Monday, 22 August 2011

OK, Repeating Paper...

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

Gosh, I almost faint after I check back my postgraduate programmes guidebook. I still have to repeat the paper for European Union Politics and Decision Making because C is not a pass grade. We have to at least get C+ (2.33) for all of papers. Sometimes we feel like we want to return to the past and never take any risk but just stay safe. However I never opt for security but always fallen into this kind of situation :'(

Just for everyone to see, though Publick Learning Institution is 'free' for everyone, we still have to pay for everything. It just appears like convenient but in reality it is not. Nothing is free, not even our breath in this world. During our degree time, we just get the loan from National Higher Education Loan (PTPTN). It is a loan with 3% interest and after the introduction of Ujrah system which I am not really sure on how to calculate it. I just know that the 3% interest is reduced to 1% through this system. Since we are non-chosen students and of poor family, we borrow money from the national loaning system. I just took 15% of the loan for first degree and I paid the loan back even though I was jobless with my savings just few months after finishing studies. I just spend those loan strictly for studies. I never buy any motorcycle or trying to impress girls or friends with loan money. I didn't know that higher education is not a must for us. If I know about this, I would rather stay as an overseer or an operator in factory just after I finished my MCE. At least I do not burden others including our 'government' or society.

I always admire our labor compatriots working as lorry drivers, operators in factory or other kids who never have any opportunities to study because they know what is the reality of life down there though they might not know how to paraphrase in words due to the lack of education. I befriend with some of them like Wan who was a year younger than me. His hometown is in Baling. I get to know him when I took my driving license around 2009. In the beginning I thought that he was from Kelantan. The way he talked to me made me wanted to hit his face since I thought that he was mocking me trying to imitate my northern accent mixed with Patanese sound. When he told me he was from Baling only that made me more friendly to him as I know, that is the way they talk. He never sit for Malaysian Certificate Examination (SPM), but at least he is brave to come down to Kuala Lumpur to find job with little expenditure, with low pay, and alone without any friend by his side. I had lost contact with him but I wish him happiness, fortune, well-being and health always.

For post-graduate students, there are mini-budget something but last time I didn't get any access to it and now it's over. My computer skill is very bad. I just learned to manage this blog slowly. So, I just used my own savings from previous working experience to pay the fee. I was stingy with myself and I hold tight my belly, never spend my time with friends, nor outing to experience world around until I don't feel anything interest me anymore. I just went out these recent for rehlah with minimum budget and tight plannings due to that I was so tensed. 

Sometimes I helped my sisters or other friends. If they are generous, they would donate me something if no, then I do not want anything. I never ask money, I just help others to free them from burden. I understand people's situation. Sometimes my parents would financially support me, I can't ask them anymore since I am already a man not a kid. It is a shame to burden them, can't even see their face for being a useless child. So, when we pay ourselves only we know how much that we spent for our studies.

This is in conjunction with what had already happened in the United States and not to forget Britain regarding the increase in educational fees. Students may take this as comparison to the situation in their respective countries. We do not have welfare government here. I don't feel like migrating to Europe or any other humanitarian Northern countries like some 'barbaric' South Asian Muslims who wanted to turn other region to be regions under their dominion while getting the benefits out of European or Northern countries tax-payers' money. The only thing that amuse me now is only the God, though I can't see Him with my lowly material eyes. I am looking for Him and His beautiful Love.

In Malaysia here for post-graduate degree, we spent for a semester like this coming semester about RM3,880 which is around USD1308.16, EU904.20 or GBP792.27.  University fees includes:

Tuition Fees RM3,450 (RM150 x 23 units where 20 units are for our own dissertation cost)
Exam Fees RM345 (RM15 x 23 units)
Commuter Bus Service RM60
Health Service Fees RM20
Student Welfare Fund RM5

Total : RM3,880 

That is only for university cost and I know it is still considered as cheap when we convert our money to European or American currency but the living cost is not cheap. It does not include forced language class in the language center (enforced by the director of language center) and room rental in which we have to pay for every month and it is permanent for the years we are studying and having classes in here. 

Forced Language Class RM300 per semester (2 semesters obligatory course will cost us RM600)
Room Rental RM120 per month (we have to stuck here about 2 bloody years and it costs us around RM3000) 

Altogether total until the end to come is : RM10,000 (EU2,331.16)

To cover all of these, we perhaps have to work in convenient store or restaurants or in the supermarket like in Tesco. But it would take us our time and energy which also affecting us in our thesis working for little payment. Poor people like us could work even harder than Bangladeshi migrant workers and we receive same or even worse treatment like those migrant workers. Politicians up there are just talking like it is easy for them while most of them up above the rank never experience what we in the lower root are experiencing. They study abroad since young, they inherit their grandparents' feudal inheritance since colonial time and they maintain it in evolutionized form where now they become leaders of a modern country. Their children will so on possess that. Unfortunate once upon a time sultanate feudal lords' descents like us would still have to survive like other paupers, we do not properly get any inheritance from our elders.

In northern states like Kedah sultanate before the formation of Malaysia and other modern countries today through Atlantic agreement, there are people who were appointed as chieftains in districts by the sultan. These people act as the vassal lords for the sultan who controls the sultanate with his administration. The court of the raja of Perlis for example was descended of Arau district chieftain before they are appointed to hold the kingship for a separate state which was actually apart of our unified sultanate. I am not sure about other states in Malaysia but several federal politicians are the grandchildren of certain states' ministers, everyone knows that. Previously, these states in modern Malaysia were not unified under federal administration system like today though sometimes we would stuck in lame racial or homogeneity pre-colonial time issue when those politicians regardless what party they are representing play the issue to get vote. I began to understand all of these when I was stuck in form six classes (2005).  

As for me, to visit Thailand for three days or going out for local towns just for sightseeing, I have to really check my expenditure. Compared to Public Service Department (JPA) or Citizen's Trust Council (MARA) scholarship students in Europe or abroad for example who have sponsorship for them to visit other European countries or places if they are feeling tensed or releasing the burden in mind. I do understand, they deserve that. They study well and they've got good results having no problems during schooling time. Even non-Bumi fellow students too wanted that privilege. I am a Bumi myself since peranakan people are classified as Bumis and 'Malay' like normal Malays according to states' law and British nation-state recognition in police stations with officers from straits and federated states. I do not get all of those things first because I have no connection or acquaintances in certain department, and second I am not good in studies as in Malaysia we are judged from our examination and not from our thinking, no recognition for differences in ability and talent or real ability shown outside of the paper. I just consider myself as unfortunate. Instead, all of these things previously made me a boy full of hatred to the world until I had to submit myself to Buddha's teaching and trying to legally destroy myself according to meditation manner since I can't change anything when I was in my lower secondary education.

Next semester, our class would be full class and another next semester would be the same. Studying like this for me is a night-mare experience. I don't even use our university clinics instead I'm just depending on natural remedies, yet we have to pay for the fees in every semester. I had bad experiences with public servants in hospitals or clinics. I saw my dad was treated like white rat in the hospital. We have to sign the paper saying that hospital could put on surgery with him and making him as an experiment toy for medical students. Luckily mum refused to sign those papers though she didn't pass her MCE. This happened many years ago, before he was admitted to the National Heart Institute in 2000. 

My experience, I was almost dying with dengue and to check the symptoms at the medical assistant in the most sophisticated clinics in federal government territory took me in waiting from morning at 8:00 to 16:00 almost time out for public servants. There wasn't so many people and I never demand any VVIP treatment because I know who I am and my place. When I went into the room, I saw that the medical assistant was having his leisure time with yahoo messenger. I was affected by dengue symptoms for about three times. The third time, I almost passed out alone without no one realizing it outside of my school in Jalan Semenyih in Kajang. It is not my intention to talk about government weaknesses or public servants as government will always change. Nobody is perfect too. It is about the attitude of our society and morality. It includes everything such as systems and institutions around and how concern are our society to the environment. Institutions and systems are controlled by men.

When we try to tell them that we are suffering, they would pose up that there are many people suffering in the world. But those person who cast out those words are not experiencing what those people who suffer in the world are experiencing. People are not the same, their experience are not the same too. We do not realize about it unless if we are in their shoes. I remember I read the same thing, about Gautama Buddha who went out of his dad's palace when he saw samsarn (sufferings). He is the son of a king but he had lowered himself to experience what others' had experienced. Most of our politicians or people who always talk to others because they actually never know what others' had experienced in this country are "Muslims." Have they ever try to do what Gautama Buddha did? If Buddha is not an Islamic example, then have everyone of us really try following what our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w did in his early prophethood time? Muhammad s.a.w was not a fortunate child too. He lost his father and his mother. Then many people that he love passed away leaving him alone without any support to preach Allah's teaching :'(

This is a bit of a local bumiputera student in a south east Asia country experience as a post-degree student lack of mobility. I believe other compatriots and fellow south east Asian countries' citizen must have their own stories too. Out of government help except for family support and generous friends' donation for now. Even, without any direct help from government, we still sacrifice ourselves for the nation, humanity and civilization without bothering our own comfort. I do not know whether I could apply for zakat and I do not think that we are eligible for that. Maybe we try to survive until our last breath because when we complain to human-being, we would only get nothing except for stigma. Menosia dah senang biasanya demo lupa orang lain... This period is the period of evil. We only believe in Allah and His teachings. If we can't survive, may Allah helps us with our faith to Him and His messenger, insyaallah... (I'm thinking of death, I miss it now)

Sealed with prayers for peace, mercy, and love, amin!  

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