Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Malaysians abroad

I saw this article today:

"Our students in UK just ‘so shy’ and so lose out", NST, 6 Feb 2007

Summary of the story, it’s about Malaysian students not maximising their experience and potential while studying abroad. Everything about this article is true. Malaysians, in particular, Malays, hardly mix with others. It’s not just overseas, but also in our local institutions.

What I disagree with this article is this statement:
"Universities must have a top-down approach in fostering greater integration to expose them to British society.”

Once again, we are blaming others (or in this context, the UK institutions) for not encouraging our students to mix around. Why can’t we see that the problem lies in our education system? If Malay students are not mixing around in their own country, what makes us think that they will behave differently abroad?

I know our education system is good in most areas. Part of my success is due to the high level of education which I received during primary and secondary schools. But I also realise that it took my own effort to ensure I’d be “crème de la crème”. We can’t depend on the government on everything, especially in grooming our inter-personal skills.

And unfortunately, this problem does not stop at education level. I could see my fellow professional Malaysians stick to their own groups (even Idham made some remarks on this matter in his blog).

Thank God that my daughter’s circle of friends is a mix of everything! British, Brazilian, Spanish, Asian. I just have to prepare myself mentally that she might end up with one of them, which means I’ll have cute grand-children.

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