Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Race & The Nation

A nation is made of many races, in any country. There is no country in the world that is absolutely homogenous. The homogeneity is usually borne out of symbiotic association.

The Chinese are a race of many different dialects, who have graduated from calling each dialect a race and consider all dialects to be Chinese, although one really cannot understand what the other is saying. If left to themselves, the Chinese would have fought among themselves over their dialects. And they did.

I am sure that this aggregation of convenience occurs among the other races in Malaysia, although I will not delve into them.

Except to mention that in Sarawak, it will do the indigenous people much good if they are willing to subsume their individual language under a larger agenda. But the way things are, given the education system, it will be that Malay will dominate as the national language and everyone else has to speak plus English. There is much to be said however about the preservation of ethnic cultures of all language/dialect groups in the nation, if only to remember the roots of where we all come from.

But looking ahead in forging the identity of the nation, it will do well that the Nation has an identity that is a composite of as many of the key and good elements of all of us.

We have already seen the successful amalgamation of religion with race, whether the key identity of the race is religion. But even then, with the religion, not all races are the same. In other races, we see of religions being practiced within a race. This integration of various elements in a race occurs naturally according to the fancy of each individual of each race and therefore cannot be stopped. To do so will be to ostracize an individual as an outsider and not be a member of the inner fold.

A political party therefore is no different from a club whereby membership requires a fee and there are benefits to be derived from being a member. How the nation has been and is being divided is that the holders of positions in the club stand to be elevated so that command by the club over the whole of society can be maintained, with the club imposing its values on everybody.

The club is as good as what it can deliver to its members. If the club fails to deliver to its members, its members will leave.

Other clubs will also rise looking for members, peddling probably the same old stuff of the old club but with a twist - that new members have a chance to be part of the core team. The community therefore splinters into different groups.

But what is the catch for everybody? It is nothing but money and wealth. It is telling that one old guard could declare since we have not managed to make everybody a millionaire, at least we have made a few people billionaire, including himself and his friend, of course. It is all about money.

It is of course true that everybody is in it for the money. You and I and everybody else, because this is the construct of our present society - that we need money to survive. But money for wealth sake is an entirely different kettle of fish - it is about greed and jealousy and domination.

So it is therefore no mystery why politics is couched in racial terms as a means to obtaining the monopoly on wealth. It is about the distribution of wealth. Wealth distributed through projects and it is not surprising that public projects are big projects financed by debt, and this debt is to be reduced by extracting as much as possible from the general public in terms of taxes and reduction in subsidies.

The distribution of wealth in this country is therefore a direct result of the government policy to redistribute wealth directly, at the expense of growth. This policy is leading the nation downhill. When an elite can be made rich and the rest should pay for it. Those who are poor will be given handouts in order to keep them quiet.

The key to economic prosperity is always through economic growth. Through savings and investments and hard work to make a success out of their ventures. It will be a combined effort of skills as well as acumen in business to know the business terrain and to compete. This is what makes a nation tough. But a government that looks jealously at the successful businessmen and say I must have a share of your success without your losses is a recipe for national failure.

Where is the entry point for young people into the economy when the government creates companies that dominate the economy. The structure of the economy is fixed by the politics. The rest, if they want to succeed, must go underground to create an alternative economy.

The obsession of wealth distribution over economic growth leads to the result that is to be expected. That wealth will be distributed and growth will decline.

It is a perverse strategy that to try to keep the economic growth up, the government brings in a foreign third force - foreign direct investments, after having stifled local direct investment. The success of local direct investment will be seen in the form of local physical assets and hence a display of wealth which jars the eyes of politicians. Foreign direct investments merely take their profits out, leaving behind a skeleton physical structure which they are always willing to let go. And the building of infrastructure for foreign direct investment is paid for by the general public in the form of taxes and reduction in subsidies.

With everybody now quite comfortable with handouts, small businesses suffer a shortage of manpower and the only solution seems to be to import foreign workers. There are now many foreign workers, which is leading to a second wave of immigration (issue of citizenship yet again). I should think this second wave is good for the nation, in terms of economic growth. Whether it is good for racial politics or not is something that is left to be seen. We really have to think seriously about our nation.


James said...

I just shared your thoughts with a friend who is fighting for the same idea; and it is an inspiration for others far away. Just because your blog may not have thousands of hit, it does not mean that the ideological aspirations is like throwing a ball to a brick wall. Sometimes that wall collapses. Thanks!

walla said...

Ask any level-headed person and he will say this present generation is finished. Except for some, most will just grind to their respective ends. For instance, most will survive at most three years on their meager provident funds. Perhaps that's why people shudder to ask themselves how they are going to carry on after they retire.

Yet even when he knows he is already a goner, the same person will still feel and worry for the younger generations. They are innocent to what has been happening. It is only their energy and curiosity which are holding them up. Their real post-school test will come about when unstoppable force meets immovable rock. Perhaps and despite their own innocence they already sense the futility of it all so that they bravely act busy by constantly focusing on their hand-phones.

walla said...

What can those who are going do for those who are just starting?

One, be braver and ask the hard questions. What is the future for my family? What can the future be for my country?

The answers to these two questions are entwined.

One suspects the Malay does not ask these questions at all because the religion is supposed to be a way of life and the way of life is que sera sera.

Some of the Chinese may ask these questions. They will say since they cannot do anything about their ecosystem, they will just immerse themselves in what they can do - namely make as much as possible, save as much as they can, and prepare their younger generations for better material lives elsewhere.

None of the Indians will be asking to questions. They knew they are already dead even for those not behind bars.

One also laments that due to lack of proper nutrition, all of the indigenous natives are just happy for the moment even if it means breakfast of plain rice noodles without sauce, without condiment, without anything.

And we are already in the 21st century of a so-called modernizing state with a constantly emerging economy last vaguely remembered as one of the tigers of Asia.

More hairless pussycat, no?

walla said...

Two, after asking those two questions, figure out for a few minutes how to achieve the personal vision of future of family coincident with future of country.

Given the brevity of most attention spans, those few minutes if themselves sustained will be priceless.

It is not inconceivable that most in their sudden awareness of their real situation of no-future will catch the chill of fear after doing so.

But it is critical to the exercise to immediately form the will to act after the sudden awareness.

Bottle that emotion of will inside a container.

One liter coca cola bottle means the assessment of present situation for future development has been benign. After all, possibilities are still endless. Despite mega-bombshells like 1MDB, infinite even.

Five liter softener bottle means the
assessment has been sterner but still over-look-able.

Twenty liter diesel container means temperature has hit the roof and you're trying to remember where you had last seen the grindstone.

To sharpen the guillotine.

walla said...

Three, everyone must try the twenty liter container. Economy of scale. Builds biceps.

Take this with a wry sense of humor. The new ruling is you are only allowed to buy two twenty-liter containers of diesel at any one time. So after doing so, you take them three hundred kilometers away to fill two of eight generators in different remote places so that there will be some light during mosquito-infested nights for the poor to be able to read and recite their Al-Quran. However if you are driving a jalopy, it already consumes one and a half containers of diesel and you need the remainder to get back to the station to fill another two containers for the third and fourth places. And so on.

You certainly can't afford to buy a five thousand liter tank in order to buy at any one time a minimum five thousand liters of industrial diesel and leave everything in a remote place.

Why not, it is heard ask? Because Nasir Razak in that room was witness to a storm of expletives issued after the bankers were asked by certain authorities why the banks did not beef up their own security on account of their ATM's having been carted off lock stock and barrel.

Yes, who can depend on security these days?

So there is the other sneaky alternative. You take two twenty liter container and buy/fill them. Then you drive to a safe place and deposit them. After that you take another two twenty liter containers and repeat the process until you have eight containers of those lung-corroding stuff.

Then you risk it driving three hundred kilometers so that the poor can have a few hours of light at night to learn the way of life in this que sera sera world.

The following humid afternoon, you have to do it all over again. Because those generators are old-model guzzlers. They also cost a bomb to repair.

Life is all about developing biceps. That's the only way we can reach Vision 2020, innit?

walla said...

Four, drink one container and go to heaven? No, that would be too dramatically draconian.

Fourth is just - do the damn right thing.

And the easiest fastest cheapest thing you can do right is to change everything from the top in one stroke because when the top is changed the bottom will also have to change.

Didn't someone just say change or be changed? Who is that smart alec? After he said it, there was a chorus of applause so encouraging you can be excused for not taking paraquat out of some remnant hope of a better tomorrow.

Yes, in just a few years to come, that single stroke you will be making on a piece of paper will usher the change.

Except what to do with those religious zealots....

walla said...

And that is why you must have the fifth. Hold on and nurture with utmost energy all the innate goodwill inside each of us. It's either that or retro Zimbabwe.

Odd things one can see. The Chinese man is legless and prostrate on the pavement of the Malay market. You count and it is just two seconds when the wave of compassion overwhelms the Malay woman to reach for her purse.

Meanwhile in the background a laptop is showing a PAS man proselytizing about of all things persaudaraan. You are piqued. Didn't the PAS leadership just walk out in all but name from the coalition upon which ideal its success has been made more palatable?

After that what else can you do except go dandan your hair. You enter a hair dressing salon and are instantly bemused to find two middle-aged Chinese women chatting away but only in Malay.

After your hairdo, you go to a small retail shop. A Chinese man is in a hurry and cut queue in front of the slower Malay man but the Chinese shop assistant refused to serve him until after the Malay man has been served.

And then you suddenly remember you need to go pay some taxes at some place. The place is messy. Topsy turvy in fact. What is strange is that one must pay in cash. The bank issues the cash carefully. Person counted, machine counted. You count everything yourself as well. And put all of it in a proper envelope. The official counts it, says nothing, then just a mite second before issuing the receipt says it is short by a note and if you don't cough up, count it yourself.

You coughed.

No hacks can cure such a cough because you also notice his name on the tag. It is more common to those of another country. As you walk out, you overhear the head of department saying to the delight of the staff that it was nice lunch.

So too the size of her pure gold chain around the neck. Can be used to lift anchor from a battle cruiser, one imagines.

One month bonus.

So, sixth. Suffer quietly to the end. It is after all only and only karma.

walla said...

Let's end on an eighth.

Seventh, two simple questions even economists can answer.

What is the probability of a new mineral water bottle in a jungle losing three quarters of its content in one week with the seal remaining untampered and no leakage?

Answer: 1.0

What is the probability of finding the sudden appearance of the image of a second face on the same rock in a jungle when it wasn't there before?

Answer: 1.0

Perhaps Mr Black and Mr Scholes can enlighten.

walla said...

The Mighty Eighth (youtube)