Mahathir’s message to youth – you take things for granted

“Nowadays, thousands of people get into universities with scholarships. So they take for granted that they can get what they want easily. Life is easy now because people have more money” – Dr Mahathir. Source (pic): TTF Files

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused some local youths of taking their lives for granted, despite facing what he said an easier time in comparison to the past where education was a ticket out of poverty.

“Today’s youths are under less pressure than the youth of my time. Youths of my time were all very poor. All we wanted to do was to study, and if possible, to go to the university to improve our earning capacity. When I was in the medical college, there were only seven Malays in the group of more than 70 students.

“Some of the youths, when their parents give them money, they buy motorcycles. Then instead of putting the motorcycles to good use, they perform stunts on their motorcycles and become mat rempits,” the 94-year-old said in an interview with Malaysia Airlines’ inflight magazine Going Places.


KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused some local youths of taking their lives for granted, despite facing what he said an easier time in comparison to the past where education was a ticket out of poverty.

The prime minister, who recalled being one of the few Malays in his college when he was studying to become a doctor, contrasted it with the availability of opportunities for higher education today.

“Today’s youths are under less pressure than the youth of my time. Youths of my time were all very poor. All we wanted to do was to study, and if possible, to go to the university to improve our earning capacity. When I was in the medical college, there were only seven Malays in the group of more than 70 students.


“But nowadays, thousands of people get into universities with scholarships. So they take for granted that they can get what they want easily. Life is easy now because people have more money.

“Some of the youths, when their parents give them money, they buy motorcycles. Then instead of putting the motorcycles to good use, they perform stunts on their motorcycles and become mat rempits,” the 94-year-old said in an interview with Malaysia Airlines’ inflight magazine Going Places.

In the same interview, Dr Mahathir spoke about the brain drain in Malaysia due to the lack of local jobs matching their skills.

“We have talent, but we have to create jobs for people who are talented. If you don’t have jobs that fit their qualifications, they will run away.

“We find, for example, the people we send to Korea or Japan [who] have come back after acquiring a lot of skills can’t find jobs. Because we don’t have the right jobs for them, they have gone back [overseas]. Some have married and started families there.

“So we have to encourage investments in high-tech industries so that these highly qualified people can return to work and stay here,” he was quoted saying by Going Places.

Dr Mahathir said the federal government is currently relooking its strategy for the agriculture industry, as small players in the rubber and oil palm industry are not making as much money as the big players.

He also noted that Malaysians have had to adapt and reskill to work in new jobs in the better-paying industries involving IT and technology that were created via foreign direct investments, adding that Malaysia now wants to venture further.

“Our local companies now have the capability to produce microchips where before they were mostly produced by foreign companies. We want to go into AI (artificial intelligence), but it will take some time to materialise.

“There are many investment proposals, but we have to provide the necessary workforce too. We want our people to be conversant with new technologies so that they can serve in these new industries,” he said in the Going Places interview, adding that Malaysia has attracted huge investments of about RM30 billion annually.

The prime minister has in his recent official visits overseas told the diaspora to return home and contribute to the nation’s prosperity, instead.

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