By Anthony Dylan

Once again, Christians have to attend mass online for the Easter or Paschal Triduum. The 3 days began with Holy Thursday and then Good Friday and the Easter Vigil on Saturday. Easter Sunday this year came on 4th April 2021. It has been awhile many faithful have not been able to go to church physically as we respect the required procedures in the fight against Covid-19.

We have learnt to adapt. The past year has shown us how people can adapt. The intrinsic values and increased desire to adapt have helped tremendously. The speed in which we have adapted to trusting e-wallets as well as working with just your phone or computer has somewhat opened our eyes to a new belief. Nothing is impossible. The pandemic must have been one sent to mankind to jolt us from complacency.

Today, Malaysia has rolled out the inter-operable QR code for banks. Based on limited information, nearly all banks are now in this system. Known as the ‘DuitNow’ QR code, with this around, merchants would only need to have one QR code for customers to scan using your various e-wallets. It does not matter now that you have Grab, Touch n Go or even Boost. You can scan and pay. This has helped those who have no capacity to purchase the costly point of sale system. It beats you having to manage cash and payments have effectively become cashless. It is quite amusing now to note that wallets have became slimmer without wads of cash notes. Even the credit card is not taken out as often for tap and pay. Who would have thought this behavior would be adopted so fast. It is so common that even hawkers and stall holders use them. We have adapted with time.

I remembered when I was in Shanghai a few years ago in 2019; the payment by WeChat Pay is predominant. AliPay was a far second. I was astonished to see how the people of China have adapted so quickly especially with the smaller villages off Shanghai and Hangzhou. This is a huge contrast to Japan where payment is still predominantly in cash. The thought of speedy technology creation, adoption and adaptation is clearly now with China as Japan and Korea seem to be lagging behind.

Shopping centre carparks today have even started to go cashless. Subang Parade Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid, Main Place, SS15 Courtyard and Empire Shopping Gallery are just a few in Subang Jaya who have been or heading towards a full cashless experience.  You can use your Credit or Debit Card or Touch N Go card to tap and go. One of them has even gone to adapt the license plate recognition system.

Still, there are people who have not adapted fully and not adopted this new norm. This is not exclusive to age groups as you can easily find some in various age groups who have not adapted. But the numbers of non adoption and adaptation are decreasing daily. It would not be too long before FinTech would create a digital currency which would be used not only domestically but internationally. This would mean that the legal eagles would have to quickly adapt and learn as new laws would be needed for the set parameters. The bubble in which we live in today and the past would no longer be the same in a matter of the next few years.

I would not discount the possibility that even legal documents would be made in electronic format. Electronic verifications and signatures may become a norm. A few years ago in 2014, I was taken by surprise when I needed to rent an office space with Regus. They had an electronic agreement. They even had a system where pantry food and drinks which are chargeable are placed in the trust that you declare what you consumed for that to be billed later. This was new to me. Today, it has become common with many Co-Working Spaces.

You have to adapt to the environment in which you live in. Human beings like any animals or plants are the same. They have the capability to adapt. Another good example is the future of lab grown meat. There is a restaurant, ‘1880’ in Singapore which has started to serve them. The company which made them was ‘Eat Just’ and sold them under the ‘Good Meat’ brand. The Singapore government approved the sale cultured chicken meat which could be made from start to finish in 14 days. This company has a manufacturing facility in Singapore and California in the USA.

I am sure if you have been to the supermarkets like Village Grocer and Jaya Grocer, you would suddenly see quite a few brands of plant based meat products as well. There is Field Roast from Seattle, Beyond Meat from Los Angeles and OmniMeat from Hong Kong. The latter is Buddhist friendly as it does not contain onion and garlic.

Today, KyoChon has Bibimbap and Wraps made with the plant based meat from Harvest Gourmet. KFC has the Zero Chicken Burger by Quorn. In my opinion after tasting them, I found Beyond Meat and OmiMeat the closest to the real deal. The rest are good as well. According to the companies, this revolutionary plant based product stems from the need to adapt to an increasingly unhealthy environment where forests are cut and hazardous gases are emitted. Climate change, animal agriculture constraints, human health and animal welfare are the typical mantras.

Indeed, we are faced today with an extremely speedy change in our livelihood. The list is limitless as even education, healthcare and housing would soon seen changes as we see in food and at work. Let us learn to adapt and choose what would be better. That would include politics.

God Bless