Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
- 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)
- Do nothing at all
- Do something meaningful
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
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?
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.
(The Living Legend hopes you guys like it)
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
> 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
> I hope you are able to attend,
> Wendy Little
> Wendy Little
> Communications Officer
> School of Media and Communication
|Congrats! Does it mean$?? LOL|
Monday, May 2, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
TalentCorp: Unanswered Questions
In 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.
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?
In 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)