When it comes to decide what we shall decide for our future, we tend to listen to what our leaders say. We hardly think. We hardly say no. We hardly reassess what is being said. We are after all, 'yes men'. That's what my late mother said. That's what I want to echo. We are better off being 'yes men' than to have our say. We have a voice that's dysfunctional.
I remember when they had the Aku Janji stuff for us lecturers on campus, the first thing that came to my mind was "Aku janji dengan Allah" and nothing else. So when I was forced to come to the Aku Janji swearing ceremony (which beats me), I refused but I turned up 30 minutes after the affair when they were done doing Aku Janji.
Why was I obstinate? I cannot kow tow to any other but Allah SWT. I can work hard and earn little but I will never turn in myself to an Aku Janji that's man-made and when I can be exploited. I am after all, human - I want choices and not be exploited. That's my stand.
So I did not get my Aku Janji certificate as everyone did by going up and shaking hands and picking up the certificate from the boss. It was not my idea of a free work process. I don't believe in being forced to do work when beautiful work can come out from hands of highly initiated people who are motivated.
When it comes to money as in salary or research funds, I find that we are corrupt, both as employers and employees. We request for money like nobody's business and we spend public money likewise. We are a corrupt mass of irresponsible lesser humans. I don't want to be a part of a corrupt mass. I want to be a part of a mass that's clean.
Same with employment. I had always thought of employment as a free thing and by chance but that's not true. Employment is often biased and often than not, cronies get hired. You must know somebody inside if you want to join. I don't like it but I can see it happening around me. People talk and I can hear, "I know so and so here ...".
Kelantan versus any other town outside Kelantan, I think Kelantan has low unemployment in the farms compared to Klang Valley or Penang. There is more crime in Klang Valley and Penang compared to Kelantan. We were once agricultural and labour intensive. Now we are more industrial and less labour intensive, which I think is not good in the long run. We don't need our own labour but we import and buy cheaper foreign labour and make tons of profits for the MNCs. In the long run, our society will polarise into the rich at one end and the poor at the other end. Does anyone care? No. We are comfortable living what we are doing and we just don't care what happens to others around us.
What will happen if we don't try to narrow the gap between the rich and poor? Worse things can be expected. Will development come to poor regions? No, it is not profitable to develop poor areas. Development will continue at already developed regions. People who live in developed regions will become more dependent on facilities developed for them. The minute they fail to earn a sufficient income, they are bankrupt and have nothing to fall back on. They become useless human beings and problems develop within the family - unwanted, rejected, depressed, suicidal, etc.
We have manipulated our society to uphold a certain image of itself, that of a rich, sophisticated lifestyle where nothing less is wanted. We want pretty faces, slim bodies, fancy hairstyles and sexy clothes for our women. We want handsome young macho faces, healthy muscular figures and good looking expensive clothes for our men. We want our children to consume McDonald's, A&W, KFC, Marry Brown, all the Western fast foods where possible. Our own food becomes less glamorous compared to Western food. Our kids are intimidated to speak Malay but prefer English; Manglish is accepted and a status. We are throwing away our Malayness and becoming more Anglophiles. We take English as a preferred language, forcing kids through IELTS and TOFFEL, etc. There are no Malay language exams apart from SPM level Malay.
So where are we heading? I think we are developing ourselves to doom, by ignoring that we are first and foremost, Malay. As Malays we are supposed to develop our farms and employ all our young men, and become self-reliant. It is not surprising that our society is divided but the young do not know that their seemingly poor parents tilled the soil to earn an honest living. We are not stupid. We are stupid if we don't develop our farms and try to provide food for all. We cannot continue to rely on globalization. It is not for our community. We have 26 million Malaysians who need to eat and stay alive comfortably, not make money for a few rich people. I am against industrial development if the farms are ignored and our young have no proper jobs. Japan developed both its industries and its farmlands, and that's why she is a strong player in the world economy.
The Economics of Happiness