Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Year, Another Doctor

Congratulations to Dr. Wong Pik Yuet on graduating with her medical degree from Kursk State Medical University, Russia.



(The Living Legend is seriously contemplating doing a PhD just to be a Dr like the rest of his cousins)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Damn Do I Hate The Conservatives

We spend our whole childhood basically in school or in tuition classes trying to get good grades. As we grow older, our parents slowly shift that responsibility to us indirectly by sending us to college and feeding us with your everyday propaganda that "they aren't going to be around any longer, and we need to learn to feed ourselves".

So being scared out of our minds teenagers, we start asking, googling and researching what are the most logical and lucrative careers there is out there. Some go into accountancy because they know there is a demand for it, some go into the science stream (biomedical science, chemistry or etc) because that's where "the smart people" go and the rest follow their passion, while the minority go into degrees they care nothing about but know that is necessary for survival.

And when graduation looms, some realize that they have just spent the last 4 years miserably while some realize that they love what they do. Either way, I've always had a few theories in life that I stick to till today.

  1. Do something that makes you rich (not 100 dollars more than the rest but if the average graduate salary is RM 2, 700, you should be earning RM3,500)
  2. Do nothing at all
  3. Do something meaningful

The idea of being a middle-class society to me seems like a stupid idea. The problem with being in the middle-class is that you always take things safe. From your love life to your career choices, decisions were always carried out conservatively.

I see no innovation, I see no motivation, I see nothing.

This is what I ask myself every night before I sleep, "Do I really want to follow the current pathway I'm heading towards?" because quite frankly I've been living and am theoretically heading for that horrible lifestyle I call as the "middle-class".

I probably will never have a family or a settled down lifestyle with the choices I tend to make in life, but when the rapture comes, all I need to know is that I made a difference in one person's life. Whether if it is me helping the person or stealing all the person's money, doesn't matter. A difference is a difference.

I've always said that I like to be rich but if the alternative to that is to be just shy of being rich, i rather be on the poorer side of the community making a difference to society or at least doing something I love.

(The Living Legend is certainly not content with just being in the middle of nowhere)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Real World Experience

So as many of you can see at the bottom of this post, lies my second ever article on LoyarBurok. Admittedly it was edited by an editor for the blawg but by and large the piece was written by me.

I have to admit that it has been an interesting process. I've written on my own blog and for assignments plenty of times. But writing for a bigger scale, an arena where you know you're going to be judge adds a certain amount of pressure previously not there.

You're torn between telling how you really feel and telling what people want to hear. This is not like newspaper reporting where you're just reporting the facts, LoyarBurok is essentially about writing opinion pieces with facts to back up your arguments.

But as we all know, facts can be easily manipulated to support both sides. Either way, I have found it to be a very enriching experience especially contributing to my entire degree experience as a whole.

For anybody ever interested in publishing yourself at LoyarBurok, I suggest that you do it. You won't regret it.

(The Living Legend is wondering what to write for his next article)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Move Forward

Wong Chee Mun writes about education in Malaysia today. In being grateful for the Government’s move to award scholarships to high-achieving students based purely on meritocracy, we must also ponder - is education a privilege or is it a right?

Students | source - http://www.flickr.com/photos/azmil77/2813499920/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Students | source - http://www.flickr.com/photos/azmil77/2813499920/sizes/m/in/photostream/

FIRST OFF, I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND THE GOVERNMENT for awarding every student who received 8As and above a scholarship regardless of their race and gender. It shows that we as a nation are moving a step forward in opening opportunities as opposed to the previous system in which students had no guarantees of any kind.

Moreover, the government has also guaranteed these kids an opportunity to pursue higher education, whether local or overseas. Higher education is a privilege and not something that everyone has access to.

You always hear stories from your parents about how they had to work from the ground up or how they had to work and study at the same time. Our grandparents consistently tell us that they had to drop out of secondary school just to support their family.

Those times were obviously different. Having a college degree was not a necessity then. Yet, access to higher education is just as difficult today due to cost and many other reasons. To make matters worse, most jobs now require having some form of college qualification which makes it almost a necessity.

I still remember many of my friends and acquaintances who took on heavy workloads during SPM. Some took the basic 10 subjects and I even knew of some who took on 14 some subjects. Undoubtedly, most of them took it with the confidence that they would score a good number of As if not all of them.

But most of them also took that amount of workload because they felt it would help them in applying for scholarships such as the ever so popular Public Service Department (PSD) Scholarship.

Of course, we were all under the impression that we also had to be "well-balanced" students as well as "book smart". So many of these people also participated in extra-curricular activities such as sports and clubs and societies, in school.

And when the time came for them to reap the benefits, some celebrated in glory while the rest were shocked by their rejection letters. There were a few who did not really mind the rejection but their parents on the other hand did not take it so lightly. They appealed and even wrote letters to the media to express their disappointment.

With the price tag on education continuously increasing year after year, it is no surprise that parents are the ones who are more concerned than the kids as they are the ones who have to bear the financial consequences.

I am thankful for my parents being hardworking middle-class citizens who are able to fund my education.

So, our Government’s new "colour-blind" approach will hopefully mean we no longer hear complaints that the allocation of the scholarship was influenced by race related issues. This will truly embody the 1 Malaysia spirit that the government has been trying to promote.

That said, I hope all future SPM candidates from now on take this opportunity to get good grades as this represents an opportunity those in the generations before ours had. You do not want to end up being a graduate with hefty student loans and no job-security. It is not something any prospective graduate student looks forward to.

I also hope that this is not a one-off or short-term initiative by the government this year. As I understand it, they also did the same thing last year by awarding top students scholarships but it is my greatest hope that the Government continue with this approach for many years to come.

Wong Chee Mun was never the smartest kid in class but understands the importance of knowledge and is grateful for his education.


Source: LoyarBurok


(The Living Legend hopes you guys like it)

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Chose The Wrong Path. Period.

Despite all the good that has been happening to me lately, I feel rather depressed.

Maybe it's the after effect from losing a friend, or maybe it's the realization that this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I know I'm only 20 but I had a plan, and this is not what the plan was suppose to be.

I thought I could relinquish the plan and go with the flow. I am usually good at adapting and being more versatile when it comes to things like this.

But today, I cannot.

I tried everything. But today, I surrender.


(The Living Legend has officially ran out of tricks to pull out from his hat)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Unbelievable

Dear Chee,
>
> Congratulations, you have been awarded:
>
> The Dean's Award
> Awarded for the best all round performance by an international student in
> their course of study in their first year
>
> You are invited to be presented with your award at the ceremony on May 30
> along with the other recipients from the school. Attached is an
> invitation.
>
> I hope you are able to attend,
>
> regards
> Wendy Little
>
> Wendy Little
> Communications Officer
> School of Media and Communication


Reactions from my parents:

Dad:
Congrats! Does it mean$?? LOL

Mum:
wow !...what did he do to earn this award ?


Haha and that ladies and gentleman concludes the thesis that Asian parents only care about one thing; money. Notice the first reaction and the second reaction which included the word EARN.

Even unintentionally, money is our main priority.

(The Living Legend is pretty surprised but at the same time happy he is making up on lost ground at RMIT)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Youlookstrange's Visit to The Big City

It was a warm sunny day.....























(The Living Legend is severely traumatized by the death of his friend)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lessons From The Royal Wedding of 2011

Yesterday we saw a real life fairytale before our very eyes. Over 2 billion viewers were estimated to have tuned into their televisions just to watch this lovely occasion.

So what did we learn from yesterday?

We learnt that love is blind. We learnt that Disney was a major sponsor for this Beauty & The Beast event.

But most of all, we learnt that by sending your kid to a country or university where there is a monarchy, there is a good chance your kid might just return royal, LITERALLY!

(The Living Legend wishes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moving Forward

As my first semester for the year come towards an end, I find myself gearing my life towards building a future career.

For instance, unlike last year, I have already begun applying for internships even though I have absolutely no confirmation of when I will have the time to do so and in conjunction with that, I have also begun browsing through possible jobs when I graduate or at least just seeing what the job market is like.

As you already know I have started to take writing a little bit more seriously and will hopefully be publishing more articles on Loyar Burok very soon. Since we are on that topic, I have to say that the concept that Loyar Burok is using is pretty interesting. It's basically a website that is ran by a group of people who write as well as edit other people's work. Essentially anybody can write in it (of course it has to be newsworthy). All you have to do is know how to write, and have the courage to click send.

Anyway, while I may not feel the pressure just as yet, I do know that when the time comes, I will be one of those final year students who will be all worried about his future even though I plan to marry into money and just become an overqualified househusband =p

(The Living Legend is doing some research for his next article and hopes to publish it middle of May)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Article

TalentCorp: Unanswered Questions

20 April, 2011
By Wong Chee Mun

image_galleryIn the past few days, I have noticed that TalentCorp’s plan of attracting back Malaysians and expatriates to our country has gained some speed, or at least some media coverage.

Source: Star Online

Source: Star Online

The government has proposed a flat rate of 15 per cent tax for five years for the ‘returning expert Malaysians’. It is meant to be an incentive for them by choosing to return home but I have also noticed a number of comments on Facebook and Twitter asking "what about those ‘loyal experts’ who chose to stay?"

And I agree with that question - what about those who had chosen to stay? Do they now have to absorb the costs of attracting ‘expert Malaysians’ back?

As a Malaysian student studying overseas, I cannot help but wonder if coming home is going to be the right thing for me to do once I graduate.

For one thing, our country’s political stability is no better than what is going on in the Middle East. With the next General Elections coming up sooner or later, our country’s political state is hanging in the balance. Allow me to pose two scenarios which may potentially happen:

In the first scenario, let’s say hypothetically that the Opposition takes over Putrajaya. Will the proposed plan still be in place? Or does the Opposition have a better plan to attract Malaysian talents back? More importantly do they even care? Will TalentCorp still be around to begin with?

The second scenario would be the current Federal Government winning the next General Elections. This should mean that TalentCorp’s plan is still intact. In that case, is the 15 per cent flat rate tax the only benefit that returning Malaysians will receive? What about a promise of career progression? Higher starting salaries?

Of course, I do not expect miracles to happen overnight but as I survey potential jobs in Australia, I cannot help but notice the much higher salaries as well as superannuation (their version of EPF).

I am currently paying approximately RM60, 000 a year just for school fees for a three-year degree course. If I do choose to come back home to begin my career (which I currently am inclining to), will I be able to earn back the amount I invested on my education?

27526_127536217259739_6777_nIn Melbourne, the minimum wage for a part-time job is A$15 an hour and as a international student, I will be entitled to work up to 20 hours a week during schooling days and as many hours as I wish during holidays. By my calculation, if I work the maximum 20 hours a week, I should be able to earn up to A$1,200 in one month before tax, which is approximately RM3,600 at the current exchange rate.

I personally know of many local students, who work slightly above 20 hours per week and are able to pay their own tuition fees. Of course they are charged much cheaper but if I were studying back home, would I be able to do the same?

Can our government match that salary? Even disregarding the exchange rate and we measure it dollar for ringgit, I have doubts that our Malaysian salary per hour is anywhere close to what is being offered on the table in Melbourne.

So before we look at attracting Malaysians back, we should also look into certain policies such as implementing a minimum wage policy. It does not have to be A$15 an hour but it certainly needs to be at a competitive rate. It is simple policies like that which will keep our talents to begin with.

So with the General Elections just around the corner, these are questions that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat need to start addressing if their plan is really to recruit "expert Malaysians" back or more fundamentally, keeping their current talents.

Wong Chee Mun is a student at RMIT University who hopes for a better Malaysia when he graduates in 2012.


For those interested, you can read this at Loyar Burok

(The Living Legend is proud to see his degree putting into good use)