From: KK Low
Thursday, 23 February 2012 10:23 AM
To: Julia Nicol
Cc: Pip Lapelms
Subject: Rosmah Mansor


Dear Julia


I understand Curtin University has award an honorary Doctorate of Letters to Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's Prime Minister.


My name is KK Low. My family and I emigraged to Australia in 1992. We have acquired Australian citizenship and are proud and privileged to be called Australians. Australia is a great country for migrants. My family find so much peace, opportunity, safety, freedom and a bright future in our new country. My family consisting of my wife, our adult daughters and myself are tax payers. We are happy paying taxes because of the opportunities given to us.

I would like to express my regret and I am sure the regrets of thousands and perhaps millions of Malaysians or exMalaysians over this  award.


You will most probably know that Malaysia institutionalised discrimination against her own citizens-the Non Malays (Indians, Chinese and others who are not Malays). Under the so called National Economic Policy which was started more than 30 years ago (after a racial riot in 1969 in which hundreds of innocent Chinese lifes were loss due to brutal killings), the ruling Malay controlled Party instituted legislations after legislations, administrative policies favouring the Malays against the non Malays. This include preference to good schools, colleges, universities. 

Good non Malay students who scored well in public examinations were denied places in local universities. Malay students with medicore results were not only given places in universities and often with scholarships funded by tax payers. Many poor non Malay students were denied universal education just because of their race. The government adopted quota systems against the  non Malays. If you and your colleagues take some time to make a survey in Curtin or other Australian universities you will find many Indian and Chinese Malaysian students studying in Australia. Most of them are poor students and their education in Australia are funded by their hard working parents or contributions from extended families. Why do they need to spend so much money to come to Australia to study? (The exchnge rate of AUD to Malaysian ringgit is 1AUD= RM3.1. An average new graduate in Malaysia earn RM3,000pm). Because they are denied this fundamental right to study in Malaysia even they have achieved excellent results. Just because they are born Indian and Chinese. Many Australians  have the wrong assumption that Chinese students (full paying students) come from rich background. Is absolutely incorrect. Chinese know to equalise the playing field, their own way is to acquire  a tertiary education. To the Chinese money spent on education is an investment. You may also want to conduct a survey in your university and in other universities in Australia that these students once they graduated will prefer to remain in Australia. Why? Why do these students willing to live in a foreign land away from families and friends?


Whilst Australia is one of the best countries in the world to live and offer tremendous opportunities, one has to understand when these students return to Malaysia, they will be DISCRIMINATED in finding jobs and their careers are limited. Again this is due to the discrimination policies already INSTITUTIONALISED in Malaysia.  Most probably the non Malay students will find it extremely difficult to join the government service (there is a quota system in hiring government servants. I do not know the exact figure but many people say is at leat 80-90% for Malays). 

The government and members of the ruling party through the NEP using public funds controlled a large chunk of the Malaysian economy. This covers the financial services industry, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, oil and gas, etc. Many of the opportunities in these companies are DENIED to the non Malays. So the non Malay students have to find work in multi national companies. Even then the multinational companies under executive administratve orders are required to hire a minimum percentage(30%) of Malays at all levels in the company.


Before a company is allowed to be public listed, it has to fulfill certain NEP requirements. One of the requirements is about 30% of the IPO shares must be allotted to Malays or Malay controlled organisation. This include the issue of licences such as taxi licences, licence to import foreign made cars, purchase of housing where at least 10% of private housing  must be sold to Malays, etc. These are all controlled and given to Malays or Malay controlled companies. Discrimination isnot only restricted to education and employment.


It extends to religion where non Muslim religions were controlled. For example it is extremely difficult to build a church or a temple in Malaysia. Many non Malay Malaysians born in the country or married to Malaysians were denied their rights as citizens while thousands of Muslim Malays from neighbouring countries find it easier to acquire the blue identity cards which recognise them as citizens.


Having lived in Australia and adopted the Australia way of life in particular democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religious belief and our way of giving every Australian a free go in life irrespective of race, religion, age, gender I find  it extremely disheartening that your university has given this award to the wife of the Prime Minister who not only perpetuate such discrimination but bring it to a higher level. 


Throughout my 20 years living in Australia I work as a human resources manager for Australian and  US global companies. I embrace the Australia way of life in looking at a person on his or her merits, qualifications, experience and what the person can bring into my employer. I did not and will not judge the person by race, religion, gender, age. This is why Australia is a great nation and attracting people from the globe.This is also the reason why in 1992 I left a promsing career as Vice President and regional HR director of a US bank and my wife as director of IT to come here. Is because we concluded Malaysia will not give us and our family equal opportunity while Australia and  Australians will. 


By giving the award to the wife of the Prime Minister who perpetuate discrimination (which is against the core of Australian culture and belief)  your university is passing a very wrong message to the ruling regime in Malaysia to perpetuate DISCRIMINATION against her people.


I want to qualify that most non Malay Malaysians have cordial relations with their Malay Malaysians. When I grew up in Malaysia I have many Malay friends. I still have. Most Malays in Malaysia are peace loving, kind and religious people. They are very hospitable. It is the ruling regime whose members using ther racial and religiouss card are perpetuating this sinful policy to remain in government.


If you are a peace loving Malaysian you will be hurt knowing such a prestigious award is given to someone who does not deserve it. Your press release was circulated among thousands of Malaysians (within and outside Malaysia) who are like me deeply disappointed. 


Yours sincerely

KK Low 

An Aussie bloke

Reply from Curtin University

Dear Mr Low

Thank you for lodging your expression of concern with Curtin University. (ID Notification 20120128).
Your email has been forwarded to the Curtin Professional Standards and Conduct Unit (PSCU) which is acting on behalf of the Vice Chancellor.
 We will respond to your concern within the next ten working days.
Yours sincerely
Louise Hood
PA to Bernard Hill | Director
Professional Standards and Conduct Unit    Curtin University  Tel | +61 8 9266 9167

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