Wednesday, June 24, 2009

China - Development & Ethics


John Lee's article on China has outlined some critical issues facing its rapid economic development. Lee pointed out that while some cities in China have seen some of the most amazing and modern infrastructures being built, the country is facing higher absolute poverty and illiteracy.

China's 'hukou' (permit) system has denied a large number of migrants proper medical and educational access in the big cities. This system was criticized in the past for causing lesser mobility of skilled workers to places/provinces where their skills were needed.

However, this is a dilemma and a limitation the central government had noted albeit with little action. China's huge population of 1.3 billion people and the growing congestion of these cities means that the control will have to be put in place to avoid overcrowding.

China's capitalist development may have created a larger middle class (400 million) but the intensification of material chase has reared an ugly culture of poor and unethical services. Malaysian tourists who had visited the middle kingdom would have encountered 'blood sucking' tour guides and salespersons who were looking to profit from them by overpricing their products and services.

From pearls, silk to tea, many who bought the products found out that they could be purchased cheaper outside of these nice looking shops, factories and retail outlets which were specifically built to cater for us, gullible tourists.

In China, it is obvious that development has outpaced its people's readiness to adapt and survive. That is why, according to Lee, the absolute poverty and illiteracy rates have increased in the cities.

Young Chinese graduates have found it increasing more difficult to find a decent job. China's development must not be merely physically centric. Unless the government works on correcting some of these social flaws and improve professionalism in the service quality of its corporations, its hope to emulate New York, London and some other great cities in the world will become a futile effort.

Here, our government can take a leaf from this lesson. Physical development alone is meaningless. Abdullah Badawi, the ex-premier who had quickly faded away from the public, was not entirely wrong when he said that the government must focus on building software and not merely hardware.

It is time for the current administration to ditch its slogans and get on with some serious work before the oil reserve runs out.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

MSM the star has reported...MP tony pua KICKED OUT OF PARLIAMENT.....most of the tourists and international travellers inside flights normally glance through this paper often....they will be surprised to see this sort of below the belt language from a responcible daily...shame on this paper...star is exposing malaysia`s level of intellegigence

Chong Kok Wai said...

People's greediness and profiteering are not contain only in China but in many other countries as well. This is the so called 'Human Nature'to maximise their profit. The current financial crisis shows us this ethic flaws in western corporations too.

As for the tourists destination, it is also common for tourist hotspots to overcharge tourists in any country. I went to New Zealand and found that I could buy many products in super markets at a fraction of prices we buy at tourist destinations. You may not be aware but these over charge are necessary to pay for your tour guides whom depend on these tips to survive. Its either you pay them or you will get bad service with sour face. To avoid this problem, it is good to travel there on your own without the help of travel agencies.

We need to be on guard ourselves at all times to check on the quality of the things we buy and services we received.

kopitelp16 said...

"Malaysian tourists who had visited the middle kingdom would have encountered 'blood sucking' tour guides and salespersons who were looking to profit from them by overpricing their products and services.

From pearls, silk to tea, many who bought the products found out that they could be purchased cheaper outside of these nice looking shops, factories and retail outlets which were specifically built to cater for us, gullible tourists." This is what you get when you opt for cheap fare tours. It happens everywhere; Malaysia included.

China is growing and might one day in the near future take over from the US as the biggest economy in the world. A lot of people wanted to venture into China; for them it's a ready made huge market. China is ready but are we. Don't be fooled by the Chinese because many people got burnt dealing with them.

Big cities of China are tough places to survive. Very high cost of living compared to their small income. Many young ones are struggling to make a living; buying properties are like a distant dream for many of them.

oA said...

.

the "permit system" is to ensure that cities are not over populated (from my understanding) and also to ensure that country sides they came from are not totally abandoned.

a city is capable of - even with all its advanced infrastructures - supports this many population and with limited jobs to entertain the migrant workers.

since the advent of this financial crisis these migrant workers are not in total lost - becoming jobless hence homeless etc. - because they can go back to country side to till their land in the mean time.

there are always two sides to a coin and as such the "permit system" might have saved the country.