Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Last Sunday afternoon, a friend said he is concerned about the future of the younger generation, especially over their desire for instant gratification and an unwillingness to strive to learn and improve themselves.

He was appalled at how even babies of four are addicted to their smartphone, even before they can read or write.

He teaches private tuition part time and gets frustrated with how his young student won't even do his homework, until he has to sit him down and make him do his homework in front of his parents.

That evening I had tea with an old friend in his mid 60s who still installs and services industrial compressors for a living.

A former military man and former oil rig worker, I will not repeat the stream of f%&* words which pepper his speech.

He works for a compressor reseller and travels around the country installing and servicing compressors installed at various industrial and other facilities across the country and has many stories to tell about industrial plants scaling down or closing down their operations in Malaysia and shift to neighbouring countries. Well, those are topics for another post.

More to the point here, "The Colonel" as we refer to him described how he had to attend to a compressor problem soon after its last scheduled maintenance and found that its filters had not been cleaned and gave it properly to his management when he got back to the office.

"When I and my older colleague used to service these compressors, there rarely were maintenance calls between scheduled maintenance times. Nowadays, the directors give jobs to their children, nephews, uncles, aunties, rather tan employ competent people from the open market, and when I told the directors that to their faces, they just hung their heads", The Colonel said.

"These new staff today are good at burying their faces in their telephones but they otherwise know chickenshit", The Colonel added.

Well, I do not know what the three of us can do to change the current situation or of the upcoming generation, which knows Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and their smartphones backward but don't even know how to change a light bulb, wire up a 13A plug or  jump start a car.

However, civilisations and empires rise and fall, as happened to Rome which rose to its heights, then declined as Romans got lazy and reliant on the slaves from across their empire to do all the work, whilst Rome declined into hedonistic decadence, and the Roman elite indulged themselves in days long banquets, where ate and drank, then induced themselves to vomit so that they could eat and drink more.

Some time back, an independent minded, pro-UMNO blogger predicted that things continue the way they are going now, Malaysians will be working as maids in Indonesia 20 years from now.

And, the Prime Minister continues to sing that well worn mantra about Malaysia being a "high income" nation by the year 2020.

"High income nation" indeed, when given the current inflation rate, RM4,000 per month gross national income per capita would buy less in 2020 than RM2,000 bought in 2010.

Below are two slides extracted from the Prime Minister's presentation of the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) Roadmap on the 25th of October 2010.

Look at the slides below and ask yourself what you think will be the real purchasing power of the ringgit in the year 2020 compared to 2010.

Note that RM48,000 is an annual income which is RM4,000 per month.

Readers should note that the inflation rate announced by the government is the average inflation rate across all of Malaysia.

The inflation rate is based upon the prices of 200 essential goods and services, so inflation would be lower than the average in a remote small town or village where rentals, property prices and the cost of food and other items grown or produced in the area are low. On the other hand, it is much higher than the average in highly urban areas such as the Klang Valley, where financial experts estimate the real inflation rate to be around 5.5% to 6% or perhaps even more now.

So ask yourselves how much will RM4,000 per month buy you in the Klang Valley in 2020?

Also note from the above chart that RM4.000 per month is the in the upper part of the middle income bracket, so there will be lots more people earning less than that but will still have to pay the same higher prices for goods and services.

In fact, the chart above tells you that there will be 7 million low income jobs in 2020, 7.4 million middle income jobs and a mere 1.8 million high income jobs in 2020, so what "high income nation" is the Prime Minister talking about?

Attached please find the full PDF of the ETP Roadmap Launch by the Prime Minister which was downloaded much earlier from the Performance Management Delivery Unit's (Pemandu's) website.

Readers can also download details on the ETP, including the full programme book from PEMANDU's website, though the attached presentation appears to no longer be there.


My friend is right to be concerned about the future of Malaysia upcoming generation - lost in the world of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The Malay term for "virtual world" is "dunia maya". Well "maya" is adopted from Sanskrit where it means "illusion" or "magic".

Well yes, illusion is what the cyber world and cyber culture are all about.

Yours truly


No comments:

Post a Comment