Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep your ideal, Amanda!

This morning, I came across an article written by Amanda Fan at TMI entitled "Come home, Malaysians!" (here) and closed the window after reading it. After a while I thought I should have shared it on FB, so I googled for the article. Then I found another article written by Timothy Tiah back in 2011 with the same title "Come Home Malaysians" (here). Now I am seeing the Malaysiakini sharing the same article by Amanda with a different title "Stay and help change Malaysia for the better" (here

Since I decided to chill a bit today and brain drain has always been an issue that is very close to my heart, I read all the comments at all the 3 sites. Many people left comments to Amanda and Timothy Tiah to tell them the real problem and advised them to get down to the reality. To summarize all of those comments, the overall dilemma are the following, 'how can we encourage people to come back to Malaysia when there is no equal opportunity?' 'how can we encourage them to come back when they can earn much more and reach their full potential else where?' We just can't. Unfortunately, we just can't. 

Nevertheless, I AM WITH YOU AMANDA! Hold on to that ideal and never let it die even when the reality hits in. Study hard, excel in your university and come back to serve the nation never mind the imperfections. And when you are back, make sure you are actively involved in making a difference here in Malaysia, big or small.

Having said all that, be ready for the difficult reality. When I was back in the end of 2010, my first Malaysian salary was less than 15% of what I was previously paid. Even doing my own business now, I am still earning less than what I used to earn.  And before you know it, you'll soon find that your peers who decided to work elsewhere are earning much more and living a much better life than you do. But Amanda, you know what, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I've met many professional Malaysians who decided to come back to serve the country regardless of pay and promotion, some of them even chose to work in the governmental sectors to improve the efficiency. Just like you probably will, I admire them for what they are doing.

Amanda, holding on to that ideal is not easy at all, but I strongly believe that there is HOPE for CHANGE. Let's do our part to make this land a better land, and when we are done, we'll never regret the decision we make today. 

So Amanda, are you REALLY ready for that? If yes, I welcome you to join us in the journey of change in Malaysia.