These students must have had first hand tutoring by their parents as to how life really is like in Malaysia. And they are children from all walks of life, not just a particular race or income group.
These children already have a negative perception of their life in the future. Several of them expressed openly the wish to cross over “to greener pastures” when the circumstances are in their favor.
Are we already witnessing the so called “brain drain” syndrome as early as in primary school now?
In the past, the “brain drain” syndrome was usually associated with tertiary graduates. But it looks as if now the government has to address the problem of convincing an even younger set of scholars not to leave the country.
Why do these negative sentiments occupy the thoughts of more and more Malaysians from all across society?
The reasons are wide and varied. But perhaps we need to start by looking into corruption. Most politicians from the BN government think of corruption as not being a serious problem but just a perception.
But the truth is, if a survey is to be conducted today, most Malaysians are of the view that corruption is taking its toll on the country and needs to be kept in check. More and more Malaysians view corruption as “the mother of all problems in this country.”
Perception wise, Malaysia is considered to be the most corrupt country on the Asian continent right now.
While there are public authorities with the clout to weed out corruption in Malaysia, people are also of the view that the fight against corruption lacks political will and enforcement.
Despite numerous complaints of corruption lodged with government authorities, the ensuing result usually ends up drawing a blank as the corrupt get away easily in most cases.
This is because corruption among the authorities itself has peaked to an all-time high and it is widespread and rampant in the civil service.
Cost of living
In terms of cost of living, the scaling down of subsidies on essential goods and services has witnessed a marked increase in the prices of goods and services. However, this has not brought about in most instances a higher or better quality of goods and services being provided.
This has actually led to a price spiral which has not been balanced by an increase in incomes though the productivity of the private sector especially has greatly improved.
While the quality of productivity in the public sector is still wanting, owing to the fact that the civil service is grossly bloated and needs to be trimmed down drastically, the government seems to have taken pains to keep salary scales of civil servants about on par with the cost of living.
Surprisingly, while in the private sector workers are expected to multi-task quite often, in the public sector, work that should be done by a sole worker is usually spread out over four or five workers.
Why? This is because the civil service is a sure bet to give BN the votes. This is another form of covert corruption.
If anyone touts the quality of education in Malaysia from nursery to tertiary as world class in nature, they need to go through the education system with a fine toothcomb to realize that the quality of education has dropped in standard and we are witnessing more students who lack depth.
This translates into school leavers and college or university graduates finding it difficult to market themselves.
More often than not it is the command of the language of globalization – English – that makes them unsuitable candidates for vacancies, with more organisations, especially in the private sector, retaining workers who want to retire or even resorting to employing mature age workers.
In the dispensing of health care treatment for Malaysians, public hospitals are often found to be overcrowded, with patients often attended to by overworked doctors, who prefer to opt more for preventive rather than curative services.
While it is conceded that prevention is better than cure, the emphasis on preventive medicine has led to a pile up of patients who repeatedly have to return and this creates congestion almost every day in government hospitals.
While cures might not be readily available for most ailments, the health ministry needs to overhaul the health care system to ensure it provides the foremost in medical services.
If the government health care system needs to be revamped, the private health care sector certainly needs to rid itself of the dubious reputation they have earned as largely money mongers making money out of the misery of the sick and infirm.
Private health care costs have really escalated to astronomical levels. Perhaps it is time to cap a ceiling on the costs they charge for their services and the industry be placed under regulatory measures.
If Malaysia now is in a flux, the most visible sign of this is on Malaysian roads where daily the stress of driving in traffic gridlock causes great stress and tension on the human system.
While we witness more luxury and up market vehicles now, the measure of satisfaction is not enjoyed much as driving and riding takes its toll on our senses, evidenced by the country having among the highest death rates on the road in the world.
Public transportation has improved, but it needs to improve much further that more Malaysians opt to commute on them.
While cost of fares are considered affordable, not many choose to use public transport as it is yet to be integrated into a practical, functional and comfortable way to make using public transportation a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Housing Malaysia’s 28 million population is a formidable challenge. What has transpired is the erection of shoddy dwellings and often precociously built on hill slopes posing a danger to the owners of these properties.
Other concerns include the prices of properties that have skyrocketed to put a decent apartment or house out of the reach of more and more Malaysians.
The high density of neighborhoods thronging with residents and chock-a-block with traffic makes living conditions unbearable for the average Malaysian unless they belong to the minority high income group living in secluded and posh areas.
Unhappy and miserable Malaysians
While the day-to-day concerns of Malaysians are growing, the authorities are not up to the mark in providing the kind of Quality of Life (QOL) that most Malaysians crave for despite much focus being put into developing the country over the last few decades.
What has evolved out of Malaysia’s development model are bits and pieces of sustainable, quality development and mostly “make-do” facilities and amenities that has created haphazard and unbalanced progress and a society at dissatisfaction with what has so far materialized.
Every sector and segment of society is beginning to voice out complaints in growing numbers and Malaysians are a disgruntled lot as they definitely don’t see their QOL improving in a systematic and organized way and therefore are unlikely to see Wawasan 2020 (the year Malaysia is to become a fully developed nation) fulfilled the way they want it even if the vision is achieved to the satisfaction of the powers-that-be.
The need to make a real and visible transformation or reformation as of now is imperative.
If changes for the betterment of all are not implemented, it is likely that Malaysia stands not only to lose from the globalization exercise but also from becoming a successfully developed country as it rightfully should be because of the shortcomings and failings in the key areas of Malaysian life by the BN-led government.