What a hue and cry with the rise of petrol prices - anybody indulged in the petrol station Q?
There was this letter that RPK published lately - the author made very "precise calculations" about the real price of Petrol. Truly amazing it was. There were others calculating the actual price of petrol as well.
RPK wrote about "how we are lucky to earn twice as much" as our fathers did.
Yep - how "lucky" we are to have NEP, the "social contract", F1, KLIA, MSC, PKFZ, KLCC, Menara KL, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, & Ketuanan Melayu & UMNO Baru ......
There was a time when life was simpler - so "low-class" & "kampung". No need for maids, Indon/ Bangla/ Nepal/ Viet workers .....
Life was about necessities, and not Luxuries.
Let's just speak of the most basic of them all -Food.
It was only when necessary - eating for the heck of it was "weird". KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks etc etc were non-existent.
Today though, food is to "pass time". No get together or rest break is complete without "makan/minum". Birthday parties 'wasn't our culture' then. Cakes with icing were only for occasions - that too home-made.
You're bored? Eat.
Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat.
When you work, eat.
When you rest, eat.
As a host or guest, eat. TV/Movie - eat.
The child crying? Make 'em Eat!!
Hey you know what they say - Carpe Diem, Mate!
I love to gorge myself till my eyes pop, with everything in the market. Such sweet & lovely decadent delicacies ....... All I can have can never be enough.
That's real urban hip and cool!
Then, when I'm 30, obese and sick ..... I just go to the nearest hospital to get free medication and advise on how not to live, and then forget about it.
To slim down, I just need to pop a couple of pills, or pay a gym so that I can stare at the wall and punish myself to lose 2kgs ..... it's so simple.
You have a car, you gotta soup it up - never mind if you cannot afford or don't care for health insurance.
When you're sick you must seek the best, though - otherwise, just complain!
When the private hospital bills you an arm, you can always complain to the press, whack the doctors or even run to a very empathizing "Ah Long".
Never mind the debts from the car, house, credit cards, gambling & partying that piles up - if the Ah Long whacks you, you always have "Justice Bao" for some "protection", attention, publicity and sympathy!
How can I be treated this way - I have Holidays, Tolls & Toys; KFC & Mac D, Levi's, Prada, Gucci & Mont Blanc; malls, handphones, PDAs, X-Box, Nintendo, PSP and many other gizmos to think about. This is my birthright!
Education, Money, health and a job are today taken for granted by the people, and used as political tools by pirates.
Getting into debt is "normal". Credit cards are the "in thing", and a sign of success & affluence!
Banks don't encourage saving - neither does the government encourage prudence in spending, despite all the talk. Consumer spending apparently "drives the economy". (You just spend, & live it up - I'll give you discounts, by law! The idiots of the future will pay or fight over what's left of it .....)
Show of wealth is essential in a lifestyle encouraged by the NEP & the "social contract". Purchasing a car is a must if you have a job - even if you don't want it, the Govt would subsidize the deposit, and offer to deduct your salary for the next 10 yrs, so that you will be "bonded" to them. Hang the public transport - the worse it is, the better for the auto sales. If you need it, we can always have LRT/monorail with big bucks in it.
NEP and the "social contract" culture of luxury, excess and decadence, amidst mediocrity is our birthright! It glosses over the corruption that was institutionalized as a birthright. It is supposed to blind the people to the skimming that had taken place in the "glory years".
We only need to look underground with Petronas to pump it out, and print print all we want ..... or just start another 'social project' scam.
If that isn't enough, we could also sell the crude at today's price for the next 20yrs, so that we can have a twin phallic symbol, and any number of white-elephants as our symbol of our "Ketuanan" success & pride!
It is so simple - life with the NEP is so cool!
But then - Petrol, Petrol ... lamma Sabbacthani?