- San Shwe Aung
A generation is “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” It can also be described as, “the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own. A familial generation is a group of living beings constituting a single step in the line of descent from an ancestor. In developed nations the average familial generation length is 20 years and has even reached 25 or even 30 years in some nations. State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said at the IE Singapore’s Global Conversations business dialogue in Singapore during her official visit in November 30th 2016 that “In 20 years’ time, Myanmar will have overtaken Singapore and you will help us to do that because success in one part of the region means success throughout the region and we have never found it difficult to engage with Singapore economically.” The State Counselor has laid down a very important historic “Vision” for Myanmar citizens. We all people of Myanmar are now bound and need to commit ourselves to realize that historic “Vision”.
In relevant connection with above mentioned episode, there was a world famous “Vision” laid down by the then 35th President of Unites States of America John F Kennedy on 25th May 1961 at the US Congress. He declared that “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” Following that renowned guideline by the President Kennedy, the people of United States of America had worked very hard to realize that “Vision” and eventually National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA sent space craft Apollo 11 to the moon in July 1969, just before of the end of that decade. On 20th July 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong had become the first human to have put his feet and walked on the
surface of the moon. We can
draw an excellent lesson from President Kennedy’s vision that a great leader can truly inspire the whole nation to make seemingly impossible mission possible.
A great leader also can enhance the capacity & morality of the people of a nation. Now in Myanmar, our leader has already laid down a very clear “Vision” for coming 20 years or for the next generation to persevere to achieve the mission. We therefore have to make a lot of things happen in 20 years. The “Vision” laid down by the State Counselor has to be altered to a feasible, implementable and workable “Mission” followed by long, medium & short term policies, strategies, master plans, tactical plans, programmes & projects by responsible agencies and bodies transparently and in inclusive ways.
Perhaps we consider 10 years old kids, who are mainly primary school children, as the youngest generation and they will become young educated adults in 30s, in coming 20 years. 16 to 20 years old youngsters today are studying in upper high school classes or already in colleges & universities. The latter generation will be in late 30s and early 40s in coming 20 years. The government and senior citizens need to plan for the excellence of education, technical skills, scientific innovation, top class competence in management, businesses, industrial & engineering, defense & security, law, health care, social science and political arenas. Many people in Myanmar now are fully convinced that world class education is key to the development, success and nation building areas. The young generations have been, no doubt, having burning desire to improve and speed up progress of the country to shoulder or even overtake other neighboring countries. Education, generally enhances the knowledge and morality of the people. Being graduate from a university does not make one a rounded person. Knowledge will have to be accompanied with morality. We can build our country and compete with other neighboring progressing successful countries once our people have education, world class knowledge in all sectors and most importantly morality. What has been happening in our country though is that people, who might have high competence in technical skills but little morality, are making head line news in daily newspapers and other social media. Bad behavior of public bus drivers and attendants who insult the travelers on their buses, verbally abuse other car-drivers and even attack with knifes to the people after quarreling with them etc., are in the news almost every day, lately. These are very shameful acts of the otherwise technical competent people who obviously lack morality. These incidents are also damaging and degrading the image of our country. In this IT era, the whole world already knows about the despising deed of those people. It is highly important that those rude people must be punished heavily and immediately, according to law. Littering is another problem in our country. Most people enjoy throwing away garbage into the drains, spit their betel liquid on the pavement, household kitchen waste are even thrown into the backyard blocking the drain and increasing rodents infestation. YCDC has been working very hard to collect garbage from all parts of Yangon with increased number of garbage trucks and manpower. They still face daunting challenges since many of Yangon residents fail to dispose their daily garbage into the bid green & orange containers which are put almost every corner of the roads & streets. Smoking rampantly in all public places is another health nuisance which disturb non-smokers particularly young children. All above problems will have to be solved in coming years, if we want to catch up or overtake Singapore in a generation. More awareness & education as well as fine (cash), punishment and strong actions are needed to the offenders. New young generations need to be effectively educated (include in their curriculum) & trained not to follow suit the bad habits of older generations. It might take more than 20 years, perhaps. In addition parliament and government agencies will have to positively address the following country social and economic problems being faced by our people in the country.
• Eradication of corruption in all areas
• Decent and sufficient official earning, salaries or income of public and private sector workers
• All government departments have to fully apply e-Government in reasonable period, so that paperless system will eradicate the corruption in serving the interest of the public
• All competent people must have opportunity for arts & science higher education and technical vocational training
• All citizen must have employment opportunities at all time
• All adults have access to own a decent accommodation (either a home or an apartment). It is closely connected to limiting by law, the ownership of property to one house or apartment per one adult only.
• Rule of law in cities, towns, villages and in rural areas
There may be other issues to be addressed in addition to the points mentioned above. If we cannot tackle and solve successfully the key above mentioned problems, we might remain one of the poorest & least developed countries for long time in ASEAN. However, once we overcome the problems we will surely be overtaking Singapore in 20 years time.