Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Tabloid Nation

It is appalling how much of Malaysia's collective consciousness is wasted on obscenely trivial matters and conflicts.

One can't help but to wonder how much more the nation could achieve if this wasted collective consciousness is channelled to more productive and purposeful ends.



Mangrovejumper said...

Perhaps the ringgit would rival the value of the sing dollar if our resources are properly channeled.

What's the per capita wealth of Malaysia compared to Singapore anyway? Perhaps you can throw some numbers here, if you haven't already done so in previous posts.

Elanor said...

not sure about the wealth pc, but income pc is around 5 times less, without ppp adjustment the last time i checked.

so, an average sporean earns 5 times more.

Anonymous said...

Mmm...but is this problem limited to Malaysia alone?

Trivial matters and conflicts create more drama in boring lives.

In a disturbing way, perhaps it is trivial matters that drive the economy. Barbie wants an Hermes, hence she gets off her butt and does something to get it. If not for material wants - however trivial - some people would just sit around collecting state welfare checks.

*non-economist point-of-view*

Anonymous said...

Yes, Malaysia is not alone, it is fine if you want to stay further and further behind. In other countries, I can disagree with the president, I can home school my kids if I want a different education for my kids. We are not wasting time fighting over dead bodies (it is a family's provate affair).
The point is, I can be myself, deciding to spend time on things I believe is important and get it done in the ways I believe it should be done.

We have time left to figure out what will be important to our future, like what should happen before we run out of oil, be the best in the field we/I choose to be in etc. The politicians and religious groups have to respect what I believe, it is my business.

For the economist here:
Can the earth support 6 billion plus people with high standard of living when we run out (or forced to reduce the use) of cheap fosil fuel ? Which is the role of Mayaysia post peak oil?


anonymous again said...

Hm, Frank_C, even other countries waste a lot of time fighting over trivial matters. If America uses less resources and energy to get tangled up in Brit Brit's scandals (which is also a private affair, no pun intended), a lot more can be done.

I believe the problem isn't really so much on a focus on trivial matters as much as it is an inefficient government combined with a restrictive laws.

Other bloggers like Xiaxue makes a living on a mediocre blog filled with trivial matters. Interior designers and similar professions are hardly needs but trivial wants.

While I may not know much about economics, I know that wants are unlimited. And this is what drives people to make changes, however good or bad.

P/S: As far as I'm aware, you're allowed to be home-schooled in Malaysia. I have 4 friends who were home-schooled, though I'm not sure what the official procedure is.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a lot of people spent/spend time on trivial matters, also what is trivial to one may not be trivial to another person. As long as we let people decide what they want to spend their time on, the individual or family can decide to spend time on what they believe is most important. (as long as the goal is not to harm some one else)
What is disturbing is in Malaysia, is that special interest (fundamental religiuos) groups and politicians have too much influence, they impose their will on some one else. Just look at our education system, a lot of us have to change from Chinese to English and then Malay medium. A lot of students in the younger generation went to Chinese primary school, then Malay medium school and finally their science subjects are taught in English, in the process we ruin many good schools. If the government left us alone and set a minimum guide line rather than micromanaging us, we would still have some of those good schools, which would be much better by now. Many have said Malaysians are talented in languages, people are being polite, most of the time we have no depth.
Home school may be available in Malaysia, but will the public universities in Malaysia accept home schooled students. I know the UCs, Harvard, Stanford and Caltech do. How many Chinese School students got into MU, and how many got into NUS and other foeign universities? (in a sense Chinese Schools are large "home school" cooperatives).
Malaysian politics is preoccupied with wealth distribution (entitlement), much less in wealth creation. Yes, there are projects here and there, but which one can make fundamental contribution to humanity by solving big problems facing humanity in time to come (whether it be energy, water, food, technology or environment etc). If we can not do that, then we will not be in the preeminent position in those areas and get the maximum benefit for our fellow citizens.
In short, in the name of social equality, we hold back those who are able. We want equal outcome (or better outcome for certain races) by providing unequal opportunity. In the process we restrict the opportunities available and we all end up fighter over what ever is left. The long term out come could be opposite to what is desired for all Malaysians.


Anonymous said...

Well, it is a known fact that the minority races here are being oppressed. Hence, we have what the government dubs a "brain drain". If the government does not stop favouring certain races to the detriment of others, then they will ultimately be left with their own and only their own. Then they can see the economy plummet. However, I still believe this has more to do with the government than trivial matters.