By Anthony Dylan 

The past defines the future. We have heard of similar statements if not the same before. It is somewhat relevant when you come to think about it. Even when we watch movies like the Avengers: End Game, we find some similarities. A decision at the snap of Thanos’ fingers decides on a reset. A reset of which was undone to repair but not necessarily maintain by way of learning of probabilities and the return of time. Yes, this may not happen, yet it strikes a chord in what we have become today. 

Do we ever learn from the past? Or would the past be just part of history we romanticize about. Who would have ever thought that the great Melaka would become just a small state within Malaysia? Melaka was the focal point of trade from the East and the West; a hub of ships plying their trading routes. Along with trading came a gradual mix of blended cultures and beliefs. The mighty Melaka River today has given away its glamour to be one which hopes to entice tourists. Credit where it is due, the river has been cleaned up quite well. Good effort has also been put to place importance for a living heritage and connecting them with beautiful waterfront and places of interest. 

Today, the capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. However, Kuala Lumpur is not beside the port unlike Melaka of yesteryears. The 12th busiest container port in the world is in Port Klang. This is about 40km away. Much has changed since Melaka. The shifting of capital and the general focus of cities has defined our lives. I dare say that in the future, perhaps one day, Kuala Lumpur would no longer be the capital. 

The capital of Malaysia could one day be located in the East Coast. Imagine Kuantan being the new capital of Malaysia. Shipping would port and goods be brought by rail across the Peninsula to Port Klang. The Kuantan airport would become the new International Airport. High speed trains may bring you to Kuala Lumpur and then up north to Penang or south to Johor and Singapore. 

This could happen as when you look at China, Shenzhen is already ready to surpass Hong Kong. The Indonesian Government has already started their plans to relocate their capital to Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Any movement of the capital would normally improve the economic and social aspects of the area. Borneo in this instance would see rapid boom for Kalimantan, Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei as a hub. In today’s global economy, business via the internet is already a norm. 

The past teaches us something. Nothing is constant. In the early years, we could trust each other more than today. Respect and understanding were a norm that we also subscribed to. There were lesser systems of bias and the race for supremacy unlike today. It is sad that that we have regressed. We have become hypersensitive to brands and generic names. Like a learned politician explained, I too wonder what the fuss about a sausage and a whiskey is. There are no dogs in a sausage and neither a name be exclusive and cause confusion. We are also not stupid as the politicians make us out to be. Having knee jerk reactions is not the way forward. We have much more important things to focus on. 

One is the automation of factories and the gradual removal of cheap labour. The latter requires the non-ending requirement for manual labour. We should be looking at improving the skillsets of our own citizens. Having the focus on using technology to improve would then leave one with more time to be a tinkerer and create or innovate. We should also improve on having self service eateries where one is re-taught to clear your tables and keep clean after eating. This would cut down the unnecessary hiring of manual foreign hands. 

Agreed that we do need foreign expertise in some areas; and let us continue to do that. The issue of concern is when we take the complacent way out to pay for our own laziness. We are actually helping the improvement of the skill sets of non-citizens. This is a good thing, but we should also gain from a global work force. The problem lies with greedy corporations. Many business owners put money, profit as their main goal, and aim. It is not wrong because it is what it is. But doing things with some sense of heart and humility, very few do so. Many use the chance to amp up their sense of kindness in expensive Public Relations exercise. An act intended to improve their image but adds no value in paying it forward. 

The past defines the future. The generation of today yearns for an easy work life. Those who have the means would squeeze out those who have less. Those who have less are normally placed into a corner of do or die. That is the reality of today. But, before you exclaim that it is useless to fight, you should consider going against what you believe is wrong. It is a lonely road. You find fake friends along the way. Friends whom you have called so are no more than those who are with you because of your position, seldom for the person you are. 

At the end of the day, real friends are those who stick to you when you are down and out; and when you are too far up, they bring you back to earth. We fight a lonely road for the future because what we do today would be the past in the future. The past defines the future. If we choose to do nothing and let the powerful, greedy and fear mongers roam freely, we will do injustice to the future generation. That includes your children and the next because we created this.