Thursday, January 31, 2008

At Least, We're Better Than Ghana

Yes, this is an insider joke for those who have seen the infamous and controversial standup comedy by Jit Murad back in 2005. Jit relates how when he and his brother gets fed up about the Malaysian system, the only consolation they have is that at least we're better than Ghana who gained independence in the same year as we did but seems to be lagging economically as well as in ensuring peace. But hey, whoever wants to be compared to Ghana in the first place????

I hate to ask this question but do you think that there might be some country out there that compares themself to us, "no worries.. at least, we're better than Malaysia"? Well, it really is typical for people returning from abroad to sit down over a cup of coffee and rant about how much Malaysia is lagging behind all those developed countries that we've been to. I noticed the pattern that is quite imminent when I hang out with Mii, Nina, Nisya and Durra.. or with anyone who has been overseas for that matter. The complaints would range from cars refusing to stop at the pedestrian crossing at Telawi (or anywhere else) to how we feel most insecure in our own nation. I remember being frustrated before I left but the feeling has been growing ever since.

Does it mean that we're cocky?? Or we're plainly ungrateful or better said, 'lupa diri"? I've asked myself that question almost each time I make a comment about my frustration over the system or lifestyle here. Come to think of it, 2 years is hardly a long time but I felt that it has been an eye opener for me to realise that life can be better if we choose to change it. It gave me a sense of how much of my previous 20 years ca be improve in many aspects if only things were slightly "easier" for the general public who has an average earning income of RM2500 a month in this country (and not those who might spend the same amount just buying their monthly beauty supplies). Thus, it's actually so frustrating when people tell me off when I try to do something different/beneficial because they believe that one person CANNOT make a difference.

The economic divide might seem like it's still under control but I see/hear about people still eating rice with salt while others use only imported salt from the Mediterranean seas. Do we really want to wait for Malaysia to stoop to India and China's level that are prospering at the international business domain yet still fail to ensure that all of their citizens are taken care of and lead a healthy lifestyle?? For that matter, I just want to highlight that Malaysia has indeed been indulging in a lot of projects (like the space expedition) that could've waited until we really can afford it. What's the use of being able to have someone seeing the world from outer space with a budget amounting to billions when there are underprivileged kids in Telumpik who haven't seen a proper solar system model that costs RM150 each to enrich their understandng of the world around them?

Change is the only believable and needed thing now. In other words, I just hope that we will always have the chance to say "Well, at least we're better than Ghanalaaa"

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