When I started MiddleMe.net, I wanted to stay away from commending about politics. Politics to me is boring, it is cruel, it is dirty and it is sensitive. I came into my senses soon enough that it is difficult as politics play a part in the business world, greatly influencing our jobs.
So it makes sense to keep in touch of the political side of the world especially in the country you live in.
When I read about the Syrian refugees escaping into European countries, I had the opportunity to discuss this situation in-depth with a 26 years old guy who struggles to hold a proper job and a mid-40s entrepreneur who have to rationalise her business expenditures. Both of them are local Austrians who greatly sympathised with the dire situation but yet cringed at the effect the refugees has on the economy. The lingering silent thoughts in their heads. How will it affect the economy? Will food prices rise due to more demands of it? Will jobs be taken because there are more people applying for one position? Will the refugees stay and eventually convert their citizenship? Will they able to integrate into the culture? Right now from my limited understanding, some countries houses the refugees and not allowing them to work. But will it all change when they become part of the community and tries to integrate into the society? It depends on the government and the next decisions it make. Whether to forsake and closes its gate to the refugees crying for help or to fiercely guard the wellbeing of its citizens.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am with the refugees. I would hold on tightly to anyone extending a hand to get me out of a senseless war-torn country. I would help to house any refugees to my best means. I would stand with them and walk with them on parts of their journey to any country who will accept them. I would gather toys for the children, food, water and clothes. I couldn’t imagine what it is like for them not to see beyond their next step. I cried my heart out for Alyan Kurdi when I saw his photo in my local newspaper.
In midst of all that tragedy, it seems outrageous that we are crying out loud our first world problems. However, no matter what, problems are still problems. When the world have a problem, it became our problem too. You may argue that you are living so far away it will not affect you. That’s not true. And that’s selfish thinking too.
Let me give you an example closer to home. As in my home. I now lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you follow global news, you might know that right now Malaysia’s currency is plummeting like crazy due to the alleged 1MdB scandal. As an expat in the country, I shouldn’t be that affected by that, right? Wrong. No one is saying out right but news on the ground, many foreigners wants to pull out from their contacts and go back to their home countries due to unrest in the country. It makes my family jittery whenever they hear about another protest is being staged not far away from where I’m staying or when they heard about racial riots (Malay vs Chinese – I am a Chinese) outside of a popular shopping mall that I frequented.
So how has it affect jobs?
– The government has tighten issuing employment permits to expats in lieu of assuring the locals of their jobs. This won’t work well with multinational companies as they have a lot of expats in the upper management to run the show in Malaysia.
– The fall of the ringgit and the introduction of the Goods and Service tax has caused many companies to tighten their purse strings this hiring fewer people, getting existing people to carry more responsibilities.
– I met many locals looking for freelancing jobs because they are not doing well in their sales jobs due to consumers not wanting to spend more than necessary and due to companies like above, they are not raking in the commissions that they should. And most of them are afraid that their company might not sustain long or they will lose their jobs in due time.
– I can name two overseas companies who wanted to set up branches here in Kuala Lumpur thus creating more jobs, backed down from their plans for expansion, looking at other ASEAN countries instead. It is widely rumoured that foreign companies are losing confidence in the country.
Another example even closer to heart is that today is voting day for Singapore General Elections. We are going to vote whether to stay with the incumbent party that has been the government or the opposition party who promised changes.
Many Singaporeans will remember that it was the current party who relax the initial strict controls on immigrant workers as demand for labour grew with increased industrialisation causing the country’s overcrowding and falling reliability of its public transportation system, increasing property prices for housing, suppressed wage level, increased competition for jobs and education, increasing income inequality and other social problems.
So politics does affect our lives in some way or another. We need to be more aware of it and keep abreast of world news. Do you agree with me? Share your views at the comments below or follow me at Twitter MiddleMe_net for more related news.