Thursday, October 27, 2011

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS VS THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH

The build-up to Bhutan's royal wedding on Oct 13 drew renewed interest in the tiny kingdom popularly referred to as Shangrila on earth. While pictures of the young good-looking couple have been gracing the front pages of papers around the world, it is Bhutan's Gross National Happiness (GNH) that has received intense debate and media coverage of late.

There is an excellent write-up in The Star on Bhutan's GNH as an indicator of the country's successful programme of development. Worth reading especially as Malaysia is currently embarking on a vigorous campaign to transform the country into a 'high income nation'.


Perhaps Malaysia can take a page from Bhutan's GDH index?

Should we be asking ourselves whether Malaysia is on the right track and heading towards the right goal? Is the pursuit of monetary wealth more important than the pursuit of spiritual happiness? Can there be a happy balance as in Bhutan where economic success is viewed as a means to achieving a happy society, and not as an end in itself?

The growing gap between the rich and the poor. The rich have all the resources 
to create even more wealth. Source: The Star
In Singapore as in Malaysia, the gap is widening between the haves and the have-nots. Counting net worth in US$, the number of millionaires in Malaysia has doubled over the past 18 months, and tripled in Singapore in the past year. Yet we read about young married couples unable to afford their first home, of graduates unable to find jobs and of retirees unable to make ends meet.

Looks great on paper, but yet to be seen in practice.
One is compelled to ask: Is the national wealth being distributed fairly? Is every sector of society getting a share of the economic pie? Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor and the middle class?

No one would protest if some of the wealth is channeled back into helping the poor and the marginalized. But it has to be financial assistance on a sustainable level, not on an ad-hoc or 'one-off' basis. And especially not as a pre-election vote-buying tactic.

3 comments:

Antares said...

Hmmm... almost tempted to migrate to Bhutan. Rare to find such wisdom and true vision in a living monarchy!

Anonymous said...

give their marriage 5 short years then see IF he takes another woman or not, ok ?

Anonymous said...

'If you wanna be happy' by Jimmy Soul :
IF u want to be happy in all your life,
NEVER take a pretty woman as your WIFE.
...........hehehehe !