Wednesday, December 07, 2005

a nation of shopkeepers

Napoleon Bonaparte once described the English as a "nation of shopkeepers". He was describing a nation of petty bourgeois that worshipped commerce rather than culture, art, and food. Adam Smith, first coin the notion in his Wealth of Nations, 1776.

Last night I read a blog, quoting Profesor DiRaja Ungku Aziz, criticising the Government's policy of trying to encourage entrepreneurship amongst Bumiputera as daff and likened it to the creation of a "nation of shopkeepers" only with a different name - entrepreneurs.

But then ....

Weren't the Chinese the "race of shopkeepers" in Malaysia not too long ago? Their second and third generation today have enough wealth to not get bogged down with the nitty gritty and focus on the big picture.

If we don't have the dosh to invest on human capital, can we develop our human capital pun?

If you are not paid your salary from your company's piggy, honestly can you do work? Can you even ponder on Malay dilemma? Won't there be additional 101 issues creeping in? How did the company's piggy get fat? Through mere thinking? Wasn't corporate entrepreneurship required to help the piggy get fat?

As I see it they are both important. It's just part of a nation's development process. We'll get there.

My fifty sen.

2 comments:

zuhri said...

i have huge respect for pak ungku but at times, i think he lives in an idealistic world - typical academician. pasal tu, kekadang statement dia tu berbau senile in this practical world.

for eg in the ideal world, love is the ultimate but in reality, it will not bring food onto the table, or provide the best education you can fro your childen or the best medical treatment for your loved ones. thus, u still need to crack ur brain and ass off to work and get money.

zuhri said...

i have huge respect for pak ungku but at times, i think he lives in an idealistic world - typical academician. pasal tu, kekadang statement dia tu berbau senile in this practical world.

for eg in the ideal world, love is the ultimate but in reality, it will not bring food onto the table, or provide the best education for your children or the best medical treatment for your loved ones. thus, u still need to crack ur brain and move ur ass off to work and earn money.