18th November 2014 - 5 min read
Malaysians love free stuff. Who can deny that? But whilst freebies are a nice treat for already tired wallets every now and again; we’ve thought up a list of top things that we hope will soon be free in Malaysia not just for the good of freebie-loving Malaysians everywhere but, which just may help us get a little bit closer to hitting developed nation status.
Of course, the classification for ‘developed country’ varies across organisations (namely UNDP, World Bank and the IMF) so we’re going to fall back on the goals from Vision 2020: a plan presented by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad in 1991. Listing these goals as ‘challenges to be overcome’; we’re going to link back our list of free things to the Vision 2020 challenge it will help achieve.
The Right to Clean Water is a non-negotiable and many developed countries are given access to free water supply. Water isn’t just important for sanitation which then prevents diseases; it’s also important to facilitate advances in industry including agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
Whilst we’re grateful that water is pretty cheap for the average home user; it isn’t so for heavy users in industry. Also, to supply to rural areas and sometimes even to urban areas (re: increasing water rationing) are in need of much improvement. So, essentially maybe water shouldn’t just be free; it should be in dependable supply.
This aids Goal: 1. Establishing a scientific and progressive society. 2) Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
Although free internet is great to simply update your Facebook status or post an Instagram picture of your lunch – it’s useful for far more important things like knowledge distribution and learning. The internet can be an amazing resource for people to learn new skills; do business and disseminate information. Many start-ups (hey, like us!) use the internet as a way to not only do business but spread awareness and enhance knowledge.
Whilst internet connections aren’t exactly at luxury prices; there are many low income households and those in rural areas who would balk at the thought of spending RM80 on internet connection a month. Giving people the access to free internet would enable everyone from every level of society no matter their income to access the abundant knowledge contained in the world wide web. It also makes the world a much smaller place with many more being able to communicate and take advantage of the job opportunities and education options available online.
This aids Goal: 1) Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation. 2) Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
The benefits of this is a no-brainer (excuse the pun). And whilst many can argue that education is free for primary and secondary national school students; it’s tertiary education that is sending many students into debt before they can even get jobs. We’re probably light years away from being able to afford to give everyone free tertiary education but perhaps a system based on merit could be formed. What will more college graduates help us achieve?
We reckon the sky’s the limit. There could be a budding inventor or doctor hidden in the woodwork because he/she is unable to afford the hundreds of thousands required to get through college.
And we’ve seen that it isn’t an impossible feat as Germany announced this year that they were giving free tertiary education as well as some other countries who’ve dabbled with the idea in previous years. It’s definitely much more difficult to provide than free water or internet but it would be the kind of move that would immensely benefit the country and solve any brain drain issue we encounter in future.
This aids Goal: 1) Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation. 2) Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient. 3) Establishing a scientific and progressive society. 4) Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
Mobility and connectivity are one of the advantages the modern age affords us over our ancestors which have aided in bridging gaps and increasing efficiency. The ability for each person to commute to work everyday enables us to take jobs much farther than we would have been able to had we been restricted to only our immediate vicinity. But mobility has it’s fair share of problems.
Increased fuel emissions, time wasting traffic jams and resource depleting petrol consumption isn’t helping our world, our economy (high car loans), efficient use of time (4 hours per day in a traffic snarl?) nor our spending power (increased petrol prices hurt everyone) so why not find a better way to do it?
Free public transportation that is also reliable, safe and efficient (yup; didn’t think just being free would help did you?) will spur the country to greater heights of productivity. Another way to aid our quest for ‘city of the future’.
This aids Goal: 1) Establishing a fully caring society. 2)Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
And that’s our list of the four things we hope to see become ‘free’ in Malaysia. What free services or items do you think will help us develop as a nation?
Subscribe to our exclusive weekly newsletter and we’ll bring you the week’s highlights of financial news, expert tips, guides, and the latest credit card and e-wallet deals.
Stay tuned for what’s to come next in the personal finance world