We’re facing difficult times ahead. Unemployment, lack of job opportunity, poverty rates are raising. These problems create an imbalance of wealth between rural and urban areas. It is important that we address this issue so that nobody can be too rich and too poor.
The Covid-19 pandemic, political instability, the proclamation of an emergency, the closure of schools, colleges, universities, factories, hotels have contributed to a slow economy and further imbalances.
Just do a quick survey. You will surely find a downward trend in household income due to a lack of employment opportunities especially during the Covid outbreak.
We need a strong government that prioritizes this problem and is willing to create more jobs in rural areas and not just in the inner city areas only. Ultimately, rapid growth can be seen not only in the upper segment as construction and property, but also in the lower segment such as agriculture and F&B.
Well, health is wealth. The inequality seems to work through the mechanism of chronic stress. When the feeling of “fight or flight” persists for a long time, the immune system is down-regulated, tissue repair and growth slows down, and reproductive functions cease.
When the economic cakes are perceived to be divided in unequal portion, competition is stiff and community anxiety increases. Members of the community become more sensitive to the way they are seen and judged. Social contact is becoming more and more strained. People trust each other less, and community life is weakened. Inequality affects the entire social fabric.
If you carefully study the reaction of certain quarters toward public authority in Kedah recently (read: illegal temple and cancellation of the Thaipusam holiday), you will find the feeling of insecurity as a result of perceived inequility undermining lack of trust issue as the major issue that need to be dealt with. It has to be settled through political means.
Born in Kedah. Studied at Alam Shah, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and King's College, University of London. Previously, acted as Head, Dept of Psychiatry, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Currently, works as Professor of Psychiatry at Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah International Islamic University, Kedah. Married and blessed with 4 grown-up children.
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