Necessity versus Desire

7:21 AM

I recently got time off from work and off from a decent internet connection. I travelled to KL and the East Coast. With time off from work and less interference from Whatsapp and Facebook, I managed to make a few observations. Since the budget 2014 announcement back in October, everyone in Malaysia felt the pinch of rising costs of living. Maybe not everyone, just the majority, as I have been seeing an increasing number of Bentley Continentals, Audi R8s and Lamborghini Avantadores on the road lately.

I have 3 scenarios to share:


I can’t afford a house. Everything is expensive!”

This 30 year old gentleman earns RM4XXX a month. Have breakfast at Starbucks every other day. Drives the latest Toyota Vios and watches every new movie that comes out in the cinema. He wants to stay cool and trendy.


“Apa la, Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat tak luluskan permohonan untuk dapatkan bantuan! Ini tidak adil!”

This guy has a family of four. Lives in the kampong. He has 3 cars (his own) parked outside his RM250 per month rented house. He drives a 1995 Honda Accord and has 2 Proton Wiras. He works as a lorry driver.

“My sister has renal failure. She doesn’t have any proper job and no other family members. She requires dialysis but the cheapest dialysis we can get cost RM50 per treatment (after more than RM 100 of subsidies). I myself am earning less than RM 100 per day. Kais pagi, makan pagi je.”
This lady is worried of her sister. She herself is a single mother of 4 children. She makes a living selling nasi lemak and drinks in the morning and selling pisang goring in the afternoon. If it rains, her earnings will be greatly affected.

Among the 3 cases, which person is actually feeling the pinch? Which one actually needed the money for NECESSITY instead of DESIRE? How many people can actually relate to this?

Yes, there are certain elements that can be attributed to “other people’s fault” but some things require a degree of sacrifice on a personal level. Is a Starbucks coffee necessary to start your day? I agree, it tastes great, but RM 9 for a cuppa?! That’s more than what I pay for lunch…ikan keli, sayur and teh O ais limau. Kadang kadang only OK la. But EOD?! A salary of RM 4000+ is quite difficult to get by these days.

The 2nd Case Scenario is just plain silly. How can one expect to get help from the Welfare Department if you can’t be bothered to sell those cars off?! Contrary to popular belief, a car IS NOT an asset. It is a LIABILITY. Even though you have paid off the loans, you still have to fork out money for road tax, fuel and maintenance. And the cost of spare parts for a Honda is NOT CHEAP!

The 3rd Case Scenario is a real case. I met her personally, just for a normal chat. She and her family truly need help. Every Ringgit is valuable. I almost cried hearing her story. She is one of the few people who I have met, who instead of complaining, tried to seek out help from government departments and religious bodies. Instead of blaming others, she tried to do more work from her home. Starbucks, Hondas and the latest movie is the least of her concern.

When the Government dished out BR1M recently, I was shocked to hear some people applying for it even though they don’t deserve it. They will try and validate their actions by saying

“Dah kerajaan bagi, ambil la. Adjust je gaji tu sikit”

“Orang XXX yang kaya pun mintak, takkan aku tak boleh?”

“Ini hak saya sebagai rakyat Malaysia yang bayar cukai!”

When will all this selfishness end? If you don’t deserve it, give it to the less fortunate. There are some people out there who were not able to apply because they did not know about BR1M. In my clinic, there is a banner with the words:

Yang biasa tak semestinya betul, yang betul tak semestinya biasa. Kita biasakan yang betul”

It is biasa for those who don’t deserve BR1M to claim it but is it betul? Think about it. Change yourself first, the change others.

***Fellow readers, if you have any other ideas on how to help my acquaintance get funding for dialysis please leave a comment. Your help is truly appreciated. 

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  1. While i was getting my house stuff ready. I saw youngsters queing for br1m playing with their iphones, s3 and ipad. I mean if they can afford those, they dun deserve br1m, the money will go to buying stuff to keep up with the trend kotttt. Org miskin xde duit pun nk naik bas g collect br1m

  2. Rather disappointing. Just got news that the patient was not able to get BR1M because her name was used by someone else as a "dependent". So sad, the only person I know who deserves BR1M and she is unable to get the aid

  3. Hi,

    Just read this post. St John Ambulance got some kind of dialysis for charity. You might want to look into. :)

  4. I met her personally, just for a normal chat. She and her family truly need help. Every Ringgit is valuable.

  5. I met her personally, just for a normal chat. She and her family truly need help. Every Ringgit is valuable.


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