After the shocking therapy of Prof Lim Chong Yah and the expected knee jerk defensive mechanism and reaction from you know who, the labour chief said today that the high cost of inflation and high cost of living mean that there is a need to raise the income of workers. It is good that he finally came to know of the problem. He also added that the high income gap must be closed.
Now that the dust has settled down, the good sense and propriety of the real pain are sinking in. The retort against raising salary of the lower income group and the need for a closing of the widening income is indeed a problem that cannot be allowed to run away without a leash.
Rhetoric and political expediency aside, some of the elite truly believe that the bread of the rich should be buttered 3 or 4 times over as they are deserving of the buttering because of their supreme talent. On the downside, the losers deserve to be losers and they should count themselves lucky that their bread is even buttered at all. Count the blessing that they still have bread to eat.
Such line of thinking coming from those who have no responsibility over the whole of the population is understandable. The private emterprises and developers would choose to maximise profits at all cost as they are not in the business of charity. But if they come from the political leaders, it is irresponsible and obnoxious. Political leaders is not there to look after self interest, to protect elitist interest but to spread the goodies, ensure a more equal distribution of wealth and social equality to the people, but not to the extent of all men are equal and all should receive one bowl of rice.
Bill Gates does not need another pay rise. He has so much money that he has to give them away. And so is his pal Warren Buffett. There is no need to reach such a position to distance oneself from the accumulation of wealth. No one is frowning against an entrepreneur or a businessman from acquiring his wealth forever. What is objectionable is to spread public wealth through public offices to those who are bursting at the seams with more wealth. A very good but disgusting example was to raise the President’s salary to $4m when the masses did not think it was justifiable, nor the office justifies that kind of pay. But the existing god in power is always right and would have the final say. It is right today but would be very wrong when the next god comes into power.
Distribution of public money must be measured to serve the majority, to benefit more people than a few yodas who have so much and do not have much time or the need to spend them. This sickness is infected across the industries in the private sector when the top few would grab the lion’s share while the rest, minority shareholders and workers were left with crumbs.
And it is this kind of unequal and unjust system of wealth distribution that is causing the runaway inflation. No amount of small increases at the bottom can catch up with this kind of distortion in the system. In a pure capitalist and elitist system this is cause for celebration, and eventually cause for destruction. Is this what we want, a system where a few elite could buy tens of private properties and tens of luxury cars and with plenty to buy more while living on public money or feeding on the minority shareholders’ money?
And once in a while, when it is politically opportune, to cry for the poor workers, to shout, pay rise for the workers? May Day is around the corner.
Prof Lim Chong Yah is absolutely right. He must have seen the greed and the amassing of unjustifiable and unnecessary wealth by a few at the expense of the greater good. What is so painful for a few years without pay even if one is not Bill Gates or Warren Buffett when one can live a few life times without having the need to earn a single cent?