As we graduate from IR4.0 towards Society 5.0, one needs to pause and ponder, why are we still talking about the same old same old? For the uninitiated, Society 5.0 is defined as a human-centred society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space.
What did we do wrong?
Where did we go wrong?
On a global stage we keep coming up with nice to see, nice to read, nice to hear jargons and blueprints with fancy names – Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals and many others. Yet it is déjà vu all over again as it feels like we are going in circles, and keep coming back to ground zero.
In the Malaysian context, we have similar jargons and blueprints too. You name it – New Economic Policy, National Development Policy, 1Malaysia, Vision 2020, SPV2030, Keluarga Malaysia and the list goes on and on.
Why do we keep missing the target? Why do we keep needing to re-set and re-boot?
Is it because we are ALL merely providing lip service?
The WE mentioned here encompass ALL – policy makers, businesses, regulators, employers, employees – in short, ALL of us.
When we talk about policies, and use these bombastic jargons, we act as though we care for the underprivileged, the vulnerable, the poor and the deprived. But our acts do not really represent or are synchronised with the goals nor vision.
We talk as though we understand the sufferings of the vulnerable and fragile group, but reality check, we always drag our feet in providing the minimum living wage, coming up with all sorts of excuses; some are creative and innovative while some are merely recycled, dumbfounded old broken record excuses.
We talk about the basic need for them to have accessibility to owning home. Reality check – the affordable houses are priced out of their reach.
We talk about inclusive financial system, when in reality they would always be turned away as a credit risk not worth a lender’s time or money.
Are WE merely providing lip service?
Is that why from way back in the 70s, 80s, 90s, up to the New Millennium, and even today, we are still talking about the same thing? Same target? Same goals?
It is time for a reflection. STOP providing lip service, start acting sincerely at every level. Otherwise, it would be quite difficult to come up with ‘new jargons’ as the dictionary is finite, and one may indeed run out of available words to describe future campaigns. Perhaps re-use, recycle retro ones?
By Assoc. Prof. Dr. Baharom Abdul Hamid