Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Value Conflict- We Sometimes Undo Our own efforts..
On the one hand we are trying to make Malaysians, especially the Bumiputras, self-reliant, competitive, and not depend on subsidies or government assistance to seek progress. Special rights and quotas are being weeded away to give way to open competition and meritocracy. Even the concept of achieving an equity in capital shares has been thrown overboard just like ensuring bumiputra participation in any new capital venture. A foreign company can now operate in the country without any bumiputra share or involvement at all...
Yes indeed. The Bumiputras have been so dependent on government protection, subsidies, grants, quotas etc such that they cannot compete on their own. (That's the assumption anyway). So now let them learn to compete on their own steam, no handicap whatever, no special treatment. We race on the same ground - all races, one Malaysia.
But are we (or the government) not at the she time undoing some of the new values we are trying to nurture? So many funds are being set up to help those for whom each specific fund is established. I wonder how the Auditor-General can be able to audit all those funds since they are not being controlled by specific government agency. But more. Government seems to be giving assistance here, there and everywhere, mostly in cold cash, like giving school children a handout of RM100 each. So mush money seems to be splashed around in the spirit of "Yohoho, Merry Christmas." Big projects.big spending and big money seem to be the talk of the town, while at the same time government is encouraging people to save and spend money wisely in view of the anticipated global recession.
Everywhere around I see the signs of conspicuous consumption with the increasing number of shopping malls and complexes cropping up in KL and other major cities. Is this the harbinger of the arrival of a high income nation with inflation fast tagging along on its heel? And yet our growth rate is not reaching anywhere near what it sued to be at 7-8%. We will be lucky to achieve a 5-6% growth rate in the next few years.
Well, I hope I'm totally wrong and off the mark. Only that will give us some comfort that things will always be much better than before. This itself is a value conflict - one aspiring for a better life hoping that he is wrong and not hoping to be right.