Sometimes I wonder whether we human beings know exactly what we want.
We are constantly unhappy with what we have in order to create change.
We dislike equilibrium and create disequilibrium.
Equilibrium means a stable state where everything is functioning well and smoothly. There are two such states: desired, or undesired.
If undesired, we want to get out of our low equilibrium by creating change and disequilibrium. In so doing, we hope to start the journey of arriving at a higher desired equilibrium state.
If desired, we would be quite happy for the equlibrium state to carry on forever.
2. Malaysian Society
In the context of Malaysia, when we started out in 1957, the economy was in high equilibrium but the society was in low equilibrium.
There was intention to disturb the low social equilibrium in the hope of maintaining the same high economic equilibrium.
In so doing, the social disequilibrium led to the downward adjustment of the economy as confidence evaporated.
3. What Do We Do?
Efforts are now made to re-establish the social equlibrium in the sense of social harmony. This is a good thing and should be vigorously pursued.
Whether this will necessarily lead to a higher economic equilibrium is another matter.
For all we know, we may want an economic disequilibrium with a process or dynamics that can bring us higher and higher, rather than stagnating at some sketchy vision.
It is a fact that Malaysia today faces an unsettling of its society with agitation at all levels.
While agitation will create change, there is no guarantee that things will necessarily change for the better. It takes good people in high places who know what they are doing to create positive change.
We cannot go back to where we were. We may not want to. But the forward march should start with more than just the same old agitation. It should be a modern view that our young generations can relate, for it is going to be their burden.