A technology is an imagination, such as the Digital which is hoped to be a silver bullet to all problems. Every technology creates externalities, and should be perceived as a lens to shape the future by understanding the present deeply. A digital lens is political as it is not just science but commerce undergirding the mechanics as a technology or innovation is only as good as the money it can generate. E Retail, Uber or Privacy issues all are linked to the ability to generate revenue, and kind off easing and improving standard of living along the path. As Prime Minister Modi recites in every address practically, ‘the transformative nature of technology’ through digital india and start up india, pointing to the possibilities of digital to bypass the bureaucratic inefficiencies that riddle the country. I have wish to Ask in my book project, is the transformation really changing lives, saving lives by creating jobs or improvements or it is only for the Gartner Tech Hype Curve?
Children who grow up in the Gulf are a cocooned species, within the family, community events and schools. The Father is usually overworked and too worried about his next mortgage payment to worry about his kids. The kids of south Asian decent grow up speaking better English and Arabic rather than Malayalam. Hometown visits once in a year or two are rituals in growing up non resident in the Gulf. The play station and FIFA become his best friend, or the latest series on Netflix. The weekly trip to Lulu or the Church/Temple is the extent of social interaction in physicality. The brief playing around in the clothes section at Lulu in a very impromptu manner is one of the simple pleasures of Gelf life.
There is a hollowness about growing up here, I did and I did not love it until I realised way later in life that my parents bled their rials to raise me up. My father did not make it to my commencement at NUS nor at Waljat, but he paid for my education. The precarious life of the Temporary People has its unique characteristics. The children of the Gelf expat bears it in his or her lived experience.
I had read Dr M’s biography ‘The Doctor in the House’, in 2012 while in Singapore. A voluminous read with plenty of anecdotes, very usual for a biography published by local imprint MPH. I remember this line however, which has got printed on my mind. I am an accidental doctor, I was always destined to be in politics.
His decision upon starting his own clinic in Kedah, and upon becoming successful, hiring a Chinese Driver spoke volumes about him. I have heard that he is half Malayali. A complex man. Back in action at 92. His biography certainly needs an update.
The Doctor back at the helm. Malaysia 🇲🇾 Boleh.