Hannah Yeoh: A young Malaysian’s dream
My young MP friend Liew Chin Tong from Penang has been reminding me to keep writing about hope. Hope. Hope because many in this country are again disillusioned about the recent events in this country.
Chin Tong recently launched his book “Speaking for the Reformasi Generation” and on the first page of my autographed copy, he wrote:
How would a better Malaysia look like for a young couple like us?
I imagine it to be this :
- free of corruption;
- lower costs of living ie. I don’t have to pay so much for monthly car and house installments;
- efficient public transportation, having a car will then be an option and not a necessity;
- my children-to-be will be known as Malaysians only and not be identified by their race;
- quality public education for them when they’re young and the opportunity to study whatever course they so desire at a local university, one that adequately prepares them to compete globally;
- affordable health care and quality public hospitals;
- true freedom of worship;
- able to trust what I read in the newspapers daily;
- have confidence in the democratic system, the judiciary, the police, the MACC and other agencies;
- safe environment : no fear of being robbed or houses being broken into and able to walk on the streets freely without grabbing my handbag tightly.
I do not think that the above is too much to ask for. Every taxpaying young working couple wants that for their new family. Many have migrated in search of the above in other countries.
My friends who live and work abroad come home yearly for holiday. To be honest, some days I do envy them when I meet up with them. They seem to be happier and find life and work more rewarding.
Each time I catch up with my friends, they will never fail to ask me, “So how’s politics going for you?”.
“I don’t understand why you want to try so hard to change this country. I have given up hope”.
“Any plans to migrate?”
Sure, we all want a better life. I know there are young Malaysians out there who feel the same as I do. You are frustrated with work. You are upset that after paying your monthly bills, you have very little left to pamper yourself. You covet the lifestyle of your friends working abroad. You just want to take the first flight out if you can.
My friends, I say to you again – hang in there! We are still undergoing the process of renovation for a better home, a better nation. When renovating, it is unpleasant, messy, dusty, inconvenient and often times, we cannot imagine the completed work. However, once finished and the smell of fresh paint is up, you will want to move in as soon as you can.
Each time I look at Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang, I stand in awe at their perseverance. They have been working and working and working tirelessly for years without fear to make Malaysia a better home for young people like you and I.
I, too must now do the same for our children and chart a new path for others to walk on. Don’t give up yet. As U2 would sing it…”Walk on!”