Sunday, May 06, 2012


There is darkness, at the near horizon. A dark force. Threatening us. And it is coming at us from all directions. From sycophantic members of the old regime, to the populist wings of the opposite end, they threaten to tear us apart with short-sightedness, greed for gold and glory, and bigotry of the highest order. Change has to take place but we must have the stomach and stamina to understand that it will be painful and humiliating journey to correct things. Firstly, we have a human capital issue. We have poor human capital because we have a horribly executed education system. Let's not pretend anymore. The quality of our education, and the reach of our education system is poor. We have a lost generation. A generation that cannot compete globally. And it will take another generation to fix it, assuming we DO IT NOW. In the mean time, we'll be in this medium income trap for a long time and even then, this lost generation needs plenty of retraining, reeducation and massive change in attitude (think hunger, think Vietnam/Indonesia type of motivation) in order not to drop off from even the medium income (trap) that we are in. Secondly, we are a country of bigots. Politicians (and their followers) think that only if you have a specific colour in a position of power, then that colour will be taken care of by the specific individual(s), even in a so-called non-race based parties. That's how pathetic our worldview has become. There is no trust. Human relationships are hijacked by agenda of division, and power/control. Yes, it's definitely easier (and lazier) to manage divided communities - just feed piecemeal occasionally. No need for fair, equitable, pragmatic, all-encompassing policies and execution. Those are beyond the brains we have in the political circles anyway. Even the smart ones succumb to petty name calling, hatred and power after a while. And ever so often we succumb to bigotry - we say and do things that hurt other people just because they are different. We feel immigrants and refugees shouldn't be here to take away our jobs (which many of us don't want to begin with) and cause trouble, forgetting the value of humanity (refugees can't go to school here, for example) and the fact that we are a country of immigrants anyway. Thirdly, we are running out of money, and resources. Let's not fool ourselves. We have the highest use per capita of energy, water and food wastage in the region. Insatiable greed for more and more. And so many people seem to be clamoouring for 'socialist' ideals - let's nationalise everything, let's make everything articially cheap - no tolled roads, free tertiary education, cheaper cars, cheap fuel, cheap electricity, free water, et cetera. All these are sure-fire ways to get us to waste even more resources. The issue really is misallocation of resources. Without PPP initiatives, we won't be able to build infrastructure quick enough. Education in public institutions are already 90% subsidised, and the quality isn't all that great - asking for free education will not solve the real issues of a failing education system. Don't get distracted! Taxes for cars should go directly to public transportation and road (yes I am willing to forgo that luxury car if taxes are allocated to the right places). We should be more punitive about water and energy usage so that we encourage efficiency and responsible use of resources. Fellow Malaysians must not succumb to the pandering of people seeking power. We hold the power. We are humans who can achieve so much more if we put aside jealousies, bigotry, hate, prejudices. And we will not be manipulated by divide-control tactics. We need to work harder, those who aren't already. We need to stop asking for more, but ask for the right things. We need to learn to love and accept one another. Because beyond all that, we are Malaysians. And need to desperately save the next generations from a downward spiral we have created, or allowed.