PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - War in Australia (any Oz Politics): the Original
Old 14th Jan 2015, 20:07
  #15841 (permalink)  
Andu
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 665
chuboy, re the earlier exchange of posts: I was referring to Australia, not Malaysia.


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Re Malaysia: when I lived there the first time (early 70s), our neighbours had a amah (more or less a child minder), a young, incredibly competent, well-spoken - (her English was excellent; not the almost pigeon English many employed) - and very intelligent young woman, who, at a guess, would have been around 19. She was Chinese, a Christian, and much loved by all in the Australian family she worked for. I spoke to her one day when we were visiting the neighbours and asked her why she was working as an amah and not going on to university, as she was quite obviously capable of much more.

Her short answer, as if she was speaking to an idiot, explained her situation (in her mind) completely. "University? I'm Chinese."

I was quite new to the country at the time and asked the neighbour later to explain. I wasn't that Chinese Malaysians stopped their daughters going to university. Quite the opposite - they encouraged it, and those who could afford to send their children to higher education paid for them to do so. But poor Malaysian Chinese, (as Mary's family was), had no access to university or higher education. All government assistance for that went to Bumis.

I had a Malaysian friend who was married to an Australian woman. His parents, (Chinese/Indian ethnically) took advantage of the offer to convert and become Bumi Putras when it was offered at the time of federation. they did so purely to give him access to higher education. This decision had paid off handsomely. He was sent to Australia to complete his education, where he met his wife.
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