Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today I read a letter which touched my soul

Assalamu 'Alaikum

Today I read a letter which touched my soul

To those of my generation mollycuddled into a safe life by circumstances will never understand the desperation of a graduate without a job. In our times a graduation is a ticket to a comfortable and safe life. The idea of a graduate not getting a job is beyond our comprehension. This is what we have governments for, to think far into the future to avoid such pitfalls. In 1980s to anticipate that in 2011 there will be thousands of young graduates without a job is the reason we placed these people in government. This is the trust we placed in them so that we can go on with our daily lives; happy with the thought we have appointed and paid these people to think about our children’s future. We certainly did not elect them to plunder the country to enrich the selected few.

If the answer from them was they did not anticipate such a situation in 2011 then perhaps they lose the right to rule and must step aside and let others execute their plans. For the job of governments is to take care of its people. Every single cent of the nation’s money spent must be done with the consideration of how to maximise the welfare of the people. State expenditures cannot be based on how best it will benefit the decision maker. If one needs money to stay in power then one must have the courage to acknowledge that there is something wrong with the system. Just look at America, the mother of democracy. It take tons of money to be the President of America. A devious conniving group who reads and understands this situation well can plan to fund both sides of the Presidential battle, and will always win whichever side lost. Then the entire might of America will then be used to forward the aims of this conniving group.
So we need to have the courage of conviction to ask is democracy all that its made out to be. Or is there another system waiting to be discovered. In our limited thinking the only alternative to democracy is a dictatorship, a word which brings to mind evil and corrupt leaders. Have we ever considered a dictatorship of the pious and the learned?
What if our dictator is a humble, pious and knowledgeable leader? Do we still choose a democracy for democracy’s sake? Let's pause and check, who are the people who are really pushing for democracy. Is it the democratically elected leaders or the conniving devious group who knows how to abuse and exploit the system?

Lets turn now to the economy. How could it be we have filthy rich people who doesn’t know what to do with the money except to buy a golden boat and atrociously priced jewellery and graduates in Sabah without jobs and even bleaker future? Isn’t it better to have economic growth when the distribution of wealth is fairer. No I am not talking of the failed Marxist system. I am talking of a market driven system which delivers fairer distribution of wealth. The biggest failure of the current system is the failure to address interest as the bane of humankind. Interest distorts economic growth leading to obscene levels of the gap between the rich and the poor. Today we have 1% of the world’s population owning 40% of the world’s resources; and we also have the famine stricken African boy about to be dined by the vultures. The obscenity of this maldistribution of wealth is beyond description.

Four people contribute equal amounts of capital to a business. Three are willing to go with the fortunes of the business sharing profits in good years and receiving nothing in bad times. However the fourth person do not subscribed to this. He insists on his return every year notwithstanding whether the business makes a profit or not. He also insists on the undiminished return of his capital at a time of his choosing irrespective of whether the business is profitable or not. Little does he care if his extraction of his capital will collapsed the business. His philosophy is, take care of himself first at whatever costs to others. This fourth person is called a bank. Further he is interested only in making the rich richer as the poor cannot deliver the collateral he always demand. Therefore it is small wonder  in an interest based economy the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. So that is why today we have people who can afford to make boats out of gold and Sabah graduates, poverty stricken. There is a solution to this of course but the West have brainwashed us that this is the only system workable and we continue with this belief even with such pain to humanity.

Dear Daniel, your letter touched my soul but it hurts me more that I can’t do much to help you.


Profusion of Ah Long a sign of economic woes

All so-called anti-poverty actions are just ad-hoc programs. Solve this and this, and wait for the next one to surface! The government is confused because it doesn’t have the financial capability to solve the problem and it doesn’t understand all the factors affecting the economy
By Daniel John Jambun
The decision by the Government Employees Co-operative Society Berhad (Kopeks) recently to settle debts owed by its members to Ah Longs to the hefty tune of RM500,000 made one wonder if Kopeks is not actually encouraging its members to go into debt, because it could easily bail them out anytime when the situation becomes critical. The bailout was a precedent that set a bad example of co-operative fund management.
It also reminded us how bad the economic situation in the Sabah is right now. If government servants can go into serious debt in spite of earning salaries, imagine the situation for those without jobs, and those in the rural areas who have to live off the land just to keep body and soul together. In this period of high inflation even those with salaries are in fact living below the poverty line.
If we still need to be convinced about the dire situation the people are facing, just let’s note that the recent job fair organized by the BN got a surprising response of 30,000! And these only involved those who could afford to come. Many didn’t even bother to come because they knew it was not worth the effort and cost to go.
Part of the reasons for the state’s poverty is the high unemployment rate among young school leavers and graduates. Many graduates actually survive by opening and operating kueh stalls, even taking on odd jobs. So the repeated advice to youths not to be choosy with jobs is actually a lot of nonsense knowing these young people, out of sheer desperation, are even going by the tens of thousands to Kuala Lumpur, Johore and Singapore to earn money.
High unemployment in Sabah has also caused the existence of sandwich families, which the government has admitted to be very high in number. The term “sandwich family” can be defined, from my own observation, as the case of parents who have to house and feed their children who are already married and have their own children because of joblessness. Many families are not even having any celebration when their children get married because they are so cash-strapped!
There is an ongoing, hidden depression going on in Sabah. They have suffered so long but have partly resigned to their fate knowing they is nothing they can do. The government has simply failed them. A fifty-ringgit note doesn’t last very long, doesn’t buy a lot these days. People have very little savings and for those who struggle to make ends meet, the money runs out long before payday.
What is more depressing is that we all know the government has not an iota of a plan to solve the problem; all so-called anti-poverty actions are just ad-hoc programs. Solve this and this, and wait for the next one to surface! The government is confused because it doesn’t have the financial capability to solve the problem and it doesn’t understand all the factors affecting the economy - globally or locally. So they have become experts in coming up with lame explanations and playing the blame game, like they blame youths for being unemployed because “they are choosy”. What a load of nonsense!
So in desperation, the people who need to settle their financial problems have to resort to Ah Longs, or loan sharks. And loan sharks come to fill up the market because there is a huge need for their service. A profusion of loan sharks, the rise of MLMs, get-rich-quick schemes and gambling businesses are a clear indication of serious economic problems in any country. People need a way out to escape financial pitfalls and hope to fulfill their dreams by buying lottery tickets as a way to comfort their troubled souls. The latest way to become rich overnight today is to find the tokek lizard and make millions overnight!
I would challenge the BN government to undertake a statistical survey of the situation and give us the accurate figures for unemployed secondary school leavers and graduates, the number of sandwich families and the grand total of amounts they spend from their parents’ income, the number of Sabahans who are working in the Peninsular and Singapore, and most importantly to give an economic blueprint for Sabah to solve unemployment and poverty in the short term.
Or is the government itself too cash-strapped to undertake these surveys?
How much does it cost to pay IDS to do them compared to providing for some road buildings in which the cost are doubled of tripled for the benefit of some political bosses? How much money has been stashed overseas, robbing us of economic trickle-down effects? We can only imagine the terrible losses we have suffered and our children will suffer in the future because of our government’s corruption and mismanagement!

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