My First Baby
Yes, I am a father now. My wife delivered our first baby in March 2007. I am so excited to have our first baby like most of you. However, things become more complicated to have a baby in Malaysia. You may be wondering the reason behind this. OK, let me explain this to you,
1) Child Insurance
The next day after my wife delivered the baby, you know who was the first one to call me the next hour. You are WRONG............! Not my mother or my in-laws, te person is no other than my insurance agent, she got one thousand and hundred policies to introduce to me. She told me her policy is the best in town and you can't afford to bring up your baby without this.
Frankly speaking, I hate, hate and hate agent- no matter they are property, insurance or anything. Can you imagine you pay them your hard earned money and they get the FREE tour to some exotic places that you do not even have money to go!! The worst thing is the insurance company pay thousands of dollars to have their faces appear in newspaper and still can't pay us higher return at the end of the day.
I tell you, I hate insurance company, and certainly insurance agent. You already feel the pressure after your first baby but they even give you even more pressure by telling you that you are not going to become a good father if you do not buy their policy.
I hate them!!!!
2) Child Education
I may tink that I am speaking foreign language here, to get a good tertiary education in Malaysia is difficult. I was lucky to study medicine in local university 10 years ago but if you read the paper after STPM ( Pre-university public examination in Malaysia) results are out, you are shock to find that even you get straight As in all subjects, you can't get the course you want to study in local university.
Therefore, insurnace agent comes to your house and tell you that for the best in education, my baby has to go to Australia, Canada, UK, Singapore and Us in 20 years time. The problem is do you know how much the fees like in 20 years time?? RM500K to one million provided your child does not want to become a doctor!! If you are unlucky to have an ambitious child, you may to ' cough out' ( may be with your blood together!!) RM3-4 million!!
Imagine how much a humble goverment servant can get a month?? RM 3000- 4000 per month. If I save all my money every month, I can only save RM720K after 20 years ( without spending a cent!)
Therefore, Malaysian government and some Chinese leaders in Malaysia always want to know the reason behind low birth rate among Chinese in Malaysia, the reason is simple, can you afford to have the second baby if you ccontinue to have this kind of salary!!
3) Child Healthcare Insurance
Yes, you are right, insurance again. Everything is about insurance in Malaysia, if you want to be rich here in Malaysia, you can either join politics or insurance company!! Although healthcare is free in Malaysia, you have to prepare to wait and travel! I have a patient who needs to travel to KL to get some treatments done because the service is not provided in Penang, you know what is the main problem the patient is having which makes him hesistnat to go to KL? He does not have the money to buy a bus ticket to KL!! ( You only need RM 22-25 or about US7-8 to travel from Penang to KL)
I want to bring up two issues here, a lot of services are not available in major towns in Malaysia due to severe 'brain drain' of public hospitals. The second issue here is there are a lot of very, very poor people ( you can hardly imagine the number) in this country. No matter how smart the goverment is!! ( by building the tallest building in the world , the most advanced F1 circuit or the largest court in Asia, you won't solve the problem of proverty if there is presence of favourism and discrimination)
Good luck to you, Malaysia! I love this country and I always feel that YOUwill have a better tomorrow for us and my baby.