Wednesday, March 15, 2017
quest for modernisation….
At one time the less developed countries, including Malaysia, wanted development. Then they want modernisation. Now it's transformation into a high-income, high-technology and an ultra-modern nation which is desired,with high-rise business centres,condominiums, multilevel highway interchanges, high speed mass transport system,realtime communication etc. With that comes all the economic,social and moral ills and aberrations of today.
We often forget that every action has a reaction, every advantage has some disadvantages and nothing is totally good or bad (but thinking makes it so). Some of the unexpected, unintended and undesirable consequence of rapid development and modernisation far outweigh the benefits enjoyed. Worse, they cannot be annulled, revoked or redeemed as in the case of a historic building destroyed to make way for a new and modern shopping complex- only to be so for a few years. It them becomes obsolete. But that part of the national identity removed is lost forever.
the decreasing quantity and value
The most obvious unintended consequence or rapid modernisation and higher income is a meteoric rise in cost of living. There will be a price escalation on almost all consumer goods and service charges. A comfortable income of a thousand or two ringgit before, now makes a person a pauper. Malaysia is now facing this problem and more and more people are falling below the poverty line. This is shown by the increase in the number of people qualifying for the government public assistance program or handouts to the so-called poor- nicknamed BRiM.
the number of applicants increased from some3 7 million last year to 8 million this year after the minimum family income to qualify for it is set at RM4000 pm. The upward shift of the poverty line is an admission of the rising cost of living.
The number of applicants is bound to increase every year as the value of each ringgit falls, more people lose their jobs, and government subsidies on some essential goods are removed. The imposition of the GST has also made the poor poorer. If it has saved the nation from a dire strait, it has been done at the expense of the poor, NOT the rich.
the miserable poor
That's the physical aspect. What about the moral and spiritual aspects of modernisation when all business interactions are aimed at profit-making? ? When brisk, businesslike, monetary dealings take place, where's the room for warm and courteous exchanges of greetings and complementaries that is the soul of human relationship? We buy a lot of things without even an exchange of smile with the cashier. Young people don't greet old folks anymore, nor show some respect for them. The old culture and sense of decorum are gone, just like the old and historical edifices. Everything is just pure business unless it's among very close friends. If you are rich, everyone respects you. No money no respect.That's modern life where "money is King"to quote the PM of Malaysia.
So, if modernity and a high-income society is what we want, be prepared to accept the undesirable consequences. Find the means to become rich or you get poorer by the day as the cost of living shoots up leaving you to become a pauper in no time, unless you can find a quick way of making money. Just look at how some Malaysians become millionaires and billionaires without earning a single ringgit from undertaking some honest business.