My humble beginning.
There will always be stories about somebody has made it and became successful with just 20 dollars in their pocket, or they created a very successful startup at an early age. But I have a different kind of story to tell. I was born in the early 90’s, quite a modern world I would say, grew up in single-storey terrace house in a small “city” called Alor Star. It had only three rooms to accommodate my parents, my grandma, my aunt and my uncle, two annoying sisters, and the first generation automatic Proton Wira (quite a big deal you know) and NO PETS except some gold fishes that come and go.
In a small town like this, most children go to school by bus but I am so spoiled that my mom sent me to school everyday in the glistening silver Proton Wira. To be honest, primary school was quite tough especially when my parents doesn’t speak a word of Mandarin and don’t understand Chinese. (I went to a vernacular school, everything is in Chinese and everyone speaks Mandarin/Hokkien.) I only speak Cantonese and some basic Mandarin and I start to get better because in this dog-eat-dog school, you have to or else you won’t even exist and forget about blending in. Luckily, my aunt helped me with my homework.
When I reached secondary school, all the privilege that I had, like my aunt, was no longer around. I went to school by bus like everyone else, and school became so much tougher with even more competition. I was never the top of the class but I was able to make it to the top ten percentile of the year. I never wanted to be in the rat race but who am I kidding, I am in a Chinese majority school, it’s either do or die.
At that time I didn’t really enjoy school mostly because I don’t like the curriculum, and I always questioned my parents why they insisted me to learn Chinese. Not until I started to pursue my tertiary education then I started to understand and appreciate my parents effort and the Chinese language — so that I don’t missed out anything in life. If you are not from Malaysia, we are a multicultural country and we speak different languages. With that ability to speak one extra language, that gives me the advantage of being more agile in making friends which let me experiences life more than my parents. (especially my dad because my mom picked up Mandarin quite easily during her daily morning market trips for fresh produces and groceries.)
After graduated with a degree in engineering, I was determined to get a job in the energy industry, but I took a detour instead to see what corporate life is all about, working in a project for a telco company. Quite a good life but soon I feel jaded with my work and the lifestyle. I sound like a spoiled kid but yeah, I am… After working for two years, I decided to go for post-grad studies. For me to be able to do what I am doing right now, I need to thank my family and my extended family. My dad didn’t get enough credit for all the things that he has done and is still doing for me. He doesn’t show it and doesn’t talk about it, but as I am growing older, I feel it and see it now. I am so fortunate to have him as my dad. He is forever forgiving and loving me in his own way.
p/s : It’s August now and my dad’s birthday is coming up. I just want him to know I love him. — marc