Over the last 1 month I was in Malaysia, I was in the country to witness our prime minister corruption scandal, and enough real life drama to remind myself that I have not made the wrong decision to leave this country behind. Many friends have credited past prime minister on how he managed to help the country’s economy, but I am writing this post to share my story on what made me so determined to leave this country in the first place.
Here’s a little history of my family. I am a 6th generation Malaysian born Chinese. Because our family had been in Malaysia for so long (currently in its 7th generation), we had long left our roots behind to embrace being a Malaysian 4 generations ago. Our family speaks fluent Bahasa and English, with mandarin being a acquired language. My grandfather had always hated MCA, and he always reminded us on why we needed to vote for a party that would represent Malaysians, instead of just a specific race.
Until the day he passed on, he continues to believe that he would be able to see a Malaysian’s Malaysia. He left us 4 years ago. As a child, I grew up with my father’s friends, who were majority Malays. In fact, it was them who taught me the values of what it meant to be a Malaysian. I was sent to a Chinese primary school, and on the first day of school, my parents reminded me that I am there to learn an extra language. So I hated it when teachers kept reminding me that I am a Chinese during primary years.
Things started going downhill during my secondary years. Many people have credited Pak Lah administration for lowering our countries debt, but little did many know that during the period between 2006 – 2009, many businesses were accused for tax eviction. As my father’s business recovers from the 1997 economy crisis, tax officers came to my father’s office in 2006 to demand payment. Even after showing proof of yearly tax payments by the company’s accountant and auditor, the officer used 1 line that says it all “You kerajaan atau I kerajaan? S’krang kerajaan perlu duit, so mari cari you orang niaga”. a 6 digits figure was what my father had to bare, despite knowing that he had conducted his business well, and paid his taxes. Was it not for our education, my dad would had choose to cease his business operation.
Many years later, I had found out that my father business was not the only one. To some, a 6 digits figure was a small sum. Some had to sell properties to paid the figures demanded by the officer. 3 years after I furthered my studies abroad, my parents were involved in an accident. They were rear ended by a speeding car and crashed into the divider. Luckily, they survived the accident with out treatment injuries. But the car was totaled. However, during the ruling, they were blamed for the accident, and when protested, the officer told my parents this line “Kesian itu budak M*****, you orang cina ada duit bikini kereta, bagi dia lah”. My father threaten to bring the matter to court, and thanks to a friend, the case was escalated upwards to re-examine the accident scenario.
Like many angry Malaysians seeking to change, I am not interested in the ruling power, but merely to be treated equally as citizen of Malaysia. Many had asked, what have I contributed to the country for being abroad, but the truth is, my family had been contributing to the development of the country. We pay our taxes, and invested in businesses to build the economy. Until today, my father have consistently enforced a policy to hire only Malaysians for his operation.
Another reason that prompted me to tell this story is my anger for the government abuse of fund. Many of my father’s workers are urban poor. Despite living in the city, they have to dropped out of secondary school to help support the family. Never mind if you pick on us and all, but there are Malaysians like them out there who needs the help, they are nothing less a Malaysian. 2.6 billions, a sum majority will never live to see. It could had been funds to boost the economy, provide for the poor, and so. Also, I have to put this here because apparently a certain “cough cough” news portal think this is too radical.