Wife and I went to this stall for breakfast. We love their mee-hoon soup. We used to be their regular patrons but had not been there for quite some times due to our busy life-style and their inconvenient location. The 'lao-ban-niang' or the wife of the 'lao-ban' (taukeh in mandarin) was so happy when she saw us.
'My daughter got 7As and 1B.' was the first statement from her mouth.
We chatted on family matters, their business, their struggles and difficulties in providing education for their children.
Both she and her husband were not well educated. Trying to earn a living by selling food at this stall. They worked from early morning till late evening. As their daughter obtained good results in her PMR, it's comforting to them, and made them proud.
Now she starts worrying about the education fees for their children. In a couple of years, they will enter universities. Income from the stall was merely enough to sustain their daily living.
I told her, "Don't worry, with good results like your daughter had, she can always apply for loan or scholarship from the government."
'Ceh, I don't want to give any hope on the government. We'll manage by our own.'
I was rather speechless. But what she'd said was quite true. I remember the days when I was applying for loan or scholarship for my first degree. I was among the top in my class with many As and a few Bs. I got no scholarship, nor loan from the government. Repeatedly trying every semester, with the same cold rejection. My dad earn RM600 per month. Ten mouths to feed. Seven children to take care of.
My dad had to sell off land, and my older siblings had to support me. I still vividly remembered what dad had said."Don't waste your time applying the loan or scholarship from the government, we stand no chance."
But of couse I know, being an academician, things had changed. We stand equal chance for the loan. But scholarship wise, I'm very reserved. My friend's daughter got 4As and a B in her STPM, she was no where in the government scholarship list. Now studying abroad, thanks to the rejections by the local public universities.
All of my 7 siblings are university graduates. No one get any scholarship, nor loan.