Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A look at India

We have a person in our Indian hub supporting our work. Basically, he sort of reports to me and my colleague. Since my colleague is on maternity leave, this person has been seconded here to assist me in the coming 2 months. Not bad eh? Yes and no… but then again, that’s not the notion today.

Through this Indian dude, I have learnt quite a few things about India. Since many of us including myself have made comparison between our country and other more developed nations in my
recent entry, maybe we should look at a developing country, like India. No disrespect to the Indian nation, after all, it’s one of the fast growing super power in the world.

For a start, he told me that India is very corrupted. Based on what he said, it’s incredibly terrible. Dealing with gomen there means you MUST bribe. Your turn in the queue is not based on numbers but how much you’re willing to pay. And it’s very blatant too. The officer will openly ask how much you are going to pay him and how much others have paid, so as to let you know when you will be served. Bribes are taken on top of the table.

Another intriguing point according to him is that all the Indian athletes who represent the nation are there simply because their parents bribe the relevant authority. Whoever has money to pay, he or she can represent the country. Same goes to celebrity. You wanna be famous? Just pay the right person and they will help you land contracts, etc. Basically, money gets you places.

“Why don’t you vote the people out of the gomen?” I asked.
“Everyone is corrupted and all of them are trying to make it into gomen so that they can make a lot of money and leave,” he answered.

In terms of infrastructure, we are certainly much better. Despite the many pot-holes we have on our roads and the recent floods, our roads are heaven in the eyes of my Indian colleague. Of course, we also win in terms of public transport. One thing we can match India is… traffic jam. And looking at the trend, we might just beat India in that department one day.

The starting monthly salary for a fresh graduate is approximately INR11,000 (RM933). Yeah, that’s pretty low. But then again, one can afford quite a bit of stuff with INR11k. Let’s just say an Indian graduate earning INR11k is much more comfortable compared to a Malaysian earning RM933. My Indian friend is a degree holder who has about 10 years working experience on top of his Masters in commerce. I reckon he is earning about INR35k to INR40k (RM2,968 – RM3,393) a month. With this, he can afford a house, a vehicle and his wife does not have to work. What can you afford if you’re earning RM3,500 here?

On the modern slavery front, the labour force there has to work very late. It’s typical of any developing nation. They have to in order to “stay competitive” as mentioned by a fellow blogger. One thing though, like us here, the labour force in India is beginning to realise that they are being exploited and is slowly trying to move away from being enslaved by capitalists.

That’s all I have gathered from him so far. Oh oh…one very interesting point. The starting salary for a graduate 10 years ago was INR1,500 a month. That is RM127 a month!!! Can you see what I am seeing? No, I am about how low it is. I am talking about how much it has increased in the last 10 years. As mentioned earlier, the starting salary for a graduate now is INR11k (RM933). This means the starting salary has increased 7.3 times in the last 10 years!!!

What is this starting salary in KL 10 years ago? Compared to now? This will be an interesting point for my future modern slavery entries.
Right… now that we’ve known some of the happenings in India. How do you feel about being in our current muddy ground? If you ask me, I would say this land is certainly much better than India in a lot of aspects. Add what I’ve said above to our very own perception of India, I am sure Malaysia now appears to be quite appealing, don’t u think so?

Having said that, do we wanna compare ourselves with India? We are a country who claimed to be nearing developed status… a country who can afford to waste millions to send one fella to space… a country with smart card, smart tunnels, smart rules, smart excuses… a country with its very own book of records… I mean… we are Malaysia… the country that “boleh”!... do we wanna compare ourselves with India? No disrespect to India of course.

What we should tell ourselves is not how good we are compared to India. Instead, we should ask how far away is India from us. Will India one day overtake us? If yes… why? And most importantly… will we end up like India now? Ok... maybe that's just too far fetched... or is it?



P/S: I hate MyList!

51 comments:

Seok Thong said...

Actually i saw from CNN's business news about India. It says India is growing really fast and keeps on improving.

I don't know too. India might overtake us one day, maybe. I can see a lot of differences in India, that's they are getting better and better compared to last time.

From what i see, our country only know how to waste money.

Bee said...

Their salary increased 7 times, how about the cost of living? India has huge population with poverty problems. I think their social gap will become bigger and bigger.

Little Ray said...

LOL! So you finally voiced your hatred towards MyList! To think that I have just finished posting my first part of the final list. Haha.

Regarding India vs. Malaysia matter, it can be seen clearly (from what you've written) that India is indeed advancing rapidly despite its corrupted state. Then again, like Bee said, we have to consider its huge population and the country's poverty problem.

I guess all we can be sure of is that every country has its own problems that needs to be dealt with.

J.T. said...

Interesting that you should mention that bribery thing. It happens in all countries...albeit quietly. Maybe it is being done in Malaysia with a wink and a smile over a golf game or during teh tarik session. I am not accusing anyone in any place. I am saying maybe.
If nothing is done about it, bribery will trickle down to the ordinary citizens rapidly. Someday everyone will practice it shamelessly in public.

We may surpass India with infrastructure and all the 'smart' things, but I dare say they churn out one of the best graduates in the world - medical, technology and what-not. In fact, if one ignores their strong accent, most of them speak better English than Malaysians do.
So, yes, I say in some aspects India is already ahead of Malaysia.

If Malaysia does not buck up and do something about their system, I am afraid we may become the next Indonesia (no offence to any Indonesians here). Now, how many of their people are running out of their country to seek jobs in Malaysia? Too many.
Now, how many Malaysians are beginning to say they may not have a future in Malaysia if things do not improve? :)

day-dreamer said...

I was wondering, do Miss India pay to become Miss India too?? :D

Actually, sometimes if we see from another perspective, there is something good about Malaysia too. Just something, not everything.

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Zewt,

I spent 5 weeks in India, travelling and doing service...Just want to share some stuff...

And yes, bribery in India is terrible...It's a wide-known fact...Corruption is a way of life...

And Bollywood stars are among the most powerful and influential...

Do you know, everywhere you go, there is ShahRukh or Salman Khan's face? Newspapers, banners on poles, phone booths, bus stands, posters on eletrical lines...You name it...They endorse everything...

So if they ran for presidency, chances are, they'd get it!

The government in India is filthy rich, but the people are desparately poor...many of them...

India is one country in which the rich are filthy rich, and the poor are destitutely poor...In Malaysia, we have rich neighbourhoods and not-so-rich ones...You can usually tell from the name, location etc...

You know, in India, I was in an auto, and on one side of the road, there are four-storey houses, with Mercedes', BMW's etc, wiht bodyguards holding guns...

Directly opposite are ppl living in cow-dung sheds, barely big enough for one person to lie down confortably...And whole families live in these sheds...

INR 11 K can buy a lot...It costs only about INR 50-70 to take an auto for about 30 mins, and INR 100 is enough to buy clothes even!

And beggars are everywhere...Children as young as 5 are thought to beg and to hide their arms making you believe they have no arms...They can cry at will too...

BUt one thing I admire...Although they are very poor, they never snatched at your belongings...And we were all obviously foreigners, some of whihc carried fistfuls of money...

They cheat, lie, and try and rip you off, but steal and snatch they did not...Maybe I was lucky...

In Malaysia, we're not poor like that, but we hear of snatch thieves right, left, centre, front and back...

Sad huh?

We do have things to learn from India too *see above regarding snatch theft, among others*...

But their roads are indeed terrible...Potholes are the least of problems...There is animal excrement everywhere, from cows to horses to wild boars...

And there is no such thing as traffic rules...You have autos going in opposite direction of traffic (on main road!), and nobody bats an eyelash...Scared me stiff!

And they love to honk...Every few seconds, ppl honk at one another for FUN! In fact, most cars have stickers which say 'Honk!'...

Try being in a bus that goes peen-peen-peen-peeeeeeen every 7 seconds...

*Shudder*

TingTitLei said...

my mom just made a joke in the car today "everyones learning chinese now coz china is improving. look at india, soon we will have to learn tamil too"

kat said...

My hubby worked in India for a while. He had to deal with the gahmen. And yes, rasuah left, right, centre!!

There is a great divide between the very rich and very poor (and hardly anything in between). Imagine Lakshmi Mittal - he can give every single citizen in India USD$10 and still have USD$20 billion left in his bank account.

But, one thing he admires about them is their pride in their country. Which is more than what I can say about most of us, me included!

Aaron Chua said...

Everyone else said what I had to say. LOL~
Why do you hate MyList eh?

K said...

one more thing, the wild dogs/animals are really dangerous in the Indian streets. One german woman arrived home after visiting India and suddenly was pronounce brain dead due to she caught rabies in India..scary!

kyh said...

Those countries with huge populations yet having most of them living in poverty will definitely be prone to corruptions. It's the way the game plays.

India is growing super fast, and together with China, they're gonna make the top 3 biggest economies in 50 years' times. But having super economic boom doesnt mean that long-stemmed social ills will be eradicated. It's not that easy. Poverty will remain still, and the gap between the rich and the poor might become bigger. The rich becomes richer, while the poor becomes poorer. Not a good situation eh?

And yes, Malaysia's infrastructures and quality of life is much much better than India's, so we can feel a lil bit relieved by that.

Quoting TingTitLei, Hindi should be the future global language rather than Tamil. In India, besides the commercial use of English which is a colonial legacy, Hindi is widely regarded as the national language of India, rather than the 20+ official languages of India. It's also the language with the 4th biggest number of native speakers in the world, trailing behind Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English.

69ner said...

When is "bribery" a bribe?

When is a "gift" simply a gift?

ehon said...

lalala. im so lazy to think of what to say. but just wanna say i was here! :D

Jessica said...

Pros and cons. Who knows Malaysia may be better or worse than India in a few years depending on what the gomen intends to do. SMART everything doesn't mean we're gonna be more advance in every single thing right?

Take a seat back and watch.

jaezrel said...

my lecturer used to tell me....corruption happens everywhere.....anywhere.......regardless if it is a developing or a developed country....it will happen anyway.........

maybe i should also move to india.....i think the diff studying medic in ireland and india is.....my mom once said ya...if you wanna do medic in india you can live like a king.....have a maid, a driver, a car etc etc .........muahahhaa

zeroimpact said...

Human are just hard to please
Human compare human, compare die human
May be stone age is a better place to live

Cirnelle said...

Are bribes tax deductible there?

ah nel said...

my kuai lou fren i just met told me he is not racist but anyhow don go india...it reli sucks n u name all the bad thing they got it thre...reli bad...he told me his opinion coz he was thre work for 6 month...

Huei said...

hahahah u really reallly hate mylist dont u? aye..i edi done it, so it's only manners to give back the links!

ahh well india may seem like that, and so are other 3rd world countries, but as my parents always told me, we must compare to the better and improve ourselves, instead of comparing to the not so good ones and start slacking.

i think msia is heading the wrong way don't u think? soon all the gomen want is to bribe! hahahha smart tunnel..yadayada..how many % of the amount invested went into *ahEm* pocket? =)

Daily Nibbler said...

I agree that our country should benchmark against, other than compare ourselves with, India. Also China too. In fact, we should cherry pick certain aspects to benchmark against countries that are relevant to us.

TiNa HusSaiN said...

hai zewt!!

i want your email address la..

thankyou!!

Clare said...

We might end up as corrupted as India if the blardy garmen remains corrupted. Period!

Hey, love your "a country with smart card, smart tunnels, smart rules, smart excuses..." sad but so true! :)

flaminglambo said...

Bollywood here I come!

kayatan said...

Hi, I answer yr MT question.

jorji said...

People said.."if u survive India,U survive anywhere else in this world"

As long as the damn book (Malaysian Book of Rekod) is here in malaysia,we are going nowhere and India will beat us in everything!

Do u think our politician care about the comparison? I mean, they will speak about global competitiveness...booming India and China,only when they officiate sumthing and that was it.After the tea and kuih2..kaput!

Other issue Daphne Ling dah cakap dengan baiknya.

Thank You.

zewt said...

seok thong - some readers said india has already overtaken us in some aspects. of cos, in terms of infrastructure, they are still very far behind. indeed, if we keep wasting our resources, we might just end up like india... or worse.

Bee - i think their cost of living has been maintained at an acceptable level. you may wanna check out daphne ling's comment. but yeah, the gap is pretty big.

Little Ray - ya... i really hate it hah! indeed, every country will have their own problems. the question is... how are dealing with ours?

JT - very interesting point. indeed... countries like indon and bangladesh are seeking employment elsewhere. india can still support their population in terms of employment. malaysia is a totally different case... we have ppl who dont wanna work... but too bad, there's not unemployment payment here.

day dreamer - hmmm... maybe she did, you'll never know. yeah, malaysia does have it's goodness... but are we going to be just say 'very good' and get on with our lives?

daphne ling - thank you for your very insightful information. maybe i can update my entry with information from here :)... if we truly compare ourselves with india... of cos we are in a better state. but like i said... do we wanna compare ourselves with india or set a higher benchmark. having said that... india has overtaken us in some aspects too.

TTL - that one i am not too sure. ppl still look to china. one thing for sure, USA is sweating in their pants due to the rise of india and china.

zewt said...

kat - think in terms of pride... we lose big time. unless there's a badminton match. haha! anyway, in terms of wealth distribution... i am of the zewtpinion that we are heading that way. the rich are getting richer here too... the poor here are also getting poorer.

Aaron Chua - cos it affected my technorati ranking... ugh!

kyh - like what i told kat... the wealth gap is also widening here. the rich are certainly getting more money and the poor... well... let's just say they arent getting much better. interesting point on the language thing. i didnt know that.

69er - a gift is when one give willingly without being asked, without any expectation. a bribe is when someone blatantly or subtly ask.

ehon - thanks for being here.

jessica - not everyone wanna take a back seat and watch... most wanna watch from afar.

jaezrel - yeah, if you know the siemens scandal, u will know corruption is also quite rampant in europe. my friend had 3 maids when he was studying in india.

zewt said...

zeroimpact - agree... maybe we should not have progression... haha... means NO internet!!

cirnelle - i understand that up to 1999, overseas bribery is allowed a deduction in germany. india... tak tau.

ah nel - so you're saying we are very good here lor? right?

huei - good point... if we compare ourselves with india or china... we will never grow. we will only be contended and then slack. that's the whole point of my entry. besides, if we are not careful... we might just head backwards towards what india is like now.

daily nibbler - that is EXACTLY my point of my entry. kudos to you my friend.

Tina Hussain - i gave to alan zed already la....

zewt said...

Clare - hahaha... and smart employees like you who knows how to sleep when bosses not around hah!

flaminglambo - think you stay aussie better leh...

kayatan - for a while... i dont quite understand what is MT... hmmmm

jorji - memang pun... bila bagi speech... cakap macam apa pun boleh. bila buat perlaksanaan... tengok la.. macam smart tunnel tu... semua hancur. indeed... i really like daphne's comment. very informative.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

oh well..10 yrs ago we only earn RM600-800 a mth? now the current pay is around RM2100-2200..thats only 300% increase..i guess they r growing way faster then us..

rinnah said...

Wah... zewt, all your readers damn power and smart leh... after reading all the comments I shy to leave my 2 cents worth. :o) But that's why I like to come to AZAIG daily. Can learn a lot from your posts and your readers.

Anyway, I agree that the rich in M'sia are getting richer, while the poor are not. And all the while the cost of living is going up so in the end the poor will become more. Hopefully we will not come to such a state like India or Indonesia, but the way things are run... who knows?

Gallivanter said...

You're spot on with this one, I've been to India 4 times already, and yes, BRIBERY and TRAFFIC JAMS will beat any other country hands down.

Our car was involved in a collision with a lorry, the police came around, questioning both of us, and, although the lorry was the guilty party, he said, whoever can bribe me the most, I will support you in writing the report! This was in broad daylight in front of a lot of witnesses!

bubbly soda said...

A tonne of questions to think of. Bribery happens everywhere and there is no escape for it, let's not get our brain cooked by thinking too much. Just one aspect, 'Life Quality'. Do you see yourself enjoying or suffering? Your welfare and the development, is it more or less on par? Ok, i better shut up! that is too much to think already

sengkor said...

no need look so far.. with the current crime rates and whtsnot happening here, i am afraid someday we will turn into indonesia.

alan zed said...

no wonder their doctors drive taxi in nyc... :)

Tunku Halim said...

Do you get calls from telemarketing people in India? Big issue in Australia.

zewt said...

constant craver joe - yeah... and their cost of living didnt really increase according to their salary. technically speaking... their standard of living is increasing at a rapid rate.

rinnah - thanks for your tremendous support :) ... here in malaysia... the poorer seems to be getting less and less, which is worrying. when GST is being implemented, the poor will suffer tremendously. if we do turn into indon... then it will be chaotic.

gallivanter - haha... so what happened in the end? anyway, just becos india is worse doesnt mean we should feel good about ourselves, no?

bubbly soda - why dont u answer me... do u think the quality of life here is increasing? if you dont drive... perhaps.

sengkor - yeah man! the recent news about kidnapped and rape here and there is really worrying. and they are done by the same ppl it seems... and within such short time span.

alan zed - your point being?

tunku halim - well... maybe the rich will get calls... didnt know aussie hate such calls.

bubbly soda said...

honestly, overall... i think our life quality here isn't on par with the development. won't wanna say too much nanti kena nasi kari!

Gallivanter said...

Well, I think we "won" that contest. Yes and no. Yes, we must be grateful, there are worse countries out there, and no, we should not just feel good about it without looking at constant improvement...

Rashikaps said...

Read your post last night, so so so wanted to comment, and here I am. Well, this dude is partly correct. There are a lot of corrupt people in government offices (is that what gomen means?) who shamelessly accept bribe. That said, not everyone falls in the same category. There are also a few good men.

Saying you can pay your way to get just about anything is BALONEY. Sure, money helps you get better things in life - a better house, designer clothes, expensive shoes, a better lifestyle .. but isn't that true for the rest of the world too? Saying athletes and celebrities who represent the country have made their way up purely by bribing authorities is again Loads of Crap.

Let's look at the situation practically. Statistics suggest that 70% of the population here is under 40 years of age. The competition is obviously very high. Will those who bribed be able to retain their positions in national teams if their skill and merit were not considered at all? I doubt it. Will a girl without a great body and below average looks be able to make it to a beauty pageant or land modeling assignments? We all know the answer to this.

Size-wise India is way bigger than Malaysia. Population-wise it is bursting at the seams, second only to China. There is still a lot of poverty, I agree. The country is still developing. We have come a long way and still have a long way to go. The economy is booming. The infrastructure is being improved. A lot of technical work is being outsourced to India. And, difficult as it may be to believe, we're now experiencing a huge, reverse brain drain.. meaning a lot of people who left the country to settle abroad are now coming back. A lot of people across the world may be getting calls from tele-marketeers. A whole lot of work is being outsourced to India. I'm sure it is making good business sense to companies that are outsourcing this work or else they wouldn't.

I don't know about others but for me the pros of living here far outweigh the cons. I'd like to travel the world over. I have worked in the US for a year. But, India is truly 'home' for me.

I'd like to visit Malaysia sometime soon. :)

bongkersz said...

malaysian politicians will compare us to ghana, indonesia or some out post countries but not india la :D i think they are patriotic a lot compare to malaysian. (not that decorating you car with 50 flags that kind of patriotism) hmm,if bribing can help somebody to make it to beauty pageants there then the standard will be so bad and India will not have so many Miss World titles now :D and at least i think the quality of the work force in india is far better than malaysia. comparing their graduates and ours. so much the hype about how many As.. but end up unemployed. so much the hype about the 1st class infrastructures, but all built by indons or bangladesh workers, japanese/taiwanese/korean engineer or architects. at least i think in india they built their own infrastructures. imagine the indonesian mogok what will happen?

narrowband said...

Very enlightening. From what I know thus far, India produces very highly competent workforce - so much so that they're a great asset to many organizations worldwide, including Malaysia. In particular, the IT industry. It's not surprising to see many of them settling down in Malaysia as expatriates. I know a few and I thought they were Malaysians, until one day they told me they've been living in Malaysia for 10 years, but were originally from India.

Our appreciation for our country can usually be strengthened if we just open up our eyes and see the world around us. I was in Cambodia before and the same kind of enlightenment came to me. I began to appreciate all the things we have here after that. But then like you said, do we want to compare ourselves with them?

Anonymous said...

Ayo...please la, not india, not china - they can be rich, people have more money, but that's all there is to it - other aspects of life will be the same.

No need to be rich la, just improve the way we live, our mentality, our manners, our surrounding - peace and quiet - no need to be rich la

zewt said...

bubbly soda - oh yes... that is the best way to put it... not on par with development. and if i may add... not on par with the amount of money we wasted... i mean invested.

Gallivanter - i think bubbly soda made a very good point. our life quality is not on par with our development.

rashikaps - i was expecting your comment since you're from india and being the vocal u :)... thank you for your input. i hope all readers will read your comment so as to get a better understanding on india.

yes, i wouldnt deny that the quality of ppl in india is certainly much better than here. trust me... our govt official compared to yours... we will lose hands down. and i am painfully aware that we are also losing out in a lot of other factors. if only our govt will sincerely do something, we could be doom.

well, i must admit i am surprise you prefer india to US... i guess home is where the heart is eh? you are most welcome to visit malaysia...

bongkersz - very good points my friend. if all the indons mogok... our economy menjunam i tell u! dont pway pway. yeah, was talking to my indian colleague today and he said a graduate from the Indian Institute of management can instantly command a salary of RM10,500. which local institute here can produce such graduate? and i mean local institute... not those who simply put up a sdn bhd... hehehe... like the 50 flags fella.

narrowband - indeed. we need to set a right benchmark. if we compare ourselves with countries like cambodia or other african nations. you're right about their human resource. in my company...those top positions are mostly filled by indians from india. malaysians are there becos of quota... the rest are kwai los.

anon @ 8.12pm - those are good points. riches is not everything if your quality of life sucks. and that is something i would rather have... quality in things that cannot be purchased with money.

bubbly soda said...

man! you totally get my point! AMEN! Thank God for smart people!

michelle said...

hehey zewt, thanks for filling up the experiment. Do you think your readers here can do the same for me? :P

ah nel said...

here bulleh worr!!!not good mer???LOL

Rashikaps said...

Thank you. You provide us all with this super platform to interact and share our views. I'm gaining plenty too. :)
As for preferring India to the US -aah well.. Only when you leave your home and go, you know the joy of return. :):)
Life in the US is very organized, there's lots of money to be earned, a good life to be had, and one's materialistic desires are easier to satisfy. But then, emotionally, I'm is happier here.

Btw: I like the way you all say la at the end of a sentence. :)

zewt said...

bubbly soda - i am sure a lot of us are smart... we just dont realise it... ;P

michelle - well... let's hope they read your comment and hope over :P

ah nel - depends on what lor...

rashikaps - understand what you mean. i worked in china for a few months and i thoroughly missed malaysia when i was there. now that i am here... i wanna leave... ironic huh :)

KEF said...

:) what is mylist?

Obiter Dictum said...

There are ways and ways of looking at India.

There is a legend that when god wanted to create earth, he created India for a model. He put there the rain forests, the high mountain, the rugged plains, the beautiful beaches, the desert.

Look at India and wonder at the miracle that is being governed at all.

Nice blog.