New Year 2019 resolution: Let us fight greed

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Let the will to combat greed take root so that 2019 will be 12 months of determined effort to cleanse the nation of this scourge, says JD Lovrenciear.

Greed has infested both the private and public sectors in Malaysia. It has even taken root in many of our institutions that are supposed to serve as vanguards of integrity and ethics.

Greed is everywhere – in school, in the marketplace, along our highways.

To claim that Malaysia is infested with greed would not be something unsubstantiated.

While we are embroiled in all kinds of disagreements on the political, social, economic and environmental fronts in our nation-building effots, we need to owe up to the fact that:

  • profiteering has become a normal and much encouraged standard
  • making huge profits in the shortest time is deemed as success
  • passing exams by any means – copy, cut and paste, for instance – is perceived to be the smarter or only option
  • working long hours at the expense of personal, social and family wellbeing is sanctioned as the pathway to more money, perception of greater loyalty and an increased likelihood of promotion
  • exploiting migrant workers, who have to put up with pathetic living, working and remuneration conditions, is something easily forgiven or not regarded as a big issue

In short, Malaysia is infested with greed.

If indeed an economic depression hits the world in 2019, as what some analysts and bankers are anticipating, God forbid, how Malaysians will suffer.

The only strength we have as a developing nation thriving largely on petrodollars is our resolute will to fight this greed.

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We cannot leave it to law makers and institutions of vigilance. Nor can we leave it to politicians. Neither can we shovel it over to NGOs, religious bodies and activists or leave it to civil society champions.

Many of these groups have been party to this scourge called greed as greed cannot grow, spread and thrive in a vacuum. Greed needs the sins of commission, omission and ignorance to take root.

What we need therefore is for all Malaysians – irrespective of ethnic origin, religious creed, social status and individual capability – to join forces and champion a whole new culture in 2019.

Let the resolution take shape. Let the will to combat greed take root so that 2019 will be 12 months of determined effort to cleanse the nation of this scourge.

Naysayers and culprits may counter by saying, “Idealism does not work” or “It is easier said than done.”

But let the truth be told. If we do not fight greed in 2019, a Depression on the scale of the early 1930s might return in 2019 and could tear this nation apart. If that happens,  we will all suffer far too much to be able to emerge from it without scars and huge liabilities.

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