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Thread: Is grass greener on the other side?

  1. #1
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    Is grass greener on the other side?

    This is in response to Greenwich’s question in KLIA thread.

    Well after more than 2 decades, it seems right to take a look at what happen here and the other side of the fence. Yes, indeed my friend and I talk about it too.

    This is what happen here:

    First 15 years were very challenging for us here, both my better half and I work very hard for our employers. Every day was a routine. Life was tough for me as working parent. There isn’t significant saving. Then we decided to step out of the routine. After that, I was able to give more to my children.

    I believe my children have fantastic childhood. They get to join a lot of activities, in their teens they started to participate in international events. They don’t need to attend endless tuitions. If they have any regular extra classes, it is something they can’t get in school, for example Piano and foreign languages. They have their meals well taken care of. They stand as tall among the whites.

    My children went to SJKC, then SMK. They performed above average in schools. I happen to have 1 girl same 'lunar age' as my friend’s. After SMK, she studied A level, then was offered a place to study at one of the world top 10 rank universities. My girl didn’t take that offer. If she did, she could have also apply for a government scholarship (the Uni and course is in government sponsorship list). Instead, she went for a highly selective university in another country.

    Today, we live in our own house, quite a relaxing life compare to before. I think we have enough saving for old age. Life is good, but government is not!

    What happen there?

    I don’t know exactly how many years, probably about the same as us, my friend and his wife work really long hours. Their daily life were work, sleep, work, sleep routine. Whatever earning, minus eating and room rental would be their saving, they have no time and no energy for travelling or shopping.

    They have only 1 girl, she was sent to a private school in the early morning, the school provides after school care. Daily, at about 6pm, another friend would pick up the girl who then pick up by my friend at about 8pm. After school tuition was provided by the private school. Excellent school, I was told. The girl later went on to study at one of NY top 10 high school. After that, she was accepted by an Ivy League university. The parents didn’t allow her to enroll into that Ivy League, instead send her to a public Uni that offer full scholarship – tuition fees and boarding.

    Today, my friend has an apartment about same size as our home, he rented out two floors to two families, kept a floor to themselves. My friend is now a businessman. They have earn enough for retirement too! They are very comfortable with where they are, they like the fact that the government treat everyone equally.

    Would my friend have a better life if only he stays back here, he said may be. But they don’t like our government. Would we have better life have we migrated? I am not sure. But I can safely said, my children have better life, better choices than his girl. One thing to take note, we started as STEM graduates, he started as BA graduate, from same university.

  2. #2
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    Here is my question in other thread in response to Jennylim’s post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennylim View Post
    ….. I just visited a friend earlier, he told me, he felt so sad and 'heart sick' about the sorry state of this country even though he will be giving up his citizenship soon. He was one of several friends who advised us to leave Malaysia more than 2 decades ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwich View Post
    …..Just curious, is your friend doing better than you in his current place... ??

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    I think you need to compare health care, safety and wealth.I am only able to compare Malaysia and Australia. Health - Australia wins hands down. At age 50, government sent you a free appointment for a colon cancer checkup. My dad had cancer, government probably spent AUD300K on his treatment, he lived up to 80's. He related to me how his friends in Malaysia refused treatment and pass away in their sixties , rather than spent huge amount for cancer treatment. They refused to let their children even know of their diseases.
    Safety - Australia wins this hands down. Wealth - I think Australia will win this hands down too, most baby boomers will have at around 3 properties.
    Only good thing about Malaysia is cheap labour. We can have maid, driver and outsource everything because we have cheap labour. Thus if you have some money, life is ver yvery good in Malaysia, I will say it is fantastic! We are rather spoiled.

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    Education - Australians get to pay HECS(Higher education loan) if they can get an offer from any Australian institutes of higher learning. School fees is about AUD20K per year.
    My son just got an internship for his sandwich year(next year) that pays AUD45K per year. He is currently only in his second year Accounting. Nobody is discriminated. I think Australia wins education hands down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Bruce View Post
    I think you need to compare health care, safety and wealth.I am only able to compare Malaysia and Australia. Health - Australia wins hands down. At age 50, government sent you a free appointment for a colon cancer checkup. My dad had cancer, government probably spent AUD300K on his treatment, he lived up to 80's. He related to me how his friends in Malaysia refused treatment and pass away in their sixties , rather than spent huge amount for cancer treatment. They refused to let their children even know of their diseases.
    Safety - Australia wins this hands down. Wealth - I think Australia will win this hands down too, most baby boomers will have at around 3 properties.
    Only good thing about Malaysia is cheap labour. We can have maid, driver and outsource everything because we have cheap labour. Thus if you have some money, life is ver yvery good in Malaysia, I will say it is fantastic! We are rather spoiled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Bruce View Post
    Education - Australians get to pay HECS(Higher education loan) if they can get an offer from any Australian institutes of higher learning. School fees is about AUD20K per year.
    My son just got an internship for his sandwich year(next year) that pays AUD45K per year. He is currently only in his second year Accounting. Nobody is discriminated. I think Australia wins education hands down.
    Excellent......you can't put it better...I like

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    To me, the crux of the whole migration issue is to improve your future and fortune, (as many pendatang in the past would have thought exactly the same).
    If you can blend into that new land and make considerable progress despite new challenges (anywhere is challenging too) and make it?,...then your life could far exceed the quality of life and enjoy what that place can offer for the same effort put in.
    Lets NOT include those millionaires, the very wealthy (no need to be among celebrity or famous status) who have already made it here, presuming some forumers here are already doing very well here. MIGRATION is NOT necessary a logical choice, because I feel they don't need to. Of course they can go if they want. Malaysia in many ways just cannot compete or offer what say Australia, UK or EU can give. Malaysia CANNOT be another Australia, if you know what I mean. Lastly, its all up to you how you adapt. I'll say again, everyone's fortune there is different. Looking into some "crystal ball" to assure your future there is NOT an option.

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    Not to forget the beautiful environment (been awhile since I last did it and hope my upload works!)


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    Actually, when I asked the question to Jennylim, I was not comparing the two countries (Malaysia vs the newly adopted country of her friend). There is no comparison between this 3rd world country with other developed countries with good governance.

    The reason I asked is I often hear people criticize this country when they are permanently somewhere else. They give me an impression that the entire population in this country is not up to par in terms of EVRYTHING they wanted to achieve in their new place. My usual response is to check/ask whether they are doing better than many of those who are doing fine here. I think this is the acid test.

    I am not here to defense this country and I don't like this government too. Just don't like some of those who possess such mentality - they criticize everything and anything about their previous identity/homeland like this is the root cause of their failure without knowing many people here who have similar fate like them actually adapt, improvise and survive, and survive well.

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    To me this place is just head above water in many general statistics. This isn't a healthy trend and walking on a tight rope. Its been like this for years. We cannot deny everyone, you me and many (I say many, not all, due to different contentment value) just want better and those places they choose can offer. I say those developed places "CAN", but not "WILL" offer. Nothing is assured for anyone who wish to deploy probably their greatest decision of their lives. Its not just time, place and opportunity, it takes hellava lot more than that including those essential criteria I mentioned much earlier in this topic. This era too, is even more challenging. In 1960, anyone could have waltz into UK and set up home or shop there (disregarding all other minor or much less challenges) In 2015, no one can easily waltz in to anywhere of those places and have to meet a long list of policies and approvals even before you even blink at the airport.
    I feel its sometimes we all discuss without considering our different "contentment level" and expectations of what one could do to improve it. If you ask some rural folk and considering how content they are, eventhough they're as poor living from hand to mouth, they would not trade in anywhere for here. They're presumed fully content living here forever, even got money oso won't move. Moreover, they will keep voting for their representatives to be in office who assure them their status is being consistently championed with higher preferential treatment being guaranteed.

  10. #10
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    Having lived abroad for many years and met many Malaysian (and ex) I can only say most of us have only good thing to share about our homeland except for the very bad politics and racial issues. If not for this I believe most would even consider spending some of our coming retiring years back "home". But in the end, home is where the heart is and for many of us with children all already rooted in our new found land, this is now home.

    But in the end, for me there is no one perfect country or place. I supposed we just got to accept the good with the bad. Sure there are people who cannot move for variety of reasons but I also know of many who choose to stay on despite having the option to migrate. However, for the past few years it is sad to learn many of my friends or parents we know sent their children overseas to study also tells their kids not to "come" home if they can find jobs or get their PR. Some have left behind old folks in their 70s, tearing family ties apart. Some parents do end up migrating but I know of some who cannot take the new life despite having all the children living nearby and none left in Malaysia. This is no longer a pull but a push factor that is causing all this anguish.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coogee View Post
    ....But in the end, for me there is no one perfect country or place. I supposed we just got to accept the good with the bad. Sure there are people who cannot move for variety of reasons but I also know of many who choose to stay on despite having the option to migrate. However, for the past few years it is sad to learn many of my friends or parents we know sent their children overseas to study also tells their kids not to "come" home if they can find jobs or get their PR..
    I agree opportunities would be very limited for the future generation in a country that spend decades of precious time on the wrong things. I reckon life would be very tough for the younger generation here in future. It is imperative to prepare them to be competitive globally.

    For retiree, it is a matter of where the retirement money can stretch to the fullest without affecting the quality of living. There are a lot of different considerations and personal experience when come to choices for retirement life. For instance, I have an ex-college, a Malaysian who is working in the US but he plans to come back to retire here. The reason of such choice is - it is cheaper and safer here than US !! My friend thinks this country with strict control of firearms is a safer place to live than his present home in the mid-west of America.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coogee View Post
    Having lived abroad for many years and met many Malaysian (and ex) I can only say most of us have only good thing to share about our homeland except for the very bad politics and racial issues. If not for this I believe most would even consider spending some of our coming retiring years back "home". But in the end, home is where the heart is and for many of us with children all already rooted in our new found land, this is now home.

    But in the end, for me there is no one perfect country or place. I supposed we just got to accept the good with the bad. Sure there are people who cannot move for variety of reasons but I also know of many who choose to stay on despite having the option to migrate. However, for the past few years it is sad to learn many of my friends or parents we know sent their children overseas to study also tells their kids not to "come" home if they can find jobs or get their PR. Some have left behind old folks in their 70s, tearing family ties apart. Some parents do end up migrating but I know of some who cannot take the new life despite having all the children living nearby and none left in Malaysia. This is no longer a pull but a push factor that is causing all this anguish.
    Reminds me of an Indo parent I met. She asked if I would want my children to be back home after graduation. I said it is really up to my children to decide. She said she told her eldest son the same thing 10 years ago. Now she regret and wants her son (with PhD from Harvard) to go home but the son is reluctant to leave.

    She shared her story of how sad for her to send her children to Singapore for secondary education after the 1998 riot that killed, raped and robbed many Chinese Indo. I asked why despite the traumatic experiences in 1998 and bad racial relationship in Indo, she still want the children to be back. She said family ties is more important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bslee View Post
    To me, the crux of the whole migration issue is to improve your future and fortune, (as many pendatang in the past would have thought exactly the same).
    If you can blend into that new land and make considerable progress despite new challenges (anywhere is challenging too) and make it?,...then your life could far exceed the quality of life and enjoy what that place can offer for the same effort put in.
    Lets NOT include those millionaires, the very wealthy (no need to be among celebrity or famous status) who have already made it here,
    I have a very rich relative, he sent his children overseas, only one came back after graduation. He encourages the children to go wherever they want. I do not think it is for money.

    As for my son, he started to hate this place from his experience in SMK. He felt very strong about racist teachers and HM in school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennylim View Post
    Reminds me of an Indo parent I met. She asked if I would want my children to be back home after graduation. I said it is really up to my children to decide. She said she told her eldest son the same thing 10 years ago. Now she regret and wants her son (with PhD from Harvard) to go home but the son is reluctant to leave.

    She shared her story of how sad for her to send her children to Singapore for secondary education after the 1998 riot that killed, raped and robbed many Chinese Indo. I asked why despite the traumatic experiences in 1998 and bad racial relationship in Indo, she still want the children to be back. She said family ties is more important.
    At some point, enough will be enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat Bruce View Post
    At some point, enough will be enough.
    But once you get a few millions in USD.... you begin to look at life from a different perspective... you want to live out some dreams... like build a 60-bed home for the handicapped kids complete with a small clinic (for a doctor / nurse to do locum work) and therapy room and a therapy pool... you begin to work hard again.... so for some people it's never the end....

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