Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Saturday, 14 March 2009

This Is My Home

I have tried my best to look for an english version of this story but I guess politics play a greater role in attracting our english media audience than this heartwarming story of someone who has risen from the depths of poverty to shock the nation with her record breaking results in our premier examination. Thus I will translate a few choice extracts from the Malay articles on her; INILAH RUMAH SAYA and Resipi kejayaan Madihah dapat 20A from Utusan Malaysia, in the hope it will inspire my children and those other children whose parents can afford to give everything to them, and not forgetting those who share the same circumstance with Nik Nur Madihah Nik Mohd. Kamal, that the only reward their parents hopes for is for their offsprings to rise above themselves and attain whatever that they can achieve when facing life's challenges.

I start by showing the house she stays in as below;

Nik Nur Madihah with her parents Nik Mohd. Kamal Hussien and Mariani Omar at their home in Kampung Parang Puting, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu. – UTUSAN/Hafiz Johari

and a literal translation of her life states that ;

When the results of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations were announced yesterday a student, Nik Nur Madihah Nik Mohd. Kamal, 18, created a surprise when she obtained the excellent result of 19 A1 and satu A2.

The success of this student from Sekolah Menengah Agama Arab Maahad Muhammadi (Perempuan), Kota Bharu, Kelantan is made rather special as she is the daughter of a fisherman that leads a life of hardship when compared to previous top SPM students that come from more well off families. She was interviewed by Utusan Malaysia, at her family home in di Kampung Parang Puting, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu in order to reveal her secrets for success.

She who was once one of the best students for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations at the national level 2006 has transformed into an instant celebrity because of her success.

In fact, journalists that has rushed to interview her has had to wait their turn to enter her father's depleted rented house at a cost of RM90 a month as it is so small and unsound.

The house really represents how difficult her life is with only a small room bordered by a cupboard serving as their rest area while the living room that can only fit four persons acts as her study.

When asked why she wanted to take 20 subjects for her exams, she responded that she wanted to prove that even a fisherman's daughter could excel like the previous best students that had come from better off families.

Thus she challenged herself to create history(or rather her story) by achieving 20A's although she only expected to score 18 A's. She had actually kept it a secret from her family that she was taking twenty subjects but finally broke the news when her trial results bore out her confidence, and when they knew about this the family was in full support of her ambition. This is from a girl living a family life that subsist on an inconsistent income of only RM500 to RM700 a month, who fasts on every Monday and Thursday to conserve food and who sometimes forgoes eating at school as her allowance is only enough to pay for her bus ride to school, eating only bread or a lunch box of fried rice when she can, when her family only eats rice and fried eggs when her father cannot go to sea to fish during the monsoon season.

Yet she does well despite her life's shortcomings of a small house, no scholarship despite her earlier achievements, no outside tuition and her decision not to go to boarding school as her family cannot afford it. Her recipe for this is simple; to strive and strategically study, and if a problem arise to quickly consult the teachers and the rest is to leave it to God's will or Tawakkal. She further elaborates that the strategy that she meants to give full attention when studying as she has no fixed study schedule like others, only studying when she wants to but consistently.

And for those who are now politicising the teaching of Mathematics and Science In English by implying the so-called less fortunate and rural students will be at a disadvantage with such a syllabus, please take note of what Madihah has to say about this.

"Adakah saudari menjawab semua soalan mata pelajaran Sains dan Matematik seperti Fizik dan Kimia dalam bahasa Inggeris?

Ya, sebab lagi mudah dan ditekan oleh guru sejak awal lagi.

(Have you answered all the Science and Mathematics subjects like physics and chemistry in English?

Yes, as it is simpler and emphasised by teachers from the beginning.)

So now, she hopes to be a physicist and is hoping for a place at any foreign university. I hope the government takes note and ensure her ambitions are fulfilled, by ensuring that she will further her studies at any first class or ivy league university of her choice. That is the very least she and her family deserves.

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