19 June 2009

Chong's Response

Chong has responded to Pak Cik's comment. Here is what he has to say:

" Ini Chong lagi. Pakcik really honor me. Tak percaya bila Pn Murni (bukan nama dia) beritahu Pakcik respond macam ni. Pn Murni yang tunjuk blog ni pada saya. Dia 'terjumpa' blog ni masa nak cari info pasal matrikulasi. Saya kenal Pn Murni sudah lama. Sudah macam keluarga. Saya kawan dengan anak dia dari sekolah rendah. Dia selalu beri motivation pada saya. Yang paling saya ingat bila saya kena stop belajar sekejap sebab tak cukup duit, ini apa dia kata : Chong mesti selalu dengar org Melayu kata "Bersyukur dgn apa yang ada". Selalu org buat ini sebagai alasan tak mahu kerja kuat. Tapi sebenarnya ini bermaksud kita semua special. Tuhan beri kita macam-macam (akal, kesihatan, deria, duduk negara aman, keluarga, kawan etc). Kalau kita bersyukur kita mesti gunakan apa yang Tuhan beri - Maximize the gifts. Pakcik, selagi belum mati kita masih ada peluang. We must try our best sebab 'trying our best' ini kita boleh 'control'. Apa outcome our best itu kita tak boleh control. Kadang-kadang dapat yang elok. Kadang-kadang dapat tak elok. Tapi semua dalam dunia ada pairs i.e. baik/jahat, buruk/cantik, sakit/sihat..etc. Puan Murni kata kita mesti kerja kuat untuk dapatkan 'pair' yang bagus. Memang kadang-kadang kita mesti jumpa/dapat 'pair' yang tak bagus tu tapi kalau kita bersyukur kita akan gunakan apa gifts kita ada untuk dapatkan 'pair' yang baik tu. 'Pair' yang tak elok tu kalau kita terima, jadilah itu kita punya fate. Tapi kalau kita tak mahu 'pair' tak elok jadi kita punya final fate, kita 'gunakan' 'pair' yang yang tak elok tu sebagai'clue' untuk cari/dapatkan 'pair' yang elok. 'Pair' yang elok tu jadi kita punya goal. Saya tak pandailah nak susun ayat Pakcik. Harap Pakcik faham apa saya cakap. Saya salute apa Pakcik buat. Tak ramai orang macam Pakcik. Sebab itu saya tulis komen. Mungkin kisah saya bolah jadi salah satu 'clue' untuk dapatkan 'pair' yang baik."

To Puan Murni: Whoever you may be and wherever you are, Pak Cik would like to say this ; our community can do with more 'hamba Allah' like you - doing the da'wah your way.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


17 June 2009

Chong’s Journey Through the Tunnel

Under the anonymous category and calling himself Chong, a visitor to Pak Cik’s posting, ‘Higher Education – I do it my way (part 2)’, wrote a comment that, to Pak Cik’s mind, justifies to be accorded a posting in itself as my comment. Chong chose to express what he felt on the subject of higher education. There seems to be a sigh of injured despair and a tinge of disappointment over injustice. What impresses me is the manner he expressed himself without being offensive. Above all Chong echoes Pak Cik’s constant reminder to Almanar pupils, that life is not a bed of roses. Out there one can expect challenges and what appears as injustice. Count your blessings and move on. Below is what Chong said:

Pak Cik. Saya Chong. Result SPM saya baik. Lebih baik dari kebanyakan kawan-kawan Melayu saya. Kerana saya China, saya tak dapat biasiswa walaupun dah dapat tempat di U. Duit nak pergi KL daftar pun tak ada. Bapa sudah mati. Mak jual makan dekat pasar. Saya teruskan ke tingkatan 6. Lepas sekolah saya kerja angkat simen, angkat batu dgn Uncle saya. Kumpul duit. Lepas habis Tingkatan 6, saya masuk U. Sekarang ada duit. Tahun 2 saya berhenti. Tak cukup duit. Walaupun saya kerja sambilan, tapi tak cukup. KL mahal. Saya cari kerja KL. Mula-mula buat sales. Kejar orang sana-sini jual buku. Tak boleh tahan. Kerja teruk, komisen sikit. Saya berhenti dan dapat jadi kerani. Siang saya kerja, malam saya part time belajar. Dekat 5 tahun baru dapat ijazah. Sekarang saya sudah kerja ada bagus sikit. Saya juga tengah part time buat Master. Ada org senang, ada susah. Kita kena lawan. Kerja kuat. Jangan give-up. Melayu susah, belajar pandai, ada biasiswa. Melayu senang pun ada biasiswa. China susah, tak ada kabel, sendiri carilah... Tapi saya rasa dengan cara ini saya lebih 'kuat'.”

Chong has honoured Pak Cik with a visit and some candid comments. Chong has left a strong message – “Tapi saya rasa dengan cara ini saya lebih ‘kuat.’” He outlined his plight and the manner he maneuvered himself to succeed, and is rewarded with added strength. He has shared with us his bitter experience, a lesson that our young should learn. Pak Cik am thankful to him. I wish he was at Almanar.

Pak Cik can only hope that some-how, some-day Chong will see that ours is not the only bitterness in life. It does not have to be any particular race. Almanar was founded with the hope of correcting some of the quirks of fate. It is suffice for Pak Cik to say that, despite all what we see as injustices, we all should be thankful to be living under the Malaysian sky. At least, not matter how hard it is, no one stops us from striving to a satisfactory end. Somewhere else there may never be such an opportunity.

Thank you, Chong, for the visit and the positive aspects of your comment.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

02 June 2009

Higher Education – I do it my way (Part 2)

How high should one go to educate oneself? Sky is the limit. That is if there is such a thing as the sky. Otherwise, be realistic with both feet firmly on the ground. That is Pak Cik’s philosophy.

Below the majestic blue sky, below the veil of white cloud, below the crossing paths of speeding jets, below the green casuarina and coconut palms stands the humble black-and-white Almanar, anchored firmly to mother earth

“Pak Cik, apa pilihan terbaik untuk saya?” is a normal question I am asked about this time of the year. I know many would say, “Accept metrikulasi. It is the best and you can save one year.” No, I see it quite differently. Metrikulasi runs last in Pak Cik’s list. I must beg to be different in my view, as some will not agree, that metrikulasi has done more harm than good to many pupils. I would have no hesitation to advise high achievers to take STPM, if they are living in big towns like KL, Ipoh and Penang where there are good STPM teachers, and compete with the many good non-Malay pupils.

In an environment where I am, Pak Cik have to be realistic. I have to ponder hard what a degree means to these children. Against my personal wish to see these children graduating from a university I cannot help picturing in my mind’s eye their parents’ faces expecting to see the day when there is some relief in their financial burden. Imagine the days when it rains hard and your small-time construction boss tells you there is no work to do. Imagine the days when you spend a whole day at sea and return home with hardly enough catch to pay for the diesel consumed by your outboard engine. There are mouths to feed. Fifty ringgits a month from a working child is meaningful.

Within the last one month I have counseled a few ex-Almanar pupils on their selection of courses offered to them. Invariably, I have to consider their strength and chances of success, not forgetting their family background. Here are some of the courses which Pak Cik have recently encouraged them to go for:

- Asasi pergigian
- Asasi medics
- Diploma radiography
- Diploma nursing
- Diploma engineering
- Diploma pharmacy
- Diploma catering

It was not a pleasant situation when I had to tell a father that his daughter’s chances of pursuing a course in radiography successfully were very slim.

There are a few who look down on ‘diploma’, preferring Metrikulasi on the advice of their families or some ‘learned’ individuals. Who am I to stop them?

I have no hesitation to advise high achievers to start with diploma courses at the end of which they can get a job, gain some experience, and earn some money for themselves and families. Some day, when the situation is more conducive, they can pick up where they have left off. With experience, their chances of achieving good degrees are even better. It brings to mind an ex-Almanar girl who started this way some years ago, getting herself a diploma in civil engineering. At the end of her long tunnel, she graduated with a first-class degree in civil engineering, and is now happily earning a living for herself and her aged parents.

Education must serve as a means to an end. It should never be one to satisfy and inflate one’s ego. And Pak Cik will continue to provide counseling my way.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.