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Why I Think Malaysia Will Be the Best Place to Live in the Next

Oct 08, 1999 1286 Words
by: Woo Tai Kwan (First prize winner in the STAR 25th anniversary essay

competition (Category C - adults)

Should a fairy godmother suddenly appear before me with a crystal ball, a

magic wand and a world atlas, and give me the liberty to select the country I'd

like to live in 25 years from now, without a second's hesitation, I would point to

that small nondescript, elongated peninsula straddling the equator called

Malaysia. The reason is very simple. I firmly feel that 25 years hence,

Malaysia would be one of the nicest - if not THE nicest - places to call

"home".

Let us take a little journey down the corridors of time and cast a glance at the

destiny of some of the nations of the world over the past five decades. There is

war and famine in some, greed and suffering in others. Quite clearly,

Malaysia has reason to stand proud among the countries of the world. There

is plentiful sunshine and rainfall, while the soil is rich and the harvests

plentiful. Even Mother Nature has seen fit to bless Malaysia by exempting her

from its tantrums - there are no tsunamis and earthquakes, no floods and

droughts, no hurricanes and typhoons. Consequently, there is no need to live

in fear of nature's sudden and unabated fury; no need to be constantly on the

lookout for unexpected destruction and devastation Freed from the

encumbrances of having to battle with the forces of nature, Malaysians are

empowered to pursue lifestyles of their own liking. The economy is booming,

jobs are for the taking... this is the senario today and there seems little reason

to expect this scenario to change adversely within the next 25 years. In fact,

with proper management and leadership, the outlook for Malaysia in the next

25 years may even improve.

Just for starters, imagine coming home after a day's work to a spotlessly spick

and span house filled with the tantalising aroma of rich coffee and roast

chicken, all waiting to welcome one home... Which Malaysian

housewife-cum-career lady has not dreamed of this before? And yet, this

dream may well become a reality just 25 years from now - all because of the

winds of technological change, which are sweeping through the country right

now. Pping! Just press that little button on your wristwatch 30 minutes before

you head home and it'd activate the gamut of gadgets that will start the kettle

singing, the rice boiling, the washing machine churning and the vacuum

cleaner vrooming, and hey presto, all those tiresome household chores would

be done before you can say Abracadabra! Ridiculous, you say? Well, with

the setting up of the headquarters of computer giants in the Multimedia Super

Corridor and the pace of development of artificial intelligence being what it is

today, everything and anything is possible, and I, for one, am most definitely

looking forward to some exciting changes in our lifestyles within the next 25

years.

And as we get into our cars and head towards home, we can rest tranquil in

the knowledge that there will be no apoplexy-inducing traffic jams to brave

through just to get out of the city - thanks to the network of Light Rail Transit

criss-crossing the country and the emergence of monorail taxis which have

taken the pain out of public transportation. Going home after work in 25 years'

time would be a real pleasure as one breezes down three tiered super

highways, drinking in the kaleidescope of changing scenery leading out of the

Kuala Lumpur City Center and enjoying the sight of the interesting

architectural landmarks sprouting up all over the country. Twenty-five years

hence, the choice of homes would also be more varied. There would be

bigger, more spacious low-cost homes for the economically less able and

luxuriously furnished condominiums replete with swimming pool, gym, sauna

for those so inclined. And for those who favour the country way of life, think of

what a heady experience going home everyday will be - speeding along

jam-free highways to the sprawling country home nestled amidst green, rolling

plains.

Twenty-five years from now would also see a tremendous boost to the

standard of life in Malaysia. Naturally, all this would come with a price to pay -

there would be a commensurable increase in the cost of living too. However,

this would be cushioned by the increase in the earning power of Malaysians

brought about by the mushrooming of small and medium scale industries in

the country in the aftermath of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, as well as by

the further maturing of the secondary and tertiary sectors. The automobile

industry in Malaysia would probably be in its element in 25 years' time, with a

whole series of cars, vans and trucks, launched both locally and abroad, to its

credit and plans afoot to move on to move on to even bigger projects.

Translated into practical terms, all these means greater revenue for the

country and its people.

There would also be great inroads in the education system in Malaysia. The

seeds for changes have already been sown. The introduction of flexi time

tables, revamping of school curricula to incorporate attempts to inculcate

creativity and thinking skills, the introduction of computer literacy in all schools

in the near future are all designed to breathe new life into schools. Most

definitely, the implementation of teleaudio and televideo conferencing would

mean that classsrooms become literally borderless. The sector, which

stands to gain most, is the rural sector, as rural schools will be brought into the

mainstream of educational development. Given the current impetus, it is

highly likely that Malaysia would be internationally recognized as a centre of

educational excellence by the 2020's, and would play a leading role in the

dissemination of training at least in the East Pacific rim. All this would unleash

a multitude of learning opportunities and avenues for both young and old as

well as result in the gathering of a group of highly intellectual academicians in

the country. Needless to say, this would make Malaysia a most attractive

place to be in.

But the crowning glory of it - the single most distinctive factor that will make

Malaysia the best place to live in 25 years from now - lies in the government's

genuine efforts to build a heart for the country. The umbrella blessings of

Mother Nature, the winds of technological change permeating all strata of

Malaysian life - all this would come to naught if a society has no heart. In this

sense, the government's attempts to develop a caring society are most

commendable. Twenty-five years hence, these efforts would have begun to

bear fruit. Palliative and geriatric care has already made itself felt while

halfway houses for abandoned babies and abused children are increasing by

the day. The groundwork for inculcating the caring attitude among

Malaysians has already been laid with the move towards developing caring

schools. Traditional values like thrift, hard work, respect for the aged and filial

piety are being upheld as exemplary values which can hold the fibre of

Malaysian society together. The voices of people like Marina Mahathir calling

for tolerance and understanding for those most in need of moral support are

like beacons in the dark, lighting the way towards the creation of the highest of

all societies - that with a conscience. Ultimately, the country, which would be

best to live in, would be that which enjoys technological growth from without

and strong moral and spiritual development from within. And it is exactly this

factor which makes me firmly believe that Malaysia will be the best place to

live in 25 years from now.

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