I read Ryan Davidson's letter and immediately told my wife that it felt like I was looking into a mirror. You see, my family and I have, like Ryan and his family, decided to leave Malaysia.
We were never party to the social contract that we are told our forefathers had entered into almost 47 years ago. In any event, we do not like being at the receiving end of a liberal interpretation of the contract and the unjust and unconscionable enforcement of the liberally construed terms, onto so many of us.
Certainly, it is my belief that if I do not take my family out of this country, I will continue to subject my child, and her children after her, to the continuing injustice of this contract. I often thought the new administration under our new prime minister presents new hopes for fairer treatment.
Alas, just as the previous PM was an exciting breath of fresh air some 22 years ago but proved so putrid much later on, I feel I cannot subject my child and her children after her, to the same risk. That risk being that this PM too, may abandon fresh hopes for justice in exchange for immediate gains to himself, his family, his supporters and his race.
I feel especially compelled to write this, after what happened recently. I had the chance of a quick brush with a young man, who represents the future of the ruling party. This young man has also been under the media spotlight recently, albeit more voluntarily this time around.
He was trying to explain what went wrong in respect of the many who could not be given places to study medicine in local universities, despite scoring top marks. He thought it had something to do with the fact that the assessment procedures were totally academic, and as academic capabilities of students reached a plateau where many scored top marks, another dimension needed to be introduced, to further differentiate these talents.
This was necessary as there were simply not enough places for medicine in local universities as more and more scored top marks. I kept very quiet as he did his quick discourse. I thought it was a pained argument, as it ignored the proverbial 600-pound gorilla in the corner.
I thought it was painfully obvious the shortage of places came about principally because there was a backdoor through which many entered and took up seats. While many more scored top marks in STPM than before, many continue to gain entry without having to.
Of course, no one asked this bright young man whether his other dimension for differentiation will apply across the board. It would have been impolite to point out this very large animal in the corner and ask, 'What about that?'
If a bright, very well-educated, articulate young man espoused thoughts which totally ignored the fundamental injustice of our system, what future does our country hold?
If this is future prime minister material, then I really feel people like Ryan Davidson and I are doing the right thing by taking our children out. Bright people may not be just people. No matter how bright and well-educated our future leaders are, if they choose to continue to hold on to an obviously unjust system, we cannot subject our children's future to these leaders.
My father did not have the opportunity to leave. I now have to pay the price of starting anew - abandoning a secured and well-paid job - so that my child escapes the injustice.
Am I enjoying life here in KL? You bet. Like Ryan, my wife and I draw incomes for lifestyles too painful to sacrifice. Yet, if we choose to be concerned only with our own job security and comfortable lifestyles, our child may one day be faced with the decision I now face.
What if she does not have the same opportunity to leave for another country? I feel I must leave now, while the window remains open. Am I running away? You bet.