Sunday, October 21, 2007
you don't like our angkasawan?
Our astronaut touched down back on Earth a few hours ago. I have been meaning to say this a long time ago, but I had more important things to do, like improve my golf swing and weeding my garden. Now, I know many people are not fans of our space programme and have been slagging it off from Day One as a waste of money. Today would be a good day to buy some lottery tickets, because it is a rare occasion that I actually agree with that sentiment. Labels: current issues
I have never been a fan of space programmes. Not just ours, but I am talking about space programmes in general. I believe many other scientific frontiers can be more affordably breached than space. I have written about space and appropriate technology here and here. I fail to see how the Mars Rover and Beagle (assuming that it wasn't really crushed by Starscream) projects were significantly beneficial enough to mankind to warrant such a high cost when the amount spent on it could easily wipe out the debts of many African nations.
But back to our space programme - allow me to play Devil's Advocate, because that is something I do really well. Critics have slammed it as 'a waste of money' and 'money spent could be given to the poor'. Supporters say it goes a long way in encouraging our kids to take up Science and Technology.
The thing is, the critics said it was a waste of money and then the government responded that the cost of the programme was totally absorbed by the Russians when we bought some fighter jets from them. Kinda like when you buy loads of groceries from the kedai runcit and you bargain for a discount but the shopkeeper is reluctant to slash the price. But he wants you to come back in the future, so he throws in a pack of chewing gum free of charge to sweeten the deal. So, cost is not an issue here.
But I hear you shouting, "I don't believelah!"
Have you guys already decided who to vote for in the next general elections? Quite simply, if you believe that the cost of the space programme was free, then you would be a Barisan National supporter. If you don't believe a single word of it, then you are an Opposition supporter. In both cases, nothing else I say will make a difference to you, so I won't even bother trying to convince you otherwise (because I have better things to do than to argue with morons on the Internet).
But if you don't know what to believe, well then jump into my boat. We can still talk about the cost and whether it is prudent to spend all that money either on the space programme or on the fighter jets when the money could be used to help the poor, build more schools, develop the East Coast, employ more policemen, bla bla bla bla...
So who gets to decide how the extra cash is spent? Surely helping the poor should take precedence? Or should they? How about disabled groups? Are they more in need of the extra cash than the poor? Then where on the list of priorities do fuel subsidies sit? (Ironically, the people who complained the most about the space programme and demanded that the money be spent on the poor were the same people who complained about the reduction of fuel subsidies) .
This argument is as ridiculous as is tedious. Which one of you thinks you have the right to decide if we should uild more roads or employ more policemen? If you say that the poor should take precedence over everything else, how about our sports programmes? Should we still continue funding our badminton team or shall we slash all the sports budgets because surely sports isn't is as important as feeding the poor? And what more performing arts? Why should we build more theatres and give grants to production companies. Who cares about pretentious people watching an orchestra when there are people living below the poverty line?
Shall we now start a debate on the merits of funding our national sportsmen? Arguments like these are pointless because at the end of it, it all depends on your area of interest AND more importantly, your political affiliations. If you are going to be hypocritical and wish to debate something, then debate your political ideologies, because in this very immature Malaysian society, your political affiliations decide whether you support something or not. The government's job is to do something and the opposition's job is to oppose it, no matter what the circumstances are. The supporters' role is to support, and support blindly.
Grow a spine, people. And more importantly, start forming your own opinions.
Labels: current issues
oh, they have to keep the African nations in debt so that they are in control of things... i am sure u know what i mean.
thanks for your enlightening comment in my blog, appreciate it and i might publish it as a single post if you dont mind.
zewt: And what is the difference?