. #13 by hallo on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 6:25 pm

    Look at Lynas….it look like somebody taken big money….if the Lynas not on …. they get threaten be exposed… be jailed..

    So they do whatever mean they can to get it even ganster style….

    Where the government of JUSTICE to protect Malaysians?

  14. #14 by wanderer on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 7:30 pm

    Jeffrey I beg to differ. The Vietnamese boat people came with nothing and they are doing fairly well!! Much better than many unemployed in Malaysia. Chinese are basically migrant people, we survive and prosper in any place we choose to settle. The bottom line is and what I a trying to say,
    here to do business, we are given equal opportunities, education for my children and lastly, my most treasured thing, freedom to express myself and I am protected by the laws of the land. Hello! rid ISA…..

  15. #15 by KH3 on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 9:18 pm

    We born here, we live here, the lands belong to all Malaysian. We have to persist in helping the country going to the right direction. “Vote for change” is the only way we can help our next generation…….don’t give up…..if all the talents have migrated, the country will not change better, will gone…….

  16. #16 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 11:30 pm

    Damn f**k**g right!

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 11:42 pm

    If you leave it also means the likes of Ibrahim win. Think the country belongs exclusively to them?

  18. #18 by isahbiazhar on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - 12:16 am

    The smarter Chinese and Indians can surive anywhere in the world.I am in Prague now and I see the Chinese and Vietnamese doing well here which I never expected.In Dresdon Germany I was shocked to see the successful Sikh community who gather with their German friends and enjoy themselves. It shows if we Chinese and Indians work hard here we will succeed in whatever condition.We have to think of the poor bottom ones who will face all the discrimination just because they are average.Only when the Malays feel comfortable living with non Muslims we will have all the fun together.The Turks are all over Europe and they sell the kebarbs and remember the beer and the liquor that come together.I wish we change a bit to survive.We need to remember that we do not want the Muslims to change but to adapt so that all can live in peace in this country.

  19. #19 by wanderer on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - 1:25 am

    It is not those who have left gave the likes of Ibrahim Ali prominence…it is the Beggar Party MCA that sold the rights of the Chinese full scale. As for me, although I have emigrated, I am not too far away!… I still returned to cast my vote in every GE, so what difference does it make?…if I am physically here or overseas.

  20. #20 by monsterball on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - 6:43 am

    “emigrate” means live one country and settle in another.
    This means that one give up being the citizen of the original one.
    But when one can come back to cast his vote…he is not emigrting. He is working overseas..or seeking jobs overseas.

  21. #21 by Mae1000 on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - 9:56 am

    It is not about Malaysian getting more polarised, but Malays are more aware of the rights, more aware of the ways Chinese do things that endanger Malays situation. Of course Malays are accomodating but the Chinese generally are taking advantage of that. When Malays want to get back what they have, the Chinese says it is polarisation. Dasar orang China tak tau baca minda Melayu !

  22. #22 by wanderer on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 - 10:04 am

    No Monsterball, retiring overseas, away from the UMNO political thugs. Just like you buying a retirement home in a small Indo village. The concept is same as mine, only the lcation is different. We both are retired gentlemen, let us play our part and help the younger generations by casting our votes to give them a better future…and, to throw out these Bombastic thugs, who have no moral values. from Putrajaya!…that is my only interest and motive I have left for dear old Malaysia.

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