Saturday, January 30, 2016


By Mansor Puteh

The people of Japan and of the most developed countries in the world suffer, for the development they are giving to those who cannot excel in product creation. …so just who are the masters and who are the slaves in today’s world?

It is too bad that those people in developed countries are behaving more like the coolies for those in the less developed countries who are their real masters, who provide for things that they could not create themselves.

Malaysians must count themselves to be lucky that we are not yet like Japan and the other developed countries in Europe and the west.

We are their masters; and even if we can’t produce interesting films, they will provide that for us too.

And occasionally, they send their musicians and performers to entertain us, for a song that we can gladly pay, even if it cost a month’s wage, for some. 

It is ironic how Japan and all the countries which are described as the most advanced and developed in the world which are mostly in Europe or the west including America and Canada have people who are not able to benefit much from the economic development that their countries had managed to achieve.

Unfortunately, it is the countries which are described as the developing countries such as Malaysia and the others in Asia and elsewhere which are truly benefiting from the achievements of the others.

Despite its low GNP and average income, the people generally are able to lead a comfortable life compared to those in the developed countries.

I found this when I watched some programs on how the Japanese live in compact housing units and who cannot afford to buy a car that their country manufactures.

And they have to commute using the subway train and can only enjoy life if they travel abroad especially to come to Malaysia where they can live royally.

But alas, the Japanese and also the South Koreans and the Europeans especially cannot also enjoy much of what their countries had achieved over the years.

Malaysians can own one to four cars per person; never mind if they used ones, they can still go anywhere they want and live life less frugally and cheaply.

In the United Kingdom or France where I had been to quite recently, I found that the people there can hardly buy and own any car; and if they do, they are the small and compact ones.

And in London and Paris, the people have to walk for many kilometers everyday to get on the trains to go to work and back to their homes.

In New York City, it is said that seventy percent of the people do not own cars. In Kuala Lumpur about this percentage of the people own at least a car and may two or even three.

And it is not much of a surprise to see a house in the suburbs of the city that have three or four cars parked, for the man and his wife and adult children.

And even if the people in the city have to commute taking the LRT they do not have to be packed like sardines.

It is also how those in Singapore are suffering from the development that their country had managed to achieve thus far, mostly because of the limited size of their country that does not allow them to have much space for themselves and have to be contended living in small high-rise apartments.

Do you think those people in Japan and also Singapore and the other countries that are described as developed happy with their lives?

Maybe they are not. They are trapped in their little world and not able to do much with their wealth and the high pay they get each week or month, for rushing to get their trains or buses to go to work and return to their small compact homes late at night.

So few are able to enjoy their lives in these countries and they have to be fabulously wealthy to have a decent life, if at all, that can match those in the developing countries can take for granted.

Unfortunately, many Malaysians and those in the other developing countries are not aware that they are lucky that their countries are not so developed, or they would also have to suffer in order that their countries remain in the category of developed countries all of which will only benefit so few who are the successful entrepreneurs who hardly ever lift their fingers and yet they are able to earn so much.

While those who slog everyday can and must be contented to life a frugal life.

When can Malaysia arrive at such a stage?

We are slowly seeing that happen.

I took the public transport recently and parked my car at the train station, as it is convenient to do so, to go to a place where parking is difficult and I found I had been trapped in a rat race I did not know of existed in the city until I saw the large crowds of people rushing to get their trains and to go to work or to go shopping.

But this is not Paris, London, New York City, Tokyo, Singapore or Washington DC, but Kuala Lumpur, a city which is a fraction the size of those major cities in the west, but which is slowly forcing those living in it to experience what their counterparts living in those cities experience everyday.

In the end, what is it that you want, as a human being; being able to earn a lot or to be able to enjoy life and behave like human beings more than robots serving the less fortunate and developed? 

So who are the real masters and who are their coolies?

Do we want to fall in the trap and the crap about how a person’s standard of living is seen in how much he earns a month and not on how much he can truly enjoy life behaving more like human beings than robots? 

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