PETALING JAYA, Oct 15 — Malaysian actress Faezah Elai has come under fire for saying people who travel are “more experienced” than people with a Master’s or PhD degree.
Faezah, whose full name is Noor Faezah Md Elai, made the statement during an interview on musician Zarul Umbrella’s YouTube channel where she spoke about her former career as a flight attendant.
“I’ve heard a saying that if you are educated with a Master’s or PhD degree but you haven’t travelled, you can’t compare your level of experience with someone who’s seen the world.
“The experience I had as a cabin crew member made me understand people better attitude-wise, so I can handle people well,” said Faezah during the interview.
The comment sparked anger in some Malaysian social media users who interpreted the 38-year-old’s words as an insult towards university degree-holders.
One Instagram user lashed out at Faezah by demeaning her former profession, claiming that flight attendants “only serve food and wash toilets.”
“Do you think it’s so easy to get a Master’s or PhD?
“On the plane, flight attendants like you only serve food and wash the toilets,” wrote the user.
Faezah then posted a screenshot of the comment and defended herself against the user’s criticism.
“In my video interview, I said that people who might only have SPM-level education but travel a lot especially solo travelling are more open and wiser than those who have a Master’s or PhD but have not travelled at all.
“Not everyone can study and get a degree and the reason isn’t always due to money, because some people just can’t sit down and read books all the time.
“Other people learn better by meeting other people and getting to know different cultures and religions,” wrote Faezah.
“Tidaklah mereka menjelajah di muka bumi, supaya mereka mempunyai hati yang dapat memikirkan atau telinga dapat digunakan untuk mendengar? Kerana sebenarnya bukan mata yang buta, tetapi yang buta ialah hati dalam dada.” (Surah al-Hajj, ayat 46). Dlm video interview sy bersama dgn @zarulumbrella ttg life when i was a cabin crew,ada sy sebut jika anda ada masters or PhD tp tk pernah travel compare org yg mungkin hanya ada SPM tp selalu travel especially solo traveller,experience diorg ni lebih byk and they are more open and wiser.. Tk semua org mampu belajar sampai degree,sometimes bukan sbb duit,tp tk semua org mampu utk duduk dan membaca buku.. ada yg suka kutip ilmu melalui jumpa pelbagai org,culture and religion.. . Sy tk ckp jgn belajar masuk U,sbb sy pon belajar sampai Uni..Alhamdulillah dpt peluang utk lihat ciptaan Allah diluar,belajar ttg sabar bila kena maki,belajar ttg erti syukur,bila kena serve org mkn,belajar sedar diri,kita tk hebat mana pon walau ketika tu,gaji 8 ke 10k sebulan.. . So Alia Suid,since u dh block i,my advice is,if ur degree buat u jd arrogant,and tkde adab,biar lah bodoh.. . Semalamku, U are a father and how are u gonna teach ur children about ‘Adab’ when u dont even have one.. Hormat lah perkerjaan org lain walaupon cuci jamban,sbb hati dan iman dia mungkin jauh lebih mulia drp kita yg konon nyer rasa pandai tp tkde adab.. sendiri mau ingat.. #selfreminder jugak.. . But if my words hurt anyone then i truly apologize.. . P/S : Dak lani apa masalah ngan cuci jamban nih?? Hg tk penah cuci jamban ka?habih sapa dok cuci jamban umah hg?? i dont post this utk ampa kecam dia na.. tp utk semua,sbb kadang2 kita selalu rasa diri kita hebat,walau hakikatnya kita yg buta peghot.. Alhamdulillah dpt laki yg suka travel jugak walau fly 3 tahun.. 3 years is more then enough.. 🙃 . #selfreminder
She added that she was not discouraging people from getting a university education and was lucky enough to graduate with a degree herself.
Faezah also gave some advice to the people who bashed her by telling them to stay humble and respect other people’s professions.
“If having a degree turns you into an arrogant, uncivilised person, you can stay ignorant,” she wrote to one user.