Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Triumph Over Poverty

I wrote about Education being compulsory in Malaysia yesterday. In the past, I've often highlighted little stories of students from the poorest of backgrounds achieving top grades beating all odds. This year is no different, where students from families living in poverty achieved top marks.

As reported by the Star, 12-year-old Has who lives in a 3m-wide bamboo house, and studied by the dim light of the candle achieved perfect scores for her UPSR examinations.
...rubber tapper Hariff Chiyok, 39, and his wife Chu Derging, 37, are blessed with Has, who was one of five orang asli pupils in Perak to score 5As in this year’s UPSR examination.

For years, the couple and their three children have been living in the self-built shack in Kampung Batu 8 here, without furniture, electricity or running water. Every night they wait for Has to finish studying before they go to sleep together.

In school, Has is an assistant head prefect and chairman of the school’s Young Cadets club, the Netball Club and Culture Club. Has’ perseverance has rubbed off on her younger brother Haleri, who emerged second in his class in a recent examination.

“We have always encouraged our children to study hard,” said Hariff, who treks one hour every day to a rubber plantation to earn his keep. At most, Hariff makes RM300 every month and spends RM15 monthly on candles so his children can study at night.

When he asked Has what inspired her to study hard, the girl replied: “I know that if I study hard, I will be able to give my family a better life.”
Yes, indeed Has. Study hard, and you will be able to give your family a better life. It is the best and most effective passport out of the poverty trap.


Anonymous said...

RM300 a month. And what is the government doing to curb poverty? Building an Istana for RM400 million and sending someone to space to wayang for RM90 million. Idiots!

Anonymous said...

While such news is being published, i wonder those who are happily enjoying government privilledges felt ashamed of themselves.

The next question i would like to ask is where has NEP gone wrong? Why Orang Asli still live their life as 50 years ago?

Anyway, i am really proud of the achievement. Hope this piece of news will gain the neccesary attendance for the underpriviledge communities.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, Kg. Batu 8 is in Manjung (my home district) if I'm not mistaken... Congrats indeed to Has! :-)

I believe there are scholarships and such for needy pupils in our schools, though I'm not sure how they are disbursed.

Money mismanagement...well, old story, but in order to get anywhere I think one has to offer concrete suggestions instead of generally grumbling.

Anonymous said...

Although...the father's income doesn't seem to square with how much a rubber tapper should be able to earn. It's difficult when you tap for other people, but I thought rubber prices are quite good now (oil prices are good)...have to check...wonder whom he works for also...

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Datuk who went to visit the family claimed more than RM300 expenses for the visit.

Where are all the super-rich Malays who spent RM millions for their wedding proceedings or who paid RM millions to their divorced spouses?

Where are all the towering Malays who spent RM millions on their palatial mansions? RM300 will not even buy half a golden cover of their golden toilet bowl for their precious arse to sit on.

And now UMNO divisions have RM600 million extra to spend and to be spent quickly too. Give-lah some to orang asli, the genuine rural folks and bumiputras.

Anonymous said...

Aren't orang aslis the most authentic "bumiputeras" in the country? Why isn't more being done to help them?

Anonymous said...

UMNO stands for United Malay National Organisation.

Isn't it obvious, Jakun and Melayu are different. So who does UMNO fight for?

Anonymous said...

I phoned home and asked about the rubber tapping. Yes, rubber prices are high now, but not as high as they used to be. RM300 is conceivable especially for slow tappers (maybe 3 acres a day) and it depends what sort of agreement he has with his employer, but probably the biggest reason for the low income can be captured in two words: rainy season.