Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Running out of Time

It's December and we know that everyone is saying: “Wah, December already. The year just flew by, didn't it?”
It's just a perception. Time, of course, cannot move faster or slower. We are, after all, blessed with the same amount of it daily. But it is what we do with our time that is different.
My ex-manager when I was in BHP Billiton, Greg Forknall once told me that " When you too busy raising a family, you don't have time to catch-up with friends. Suddenly, you realised that time flew so fast when you suddenly bump into them again when all your children grown up and both you are old"
Which is true, when I bump into someone I knew, we may exchange a few pleasantries, and then say that diplomatic phrase, “Let's catch up one of these days”. The phase that without specifying the time, you can be sure the day will never come.
Like most people working and living in the Kuala Lumpur, my schedule is often full. You have probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Super busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. But whether it is full by choice or by circumstances, it surely cannot be so inflexible that it is unable to accommodate any unexpected appointment.

Some of us are so busy that even when a friend is not well, we have to weigh other factors first before deciding if we can spare the time to visit.

The problem, then, is less how much time people have than how they see it. Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems.

We are blessed with the same 24 hours in a day, yet our lives can all be so different depending on how we use those precious hours.'The choices we make and the priorities we set determine the busyness of our lives.
Note to self:- " Life is too short to be busy"

Monday, 27 July 2015

Baby Economics

If you have followed my blog, you must have known that I am actually a very new parent myself. Only after being “promoted” to fatherhoods, I got to learn that a child really takes up a lot of my time and also money.

With the arrival of the new baby, I have to be smarter with the household budget, I am trying to understand the baby economics; The fluctuation price of diapers & milk formulas which the price vary from different stores and the effect towards the behavior of the customer. I have been thinking lately of trending those item so my budget on my baby’s stays at a fixed cost.

Raising a child in Malaysia can be expensive. A calculations made found that it would cost RM1 Million to raise a child and have that child finish university in the country.

As parents, it is natural to want what is best for the child. This includes the best in education, the best in nutrition, the best in exposure, the best in skills… you get the picture. Let’s not even go to the best of the bests; let’s look at basic childcare costs.

During first 6 months, your baby will be breastfed and/or fed milk formula. Looking at the figures, a total of RM547.58 is the minimum required each month to feed your baby. When your baby is ready for more solid food options, you will have to pay more in addition to the list on top. Although the list above isn't comprehensive, it gives you a peek at some of your baby's most important monthly expenses. So, be prepared to prioritise these items in your budget list.

In iMoney.com’s article “How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby?”, it was estimated that the total cost for the first year of a baby was RM24,500 if the baby was sent to a day-care or babysitter and RM15,500 if it was not sent to a day-care or babysitter. The article goes on to say that the cost can come down if pre and post-natal check ups and the delivery are done at public hospitals. As per below:-

Having a child is a life-long commitment. As they grow older, you will need to consider other costs such as their education and hobbies. However, it will be worth it as Nicholas Sparks, a famous author once said, “What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Malaysia another Greece or Enron?

Greece is a classical example to nations, which are bent to spend and spend with no controls in place, exposing their financial vulnerability and susceptibility to external economic threats and with no savings in hand to off-set their careless spending pattern. 

I hope the government of the day will learn from Greece to be careful, prudent, circumspect and sagacious with our money, which tax-payers have faithfully contributed since taxes were imposed on wage earners as long as we can remember.

However Malaysia fate is not really another Greece. It’s more like another Enron.

Google Enron and you will find why they collapsed - high value infrastructure projects, creative accounting, auditors took a long time to finalise accounts, cash flow issues, political involvement, huge expenditure for public relations, etc, etc. Sounds familiar?

1MDB for example is one of Malaysian corporate crony capitalism, framed and flourishing ethnocentrically and laced with economic fascism continue to take root, fashioned after the ethos of America’s Enron Corporation which was said to be too big to fail yet fell like a house of cards that turned into ashes after an internal combustion of a self-immolation.

Malaysia Government made use of its complex group structure as well as structured products and special purpose vehicles in lightly-regulated offshore centres to allegedly conceal borrowings and liquidity shortfalls. Like Enron, the failure by the gatekeepers of the financial system to curb fraud resulted in the transfer of risks to end-clients without their knowledge.

The establishment of special purpose vehicles by the government to perform investment is an act that betrays transparency since there is no direct line of accountability and hiding behind the veil of incorporation.

The establishment of this entities is usually correlated to weak lines of reporting and unclear channels of accountability.This entities are being audited by audit firms that have vested interest in their business due to the level of other services rendered to them.

The auditor general will not look into this entities since it falls outside the scope of their duties, hence it has technically fallen into a zone of low accountability.When there is limited accountability and dubious accounting treatment of the entity, it clearly indicates that there is an issue.

What is alarming too is the Auditor-General’s Annual Report which indicates many fraudulent purchases and mismanaged spending that runs into millions and the masses through different means have voiced their concern many times over but little was done to ensure accountability, chargeability and explainability were the order of the day.

Malaysia is only now moving towards accrual accounting from cash accounting system, this means that the true debt and actual losses will soon be realised by the public who are the ultimate principals in this agency issue.

The government is an agent of the public and should act in the best interest of the public.The channelling of funds and use of government guarantee to raise funds for dubious investments may bring into question the integrity of the whole system.

We have allowed careless speeding and bad investments to take place under the nose of those who sit in the pinnacle of power. Those badly perceived investments are still under investigation and only time will prove whether our money was rightly invested by those we have trusted and placed into office to govern and to manage our national coffer

Ignoring the examples provided, Malaysia can most likely go much, much deeper in debt. Malaysia. If these aren't managed with integrity or intelligence, Greece might be a reality for Malaysians today.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Despicable Me

Alhamdullilah, with patience and love, we waited for our baby. With excitement and joy, we welcome Arissa Fathia (Born on 23 June 2015) to our family.

Like most men, I have done macho things all my life. However, I can categorically say that nothing has tested my manhood as much as becoming a dad.I never really grew up until I had a baby.

When I was about to become a father for the first time, other men who’ve already blazed that trail are keen to share their experiences. I get those who tell you it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them, and those who talk knowledgeably of sleep patterns and bottle-feeding. 

Although a man learns what it means to be a dad from his own father, it’s not until the birth of you that I started the most important journey of my life.

Who would have thought to my surprise, the day I looked in my daughter's eyes that I would find my pride and joy.

All the thoughts in my head of this little girl. I did not know who I was as a man until the moment you were placed inside my hands. And it was at that split moment when you opened your eyes, your true identity was no longer disguised. 

As the lights glistened in your beautiful eyes, Inside I slowly started to cry. I was given an angel from heavens above. The final test as a man, a little girl to love.

I am not ready to be a father yet. I don’t know if anyone is ever truly “ready”. So I ask you now, forgive my mistakes. Understand that my fear is born from not wanting to fail you. But know that I’m here, and I will always be here, no matter what happens.

We love you so much and look forward to a lifetime of wonderful adventures with you.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Ugly Malaysians

Let’s be honest, we are all selfish beings, constantly making choices that maximize benefit and minimize harm. But at the same time, we are complex creatures and our selfish or selfless behaviour are often difficult to differentiate.

The world has changed quite a bit in the last century. Modern technology and urban development has all but replaced the "kampung" lifestyle. Although much good can be said about industrial growth and progress, the modernizing of society has also altered people’s way of life. The slow pace of small community living has given way to a more pressured urban lifestyle where people are more focused on their personal goals and objectives. As people focus more on themselves and meeting their personal needs, selfish habits begin to take root in their lives.

There are many reasons why people are selfish. Some people may have been raised in a selfish environment by selfish parents and family. Others may have developed selfish habits due to their experiences or difficult circumstances in their lives.

Today all that matters are ourselves. We have become a selfish, ignorant nation. Now let see the ugly part of Malaysia. How selfish can Malaysian be in their daily life:-

  • While driving, always cut queue anywhere and everywhere you can. If they don't allow you to cut in, go in front of them and block their way, swerve close to them or find a way to bully them. 
  • There is no such thing as first come, first serve. If you see a new cashier open his counter, quickly run from the back of the queue to the new counter so you can beat all the people who have been waiting long before you. 
  • If the person in front of you is taking a really long time, just cut into the queue next to you. If anyone says anything, glare at them and give them dirty looks. 
  • Don't respect others waiting to use public restrooms, just walk straight in past everyone else into the next vacant toilet. 
  • At a restaurant, pretend you didn't see all the customers who are waiting for a table, as soon as someone leaves quickly rush in and seat yourself at that table. Don't worry, the restaurant staff don't dare to say anything and will not chase you away. Just don't make eye contact with any angry customers. 
  • Don't wait for passengers to get off the LRT/Komuter, just push yourself in as fast as you can. 
  • If you see a car with signal light on waiting for a parking space, quickly rush in front and grab the parking space for yourself. 
  • If you can't find a parking space within 10 metres of the mall entrance, just park illegally near the entrance even if it is at a tight corner making it difficult for other cars to take the corner. 
  • Even if there are empty parking spaces a few shops down, just double park in front of the shop you want to go to. Who cares if you block others from getting out, or block the street itself. 
  • Just stop in the middle of the road to let off/ pick up passengers. Wait as long as you need without any consideration for other cars behind you. 
  • Allow your children to make noise, break things, dirty other people's car, throw rubbish everywhere in public, on the streets, into neighbour's house etc, as long as it's not your own house/stuff. 
What has become of our manners and culture of being honest, considerate and tolerant? have we been so duped by the rhetoric of our more bigoted fellow citizens that we have become hatemongers? Or is the pressure of city living so great that everything is seen as a fight for the survival of the fittest, fairness be damned?

I think we have misplaced our moral compass. We have bought so much into the negative talk that we perhaps no longer believe there is any point to being good. 

If only we would all wake up and smell the rotting stench, maybe there will still be hope yet for the wretched state of our nation. If we stop and realise that doing wrong doesn’t make things right, maybe we have a sliver of a chance at correcting the flow of our collective destiny.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Malaysian Dilemma

Malaysians talk about the further increase in the cost of living since the Goods and Services Tax was implemented two weeks ago. We are at the adjustment stage as we try to come to terms with the changes that are affecting our daily lives.

We are definitely looking at the bill more closely. Even if we are prepared for the 6% GST to show up, we grumble why we have to pay 10% for service charge as well.

We now check our receipts more carefully because we do not want any extra charges to show up. Let’s get real. We are all affected by the rising cost of living.

At roadside stalls, where no GST is charged, we also notice that the food portion has shrunk or the price has gone up slightly. Yes, even these stallholders need to earn more to make ends meet.

This is what most Malaysians talk about in their daily conversations. If our politicians and bureaucrats think these are all made up, then they are either in self-denial or living on another planet, which means they really deserve to be sacked from their jobs.

Stop waiting for just good news which you only want to hear. If you want real feedback, talk to real people, not apple polishers or opportunists.The typical Malaysian wage-earner cannot escape the taxman as everything is deducted at source. So there is always a gap between the actual salary and the take-home pay after all the statutory deductions.

Not only does he have to juggle his expenses, he also cannot be sure about the annual increment exercise. After all, employers also can cite reasons like weak market sentiments to reduce the increments and bonuses.

Middle class Malaysians are the worst off. They are truly squeezed in the middle. They can’t qualify for BR1M and they are too poor to live the life of the rich and famous of Bangsar.

Our leaders can rattle off statistics to convince us how well the Malaysian econo­my is doing but we are sorry to tell them that the trickle-down effects are not being felt at all. Most of us are not reporting roaring businesses. Try talking to those in the retail business especially.

So the last thing we are interested in are squabbling politicians. They include retired politicians who just can’t accept the fact that they are retired. And then there are those still in service who really need to get special lessons on how to provide convincing and truthful answers during interviews.

Either way, Malaysians are not amused with the daily overdose of news about murder conspiracies, alleged missing money and plots to overthrow the leader­ship – not when many of us have to put food on the table and figure out where the money should go this month.

Their next more important item, of course, is to prepare themselves for their coming party elections. Economic issues? That’s too difficult to understand and explain to the village folks. It doesn’t have emotional appeal and it will be difficult to grab the attention of the ceramah crowds.

And of course, it doesn’t help that the ringgit has shrunk. The cost of doing business has gone up and it has also become more expensive for those of us with children studying overseas.

If there’s any consolation, the price of petrol has just gone down a bit, but the hawkers have not reduced their prices since the last time the prices of crude oil went up. For many businesses, what goes up need not come down, never mind the law of gravity.

But just when we think our politicians on the opposite sides of the divide must disagree on everything, it is interesting to note that when it comes to increasing the allowances of our elected representatives, there is almost brotherly love and reconci­liation in the august hall from everyone. No need to call for block voting, all in favour, just say “aye”. It is amazing what money can do.

We want our MPs to stop sleeping on the job and to actually take part in ­voting in Parliament instead of sneaking off somewhere with pathetic excuses.

We want politicians who understand what real Malaysians have to put up with every day, and to help us deal with them. These are issues that affect all of us, whatever our race or religion, and there is no need to see everything through political eyes. It should not be about helping only those who will vote for them.

Live your lives as we simple folks do. Be sensitive, listen to us. Don’t talk down to us. That is all we ask for – remember we elected you and not the other way around.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Crimson tide

“ Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” ― Mark Twain

Politics is our daily fare fed to a public already burdened with the prospect of an uncertain future fraught with a minefield of religious and racial overtones that threatens each and everyone of us on a Personal basis. 

Each and everyone of us is affected by these issues. Our jobs, our family, our future are all put on hold while politicians bicker and nit pick over issues that really has no credibility to be discussed anywhere else but within the four walls of their own political dens of antiquity. 

We need to ask ourselves what really matters. Rule of law, due process, civic and civil liberties...freedom, respect and graciousness towards each other matters. Really when it comes to the crux of it all it is not hudud that really matters. In time it will be consigned to the backwaters of politics where it deserves to be consigned to. Get out of the "stupidity box" and allow yourself the right to stand on the side of right thinking Malaysians who understands that the leaders of tomorrow are made today - and understand that the work you do today will determine who these leaders will be. 

As JFK famously said at his inaugural address :

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country" 

You should ask yourself that same question....if you do not then you will leave our country in the hands of politicians that you now see around you. Politicians who cheat and lie. Politicians who are corrupt and arrogant...and politicians who have no regard for anything else but their own financial well being. This we cannot do, this we should not do and this is certainly what we must never do for we have seen what politics have already done to our country. 

Whether your loyalty is to a person, a party, or to the country. Because the last time I checked, no one is bigger than this nation. Our interest supersedes that of the prime minister, members of the Cabinet, their wives and that includes the Opposition Leader. 

Unless you are politically affiliated, we need to be able to make decisions and think objectively, independent of political influences and pressures. 

Wrong is wrong. Right is right be it from the government or the Opposition. Opposing for the sake of opposing, and supporting for the sake of supporting will get us nowhere. 

Hence the rut we are in. 

Anyone who tells you otherwise, for whatever reasons, has a political and personal motive. 

And if you are smart enough to see that, you will realise the need to rise beyond that. Beyond individual, party and familial politics. It is time we fight for the country instead of one person. Or party. Or family. 

Whoever that person, party or family might be. 

National interest comes first. Everything else is a disposable second.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Ideal Muslim Society

Prophet Muhammad’s Charter to the Monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery

Everyone talks about "Hudud" and how it's uncivilized and does not stand a place in Malaysia. But do you know enough about it to make such a judgement?

Long associated in the non-Muslim world with severe punishments such as stoning and amputations, the system of traditional Islamic law known as Hudud is often criticised but rarely understood. 

I believe that the Syariah Law can be adapted to modern conditions without abandoning the spirit of Islamic law or its religious foundations. Muslims are held accountable to the Syariah Law, but non-Muslims are not bound by the same standard (apostasy from Allah). 

Muslims and non-Muslims are both required to live by laws enacted by the various forms of government such as tax laws, traffic laws, white collar crimes of business, and theft. These and many other crimes similar to Common Law crimes are tried in modern Courts. The Courts can also hear civil law, family law, and all other cases. Islamic Law does have separate courts for Muslims for "religious crimes" and contemporary non-religious courts for other criminal and civil matters.

In my humble opinion, endorsing for Shariah Law (Hudud) is a Muslim right. Non-Muslims also have their right protected under our democracy constitution. In 628 AD, Prophet Muhammad wrote a letter to the Christian monks at St Catherine Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai. In his letter, Muhammad outlined how Muslims should treat Christian and also touched upon human rights, including freedom of conscience and freedom of worship.

Muslims are bound to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed whose translation of Allah or God's will is found in the Quran. In Holy Quran there is a Surah title Al-Kafirun (the Disbelievers), The last verse in the surah is "Lakum deenakum wa liya deen," meaning for "you is your religion, and for me is my religion". A simple phrase that holds the power of disconnectedness in spite of our differences.

Note:The Ideal Muslim Society is a book wrote by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi is a good read to understand Islamic Governance.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Spare the Rod

The issue of canning children and students has surfaced again. It looks as if it is a no ending subject in the education circle and among parents too. First of all, we must agree that punishment is necessary to discipline our children and students. But is canning the way to discipline a child or a student? Do we think that by canning a child or a student, he or she can be disciplined?

With all this talk about the deteriorating morals of our youth – girls hugging K-Pop stars, Mat Rempits and the like – I wonder if the problem we are facing with our young ones has more to do with what happens at home rather than when these kids step outside.

It is not uncommon these days to encounter a family dining at a table where everyone, parents and children included, are not interacting with one another. Or worse, where the parents are watching YouTube and the child, left to his own devices, is screaming for attention from a distracted Mom or Dad. It is also not uncommon to witness kids running amok and misbehaving while the parents bury their heads in the sand.

In contrast, in many a European family, children are extremely well-behaved not only during meal times but also throughout the duration of their stay with us, which sometimes can stretch for weeks.

From where I sit, you would almost wonder if these Western parents have unlocked the secret to better-behaved kids. Frankly, I think we need to rethink how we are bringing up the babies.

Perhaps the prevalence of domestic help is to be blamed. Let’s face it – Malaysian parents still have it easier than many of their Western counterparts who do not have live-in maids or part-time domestic help. Raising children is entrusted to maids who feed, clean, clothe and even entertain the kids while parents are busy with their jobs. And children grow up not even knowing how to make their own beds or do laundry.

I think Malaysians need to take a good, long look in the mirror and come to grips with the kind of parents many of us are. If we want to raise kids who are morally upright, well-mannered and considerate, perhaps it is time we were too, especially towards our own offspring.

Realise that parenting is not like owning a pet. More than just feeding and clothing a young thing, it is about nurturing malleable minds who absorb stimuli like sponges and most importantly see you, their parents, as role models. So if the only conversations you have with your child are when you scold him or her for doing something bad, that is the only way the child will know to interact with people in general.

Like all things, the problems with our youth have everything to do with us, the adults, and how we carry ourselves in the world. That is what being grown-up means – an awareness that the world is larger than oneself, that every action has a consequence, and that someone else is always watching.

Note: I will be a father in July

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Mirror on the wall

I seem to have made a habit of writing reflective birthday posts in recent years and I would very much to like to carry on the tradition. While new year posts seemed to be more milestone focused, my birthday posts were mainly posts of self-reflection.

I am spending today in contemplative solitude and silence, I was never really into celebrating anything anyway. If anything, the anniversary of my birth serves as a constant reminder for me to reflect upon on my personal growth and why I was given life 32 years ago.

We are only guaranteed this one life, maybe there’s more after this but nobody knows for certain. Live this life, breathe the air in other places, hug your friends and your family and forgive those who you hold grudges against. Laugh at yourself and accept the little things not as flaws but as those tiny puzzle pieces that fit together to make the wonderful person that is you. Age isn't a definition of who you are, your outlook on life is. I feel happier, younger, and more excited about my life now than I did when I was 19 and that’s because I have had the fortune to be around the right people, learn the right lessons and grow each day.

If I could have one birthday wish I’d ask this, go out and do something for yourself and someone else today. Go for a run, go buy yourself a book or a fancy coffee and then do the same for someone else. Treat a friend to lunch, suprise your mom with a hug, or take your kids to the park. Let this day be a brighter one, not just for those celebrating a birthday.

Note: Alhamdulillah, thanks to all my friends who taken to respond on my facebook birthday. For some of them, I haven't spoken for quite some them. Thank for being part of my life.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Big Fish:- Gone But Never Forgotten

As I approach fatherhood, I find myself spending more time thinking about and trying to understand my own father so I can better relate to my child. I think this is quite normal. As men, we spend a lifetime trying to understand our fathers. We learn and continually relearn lessons from them throughout our lives. My father passed away recently but I often wonder how I might relate to him now, as an adult with my own family. Over the years, my opinions and views of my father have changed greatly, and the revelations of why my father did certain things are becoming more frequent and clear as I make my way.

I have a good relationship with my father, but it is a little distant. We don't really talk much about each other’s lives that often, and it always seems a little cold. He was always busy make me during my childhood closer to my mom and sibling. Yet, we love him and would never try to exclude him in any way.

Even if he comes home late from work just so he can pay for your education and the bills, his love is always unconditional, even if he may not be there all the time. He cares and wants only the best for his children. In our heart of hearts, he will always be our hero.

My father consistently prioritizes serving our needs before his own. I used to think it was really his job as my father to provide what I want, until I realized he was actually doing that because of love and sacrifice. After understanding, I now truly appreciate everything he has been doing for his family.

Note: Al-Fatihah to my late father (Haji Mohd Affandi Bin Haji Mohd) whom passed away on 26 January 2015. May iAllah place him together with the Solehins

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Malaysian blurry vision of 2020

What is meant by the Vision 2020? Ask school-going children to show this in an illustration and you will see paintings of flying cars and skyscrapers and high-speed trains.

But is this what we envisioned when drawing paintings of Vision 2020 when we were in school? Without an economy based on high technology and knowledge, we can not claim that we have developed. The fact is none of the products made in Malaysia today are truly world class.

It is interesting to note that the public perception of Vision 2020 is skewed towards the economic end of development. To everyone, Vision 2020 is a symbol of economic excellence. 

However the official Malaysia's Vision 2020 website lists down the nine objectives of the vision. Out of those nine objectives, the word “economy”, in its root and inflected forms, is mentioned in only two of them.In contrast, the word “society” appears in almost every objective – all but the first one. 

I do not mean to stir up a pedantic argument but the point I am trying to make is that we might have missed the true point of Vision 2020 in our favor to physically mimic other developed cities of the world. 

The Malaysian Vision 2020 was not focus solely on economic metrics only but was to build a nation that is fully developed along all the dimensions: economically, politically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and culturally. 

Have we lost sight of what is truly important? What is the significance of the overarching emphasis on the word “society”? We citizens make up the society of the country. Our society is characterised by what we do and how we think and behave. Thus, we can say that the brunt of the focus of this noble vision appears to be on the role we citizens play in the development of a civilised and mature society.

We can only achieved the Vision 2020 by fully develop in terms of national unity and social-cohesion, in terms of our economy, in terms of social justice, political stability, system of government, quality of life, social and spiritual values, national pride and confidence. 

We may need to rely on the government’s initiative and efforts to build state-of-the-art hospitals and new roads, to revamp our education system, and to rope in foreign investors. 

But we do not need anyone’s help to spare a thought and care about other people. We do not need any fancy and expensive “moral development plans” to not tailgate other cars on the road, to properly dispose of our litter, and to offer our KTM seats to pregnant women. 

Let us go back to the basics, everyone. Cliched as this sounds, change must come from within. By merely changing our attitude and mentality we can collectively achieve at least six of the nine objectives of Vision 2020. Economic development alone, as I have already argued above, just does not cut it. When the year 2020 rolls in, can we realistically claim to have achieved Vision 2020 with only two out of nine objectives fulfilled?

Do we want to become a country that is rich but lacking in human empathy? 

Ask yourself.