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Will you consider…

29 June 2007

“Two more years hor… aiyo, you’re in UK and your brother is in US. You all plan to come home or not huh? Where do you plan to work? Will you even consider working in Malaysia?”
- Numerous Aunties

Interesting question, isn’t it? And an even more interesting way of phrasing it! The question is not about whether I will work in Malaysia, but whether I will EVEN CONSIDER working here. Ask me in 2003 when I first started medical school, the 19 year old me would have given you a definite “Yes, I want to work in Malaysia.” Then again, the YP at that point in time was a lot younger, a lot more naive and idealistic. The YP now will not be able to give you a definite answer.

The current plan is to finish FY 1 & 2 before leaving the UK. Part of the reason is the training and the working condition, and I am not ashame to say that the other part of the reason is money. It is the realist part of me speaking. Why should I come back to terrible working conditions, be bullied by senior doctors/nurses/everyoneelse and be paid a tiny fraction of what I would otherwise get? Moreover, I am not a JPA/MARA scholar, and is not bonded to work in any particular country.

As for after that… I really don’t know. You see, there is still that patriotic side of me who wants to serve her country. That side of me remembers why I wanted to do medicine in the first place.

However, the “dark” side’s calling… and any vaguely logical person will cross over. I have two main problems with working in Malaysia, both of which were mentioned in Sheena’s post. I will simply add to it from my point of view, based on my circumstances.

My main problem is the issue of fairness and meritocracy. I am Chinese. You tell me whether I can ever dream of fair prospects in a country where your ethnicity is as important as your nationality, both of which are more important than your capability. I understand that I am idealistic if I hope to have fair competition in another country, where I will be a foreigner… However, it is one thing waiting to be given second place in a foreign country, but entirely different being treated as a second class citizen in your own. Why am I less of a Malaysian than anyone else? My family has been here for more than three generations. My parents are decent taxpayers, and have been contributing to the Malaysian economy for years. If I am as capable as the next person, why is he given preferential treatment just because of his skin colour? Even more importantly, do I want to raise my children to be second class citizens in their own country?

Then we go to the issue of opportunity for education. This pretty much ties in with the first point, doesn’t it? Even if race and ethnicity has nothing to do with opportunities for specialist training, there is a problem with the lack of these opportunities anyway. Moreover, I don’t hold an SPM cert (was not educated in Malaysia, remember?), what does that spell for my future?

In conclusion, although I want to work in Malaysia in the distant future, there are issues that I need to come to terms with, or avoid, before I can do so. For now, the little island in the south is looking more and more attractive every single second.

I had originally wanted to write about JPA and MARA scholars and how I feel that every single one of them should serve their bonds, but I had already touched on that on Sheena’s comment box and I will only touch on it in brief here. I get very passionate when I touch on that issue, but I will not do that here. I have quite a number of JPA scholar friends, they are great people… and I hope that when the time comes, they will make the right choice.



3 Responses to ' Will you consider… '

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  1. palmtide said,

    on June 30th, 2007 at 2:32 am

    You are right. Get back your investment first.

  2. Greenpasture said,

    on June 30th, 2007 at 9:04 am

    The main risk of staying on in overseas is that you may invest a few years there, trying to get into a specialist training programme, and if you are not successful, you may have to leave that country and start from the bottom all over again.

    It’s a gamble in a sense.

    You should consider including O&G in your Foundation Programme, so that if you ever have to go home, you don’t need to do housemanship anymore.

    Remember the island in the south is a small nation. They need more doctors now because of my uncle’s vision to turn it into a regional hub for healthcare, but, they can get saturated with doctors very quickly.

  3. Sheena said,

    on July 2nd, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Love the fact your post relates more to your personal circumstances than mine did.

    (Point, elaboration, EXAMPLES, and tied back to the motion… well-done! :D)

    Btw, am duly proud to be counted among your JPA/MARA friends, and thank you so much for your faith in me, YP.

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