Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ozzie uni graduates as waiters

Malaysiakini - Dr M: Shameful for graduates to end up selling nasi lemak (extracts):

It is shameful for graduates to resort to selling nasi lemak, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in a talk.

"We cannot be proud if graduates become Uber drivers or sell nasi lemak. They do this to support their income.

"They are trained (in universities), so they should make use of their knowledge and competency. They resort to selling nasi lemak because they can't get a job," he said during his weekly "Policy Talk" show, which was aired live on Facebook today.

My Uncles told me that during their time, Indian universities, by their hundreds, if not thousands, were scoffed at for their chowkana (dodgy) standards.

Some Indian mates also related to my Uncles that quite a few Indian medical colleges had "professional patients" who were actual patients with a variety of illness, diseases etc, and who were used by the colleges as "examination models" to test the acquired learning of the medical students. Those "professional patients" were so professional they sold their medical conditions to some students (who could afford their fees) before the practical examinations so those students could end up as "brilliant" examinees, wakakaka.

Guess what sort of employment they found in Malaya, then Malaysia?

During the years I was in Australia I wasn't aware of the mushrooming universities in Malaysia, where invariably standards would drop to cope with rapid expansion to meet increasing demands for university places.

Who knows whether they might have now approximated the status of Indian universities during my Uncles' days, but from what I heard and read, the standards of Malaysian universities today have been disappointing.

The hapless graduates now bear the consequences of questionable reputation of their respective universities. Apart from the fluctuating scarcity of employment for graduates, a worldwide phenomenon, a graduate from a less reputable university will find it difficult to source employment opportunities.

When there is no suitable employment, the graduate must keep busy, thus jobs like selling nasi lemak and driving Uber-taxis should not be frowned upon. Graduates in Australia, UK and the USA do the same, where I have been served food by university graduates at restaurants. I know of several university graduates who worked at retail shops for a couple of years before they found better employment.

Mahathir should remember that not everyone is fortunate to have rich parents or grandparents. Or to have attended overseas universities like Harvard, Yale and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, or a Japanese university.

Those Malaysian university graduates who sell nasi lemak or drive under Uber (and such likes) have been commendable in their diligence. Mahathir might not be proud of them, where once upon a time (his time) university graduates were treated like Tuan orang putih and were made District Officers, officers in government departments or magistrates (yes, university graduates without law degrees were made magistrates).

But I believe many Malaysians are glad and proud of hardworking Malaysian graduates who aren't afraid or ashamed to use their hands to toil until better opportunities arise.


  1. It is not an individual personal shame , because these people need to survive, and in any case, there is dignity in earning an income through honest work, whatever the work is.

    The shame is on the national system, and it is twofold.

    One, many university courses and their graduates are not up to scratch to meet the skills needs of commerce and industry.

    Two, the Malaysian economy, for all the PR-CON-sultant generated spin about how incredibly well it is doing, is in reality stuck in a slow lane and simply does not have the Real fundamental economic growth that generates Real demand for skilled knowledge-based jobs for university graduates.

    They build a real-estate bubble in TRX and Forest City, and think this is driving the country to being a High Income Economy. Pipe Dreams !

  2. I watched the Video, and understood very well that Mahathir was criticising the system and the economy's performance - a barb at the Malaysian Prime Minister , of course.

    It wasn't a condemnation of the individual graduates.

    I suppose, Ktemoc being a product of Sekolah Kebangsaan St. Xaviers - completely degraded in standards by the time he attended there - has lousy comprehension skills, or he didn't bother to actually check out the video.

    My goodness...have to blame Mahathir and Anwar for the decline in Sekolah Kebangsaan school product standards too....

    So every where Mahathir is pointing out national problems, they partly point back to him as well....Eakakakaka

    1. MBS even worse than St. the mid 1980's and 1990's it was a heavily degraded school from its glory days in the 1960's.

    2. MBS is one of the top 3 schools in penang - you sound like a jealous SXI-er

  3. Enjoy

    I prefer the original and made it into my phone ringtone

    Anyway, I agree that educational standards have dropped across the board since the 1960s and 1970s.

    You may want to read this rather long ICT Human Capital Development Framework by the National ICT Human Resources Taskforce to see how messed up ICT education is in Malaysia, thanks to the mushrooming of universities offering ICT courses or more precisely "ICT" courses, resulting in most ICT graduates from Malaysian universities, especially the private graduate factories as being regarded as unsuitable for employment by the ICT industry.


      Our gang song during school days.

  4. i still dun understand what is so proud when a uni graduate sell nasi lemak n drive uber.

    1. problem with you is either you don't read the post or you deliberately try to send it out of context

  5. KTemoc,

    Whilst it is admirable that graduates take up any job, however menial to survive, it does not speak well of a society and the economy when university graduates cannot find jobs which suit their qualifications and something needs to be asked about that society or economy, as well as the education policies in any country, not just Malaysia, Australia, the U.S., U.K. or elsewhere.

    Back when I completed Form 5 back in 1970, most of my schoolmates went out and got a decent, entry-level job in government or the private sector and learned additional skills and specialisations, such as accountancy, technical, pilot, optometrist, clerk, secretary and so forth on the job.

    I am on the committee of my school Alumni Association and speaking to our fellow alumni from my time, plus or minus 5 or 10 years, many of them had either risen in their career to senior levels or are running successful businesses.

    Last Tuesday, I spoke with the Group CEO of an established corporation involved in property development and education and he told me that after he left school with an STPM (Higher Certificate of Education) in 1986, he got an accounting job with Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCooppers) and studied on the job for his ACCA, then moved to a multinational bank as a manager and rose to head of his department, then on to the Malaysian subsidiary of another foreign bank as head of a division and rose become the bank's CEO before he moved on to his present position in his current company.

    He attributes his success to his good command of English and his communication and inter-personal skills.

    Today, with so many graduates being churned out from Malaysian universities, including from the many which I call "graduate factories", many need a degree just to get a job as a secretary.

    Back in my time, an SPM/Senior Cambridge holder could get a job as a clerk and rise to secretary with a certificate or diploma from a secretarial course.

    When I got a job with a National Semiconductor assembly plant in 1980, most production workers had an SPM/MCE, whilst some had an SRP/LCE. Line supervisors had an STPM/HSC and only the engineers required a degree and some of the managers didn't even have a degree.

    Also technicians in other companies I worked for usually had a vocational qualified, from TAR College, Federal Institute of Technology, City & Guilds and so forth and they did well.

    Today, many of these factories and assembly plants ("sunset" industries) which provided Malaysians with decent jobs commensurate with their qualifications have moved to lower wage countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, China and Indonesia (thus contributing to an economic "sunrise"), whilst as Malaysia strives to "move up the value chain" and become a "high income, knowledge-based economy" (where inflation eats up whatever quantum in income increase), Malaysia faces an economic "sunset".

    Many of these university graduates have taken out a loan to pay the "graduate factories" for their education and after graduating, must work to pay off their loan taken from a financial institution.

    This graduate unemployment problem is a systemic problem, which needs to be addressed.

    1. ktemoc know fully what we talking abt, his intention is to whack mahathir.