Monday, November 14, 2016

The fault, dear Brutus, is .... ourselves

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Extract taken from e-notes here, below:
Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome.

Brutus is aware of Caesar's intentions, and is torn between his love of his friend Caesar and his duty to the republic. Cassius continues by reminding Brutus that Caesar is just a man, not a god, and that they are equal men to Caesar. They were all born equally free, and so why would they suddenly have to bow to another man?

On another level this phrase has been interpreted to mean that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.
Surely, it is not the intention to persuade others to resort to assassination or any acts of violence, but to look really deep within us and make that honest and rationale assessment before leveling blames on others for the trouble and misery of today.

If one is honest enough in the assessment, seldom it turned out to be our own fault.

This FMT opinion piece by TK Chua, claimed as an FMT reader but former writer with Sin Chew Jit Poh is refreshingly honest:
The fault, dear Malaysians, lies in ourselves
November 13, 2016

Our problems we face are so “man-made”, ranging from sabotage, pilferage, corruption, exploitation, profiteering, smuggling, arbitrage, cheating, taxes, wasteful spending to meagre wages.


By T.K. Chua

Why are we running everything to the ground?

Today it is about cooking oil shortages and the use of recycled bottles to pack cooking oil. Earlier it was water rationing. I am sure most of us have, at one time or another, experienced inconveniences such as a shortage of diesel, sugar, flour, eggs, chicken, beef, rice, and other essentials.

It is strange that as one of the most “governed” countries in the world, we always run short of this and that. Just look at the numbers of regulating agencies and enforcement officers we have. They don’t seem to make much of a difference when compared with other countries with no such outfits.

I am not talking about natural catastrophes here like floods, typhoons and earthquakes that cause supply disruptions. The problems we face are so “man-made”, ranging from sabotage, pilferage, corruption, exploitation, profiteering, smuggling, arbitrage, cheating, taxes, wasteful spending to meagre wages.

Take any problem we face today and I am sure you can pick out the relevant factors highlighted here.

Don’t blame industrialisation or population growth for water contamination and disruption of potable water supply. It is an issue very much related to incompetence, corruption or even sabotage. Two weeks ago it was Semenyih River, today it is Linggi River. When will this baloney end?

Don’t blame the various subsidy programmes for the people but our inability to manage smuggling, corruption, arbitrage, and collusion between business people and public officials. How did subsidies end up benefiting foreigners, exporters and those who are in the position to arbitrage rather than the consumers?

Don’t blame the GST per se. It is our inability to manage prices which have escalated beyond the GST rates, again due to incompetence, cheating and profiteering.

Don’t blame toll rates, electricity tariffs, parking charges, Internet access fees, and university tuition. It is our inability to regulate and control monopolies, collusion and exploitation.

Don’t blame falling oil prices on our fiscal woes. It is our profligate and extravagant ways. Ministers and senior officials get too much perks and privileges. Government contractors, suppliers and consultants get too much profit and compensation for doing little.

We have a big national budget but it delivers only a small output, if you get what I mean. We pump in more money, but there is no corresponding increase in goods and services.

Don’t blame our high cost living on lack of price control or enforcement alone. It is the falling value of our ringgit. Price control and enforcement can’t enhance the value of the ringgit, but proper monetary policy management, including appropriate interest rates, money supply, efficiency and productivity can.

Don’t blame stringent loan conditions imposed by banks, blame low income or income decoupled from prices of homes and cars. Loans are not incomes. We are only postponing the problem if we dish out loans to borrowers who have no means of paying it back.

Don’t blame the US Presidential election or Trump as incoming president. These are mere excuses for global excesses to realign and to find their fundamental levels. The centre of gravity has shifted. US power and influence have waned. Trump will not make a significant difference.

The US is just a “bottomless pit” of consumers and a supplier of US Dollars. Has anyone visited China lately?

We must get the fundamentals right: the rest will fall in place.

T.K. Chua is an FMT reader

It was only few days back that someone vented out his frustration. It is time to tell these naive and ignorant people to do as they stupidly prefer.

If Singapore and Penang, even Kelantan and Selangor are not glaring enough as examples, the corruption, nepotism, and cronyism of the past that become a financial burden today is not good enough a lesson, and the insidious manouvre for legacy, dynasty and crony in perpetuity is not obvious enough to be seen, let them undergo the bitter and painful, likely irreversible experience.

What is happening today are mountain of problems from the past swept out of our sight only to appear and blamed it as others fault.   


Anonymous said...


We were given so many prizes
We changed the desert into oasis
We built buildings of different lengths and sizes
And we felt so very satisfied

We bought and bought
We couldn't stop buying
We gave charity to the poor 'cause
We couldn't stand their crying
We thought we paid our dues
But in fact
To ourselves we're just lying

I'm walking with my head lowered in shame from my place
I'm walking with my head lowered from my race
Yes it's easy to blame everything on the west
When in fact all focus should be on ourselves

We were told what to buy and we'd bought
We went to London, Paris and Costa del Sol
We may show we were seen in the most exclusive shops
Yes we felt so very satisfied

We felt our money gave us infinite power
We forgot to teach our children about history and honor
We didn't have any time to lose
When we were... (work)
So busy feeling so satisfied

I'm walking with my head lowered in shame from my place
I'm walking with my head lowered from my race
Yes it's easy to blame everything on the west
When in fact all focus should be on ourselves

We became individuals without a soul
Despite the heat
Our homes felt so empty and cold
To fill the emptiness
We bought and bought
Maybe all the fancy cars
And bling will make us feel satisfied

My dear brother and sister
It's time to change inside
Open your eyes
Don't throw away what's right aside
Before the day comes
When there's nowhere to run and hide
Now ask yourself 'cause Allah's watching you

Is He satisfied?
Is Allah satisfied?
Is Allah satisfied?
Is Allah satisfied?

I'm walking with my head lowered in shame from my place
I'm walking with my head lowered from my race
Yes it's easy to blame everything on the west
When in fact all focus should be on ourselves

Maher Zain

Anonymous said...

10:61 And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur'an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom's weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register.

10:62 Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve

10:63 Those who believed and were fearing Allah

10:64 For them are good tidings in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. No change is there in the words of Allah . That is what is the great attainment.

10:65 And let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, honor [due to power] belongs to Allah entirely. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

10:66 Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not [actually] follow [His] "partners." They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying

10:67 It is He who made for you the night to rest therein and the day, giving sight. Indeed in that are signs for a people who listen.

10:68 They have said, " Allah has taken a son." Exalted is He; He is the [one] Free of need. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. You have no authority for this [claim]. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?

Anonymous said...

Rise and fall
Most of all, we must never be deceived. We must never allow ourselves to think that anything in this world succeeds, fails, is given, taken, done, or undone WITHOUT Allah. It is only by OUR CONNECTION  to our Creator that we rise or fall in life, in our relationship with our world—AND with all of humanity.
- Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim Your Heart

Anonymous said...

so are you saying that your dear leader is blameless.

are you saying that RM655 billion of debt is not his wrong doing.
are you saying that RM200 billion of government guarantee debt is not his wrong doing.
are you saying that his economic management is so blameless that our economy is worst than vietnam, the philipine, indonesia.
are you saying that he is not to blame for the influx of foreign labour,
when, after paying billions to consultant, are being conned by Pemandu to believe that our economy is moving to a high income nation.
are you saying that he is not to be blamed that he created the biggest financial scandal that is being investigated in 5 countries.
are you saying he is blameless for the past 8 years creating financial economy (read Teraju, Equinas, FGV, Pelaburan MARA) rather that real economy that can create jobs.
are you saying that he is blameless that his economic management depend solely on oil money and economic growth through property speculation.
and you saying that he is not to be blame when he believe 100% on Mat Maslan that price of goods are going to come down after GST.
is he not blameless for not sensitive to the plight of rakyat that day after day see the value of their income shrinking while the economist screaming our inflation is low.
is he not blameless for not sensitive to the tragedy in the worst flood in the east coast in 2014.
the list can go on and on an on...

as long as he is the PM, he carry the responsibility as the leader of this country.
if he want to take credit of our olympian, he also must bear the brunt of the rakyat when his leadership is no longer trusted.

A Voice said...

12:20 AM

Did I say all that?

Incredible how people could misinterpret and put words into people's mouth by just a posting asking to reflect and be honest. Guess you are not honest to seek for a better Malaysia.

Till we are honest to blame ourselves as much as others, then we will forever be lost in low life practises of politics and indulging in dishonest discourse for ulterior of self interest than public interest.

My Say