Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year...

An age-old greeting but never too old to use. The older folks must be very happy to hear that old things (antiques) continue to appreciate in price nowadays.

So how is Christmas? I see all the shopping malls coming out in bright lights and fanciful Father Christmas and reindeers. I can hear all the boisterous parties and making-merries, the popping of champaign bottles, the merry greetings and the yo-ho-hos
of the familiar sonorous voice (or its imitation). Yes, the TV is agog with Christmas programs and even the traffic in the streets of Jakarta is smooth like on a 'hariraya' day, as reported by a Facebook friend.Folks are staying in-door to enjoy Christmas with their families.

Yes and I am resting after a few days of hard toil and back-breaking work on a small untended farm (see previous entry). The day is nice and cool, the skies and dark clouds are not turning that dark and threatening as I thought it would in the later part of the day.( Huh, it's already drizzling as I wrote this but ironically the sky seems bright.)

Oh well, let it rain for that can make the in-house parties all the more interesting. Many might not even be conscious of the fact that in a few days time 2013 will stare us in the face. With a smile or with a frown? Some of us can decide on what it will be (with all the means to make it so) while others must face the inevitable with dignity and courage. For Malaysians GE13 is on the slate and they have to make a choice at the ballot box. Do they want more of the same or do they want a change: that's the question.

I would not want to enumerate the issues at hand on this auspicious and festive occasion.But certainly the escalating cost of things - housing, consumer goods, medicinal supplies, charges, rates etc.- as prompted by a lavish spending on the part of the government to prime-pump the economy, must be brought to focus. The push to become a high income nation seems to trigger a push-up in the price of many things that Malaysians used to enjoy at half their current prices. (The price of 'roti canai', 'teh tarik', 'nasi lemak', 'ikan bills', 'gula', toll rates and cost of patrol are often quoted as examples).The prices of houses, apartments and condos, are simply sky rocketing with no obvious intervention from the government.

The new form of road traffic control where regulation-violators are caught by cameras - the Automatic Enforcement System (AES) - has also become a hot issue as is the highly liberal spending habit of government, overshadowing the age-old UMNO-PAS rift and animosity issue.

No matter what, the new year and 2013 is coming up. Are you smiling or frowning? That can tell a lot about your stand on current controversies facing the government, whether you are pro, con, or couldn't-care-less. But one thing is certain. Those benefiting from the BRIM, the cash-gifts from government, the bonuses and other direct assistance, are certainly smiling. The only question that might pop up here and there is: why only now and not years ago?

Merry Chirtmas and a Happy New Yeart to all.

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