Two nights ago, I received a call from a friend of mine who says that he and his family have moved to Texas, USA and back to his familiar job in the oil and gas (O&G) industry. He is a Malay, born in Penang and at a very early age left for the USA to seek a job in the O&G industry. That was in the early 70's.
Three years ago, he returned home with high hopes of starting his own O&G business. He teamed up with some Malaysians, but only to realise that it is not that easy to secure jobs in the O&G business in this country, however small the job and experience one has. He once confided to me that he lost a few thousand ringgit when an O&G job that was secured by him, was simply taken up by someone else because the company that offered him the job had changed the job specifications without his knowledge. The change in job specification simply means that his earlier proposal was disqualifed, and hence he lost the job. He claimed that he was victimised by someone in the company who had deliberately change the job specifications to suit another bidder. He suspects that there was corruption involved.
Having failed in all his attempts to secure an honest job opportunity in the O&G business, he decided to close down his business. He reasoned out to me that he regretted having left his job in the US, to returned home thinking that he can contribute some of his experiences in the country's O&G business. He even said that being a Bumiputra does not take him anywhere, nor was it ever considered in his submission for a job; this despite his credentials has having worked in large and reputable O&G companies in the US. In jest, he said that he denounced his status as a Bumiputra, and instead claimed himself to be a Bumikera.
While talking with him on the phone, I could sense his anger at the unfortunate experiences he faced in trying to do business in Malaysia. When I asked him if he wish at some point in time, to return home to start anew in business, this was his reply, “My family and I no longer wish to return home, and we have decided to make US our home. I feel more welcome here than in my own country, where I know that I can do business here without having to bribe or be cheated by someone. I no longer think that people in my country are honest in their business dealings”.
I am extremely sadden by the unfortunate experience that my friend had gone through, and at the same time happy that he is back doing a job that he loved most in the US. I also know that many Malaysians are abroad working, with some earning incomes that they could never expect to get working in this country, and for this reason we do not expect them to return home either.
I have many friends too in the O&G industry, and they say that to survive in the business, one has to have both the 'know how' as well as the 'know who'. Of course, the industry being a multi million ringgit industry is never void of corruption and abuse, and it no surprise that this industry is now in league with the construction industry, that is reputed to be the most corrupt industry today.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION