Well, she wasn’t ugly in looks but in character.
There’s a climate of anti immigration in the UK at the moment and the Government is making plans to cut benefits further to discourage economic migrants from coming.
My views on benefits are shaped by my years in Malaysia and Hong Kong, where benefits are non existent as these countries are more capitalist in nature. So I believe that I’m responsible for myself and my dependents and should do everything in my power to ensure their wellbeing. The UK by comparison is more socialist in that they provide assistance to those who are unable to fend for themselves. Despite this noble intention, there are some in society who are able bodied but lack the motivation to support themselves and instead rely on benefits. I can’t understand this mentality.
While out for lunch with a friend, we bumped into her acquaintance and stopped for a chat. The acquaintance was visibly upset and explained that she may not be able to pursue the nursing course that she had applied to. This was because her “b*****d” of a husband was working too many hours and so their combined income exceeded £30k pa. This meant that she would now have to pay for the nursing course rather than have it for free. Besides this all other benefits she was currently enjoying would be withdrawn. She wanted the benefits to continue and didn’t want the extra money her husband was earning. She was actually swearing at her husband for working hard to support the family. I was shocked, both by her swearing of her husband and about her mentality that she was entitled to benefits.
I find it alien that this person who is gainfully employed, would be more interested in getting maximum benefits from the government although she perhaps has the means to pay for it.
Where is the honour in hard work and supporting oneself? I hope she is in the minority as a country could not progress if most of its residents behave as she does.
In my 2 weeks stay in Malaysia, I only saw 2 policemen on 2 separate occasions. It made me wonder where the police are if they are not out patrolling the streets and making their presence felt? Someone mentioned in jest that because of the heat (it is 35’c and more in the daytime), they were in their air-conditioned offices, playing computer solitaire. Another thinks that the police are focused on illegal immigrants. Not to round them up as a reasonable person would think but to extort money from them in order not to do so. Apparently, extortion is big money compared to ‘kopi’ money (these are bribes that motorists pay to avoid a traffic summon. It is known as ‘kopi’ money or coffee money as it is offered under the guise of hospitality, i.e ‘let me buy you coffee for the inconvenience’.)
By comparison, we saw many killer/suicidal motorists driving at breakneck speeds, tailgating and weaving in and out of lanes, countless texting or speaking on the phone, while driving and just a general lack of regard for road safety and traffic rules. Where are the police when we need them to police these dangerous behaviour?
One of the clear signs of a breakdown in society is the lack of law enforcement, which then allows undesirable elements to take over the void. If left unchecked, residents will feel the need to take matters into their own hands. Those that can afford it will take flight and migrate to another country, those that can’t, will exact their own justice or worst, become bad.
Having spent the last 8 years living abroad with annual visits back to Malaysia, I’ve become acutely aware of the deterioration that has been taking place.
Here’s a typical example of why Malaysia is not a world class country: I needed to renew a car insurance and visited the insurer’s office. There were 5 staff members behind the customer service counter but only 1 of them was actually working. 1 customer was being served and 2 other customers (myself included) were waiting to be seen. Even then, we had to wait 45 minutes to be attended to. To make the situation more infuriating, the only working staff who attended to me needed to get approval from another department in order to proceed further and she rang at least 8 staff from that department and none of them answered the phone. So after an hour at this place, I was no closer to getting things sorted out!
Disappointed, I moved to a rival insurer and this time found only 1 staff working and about 15 customers waiting. There was a queue number system, which didn’t work in practise because people just pushed their way to the only staff working. My patience was running low, especially after the last place and so after (a further) 45 mins of chaotic service with people jumping queues, I kicked up a fuss and that was enough to get attended to. This time I was able to leave with the insurance renewed. Success at last!
As Malaysians we’ve come to expect this level of service from government agencies, not commercial enterprises. These insurers are public listed corporations that are supposed to be for profit. How they hope to gain any customers with such terrible customer service is beyond my comprehension.
I sincerely hope that Malaysia will be able to reverse this malaise before it becomes so ingrained in our culture that it becomes our identity.