Stay calm — Lim Sue Goan
JAN 26 — The dragon is an auspicious beast in Chinese culture, but some fengshui masters claim that 2012 is going to be a “Year of the Water Dragon” and since water is “black” in nature, it is also going to be a “Year of the Black Dragon,” where the Black Dragon will drain the water into the deepest lakes and is therefore highly unpredictable, hinting at terror, slyness and mystery.
So, something unexpected could be in store for everyone of us. To some, this could be a very good year, or a very bad one.
Judging from the existing developments here and abroad, indeed the Year of the Dragon is teeming with uncertainties.
The European debt crisis is not going to wane anytime soon, as the IMF lobbies for another US$600 billion (RM1.86 trillion) to come to the aid but with very poor prognosis. The Year of the Dragon may see some member states dropping out of the single currency, which is set to crumble anyway in a matter of time.
The UN puts this year’s global economic growth forecast at a paltry 0.5 per cent, with the World Bank somewhat more optimistic at 2.5 per cent. With the gloomy outlook as a backdrop, UBS and Merrill Lynch have put Malaysia’s growth targets for this year at 3 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively, way below the 5 per cent to 6 per cent anticipated by the government.
To businesses, the Year of the Water Dragon does not seem to augur well for their endeavours, thanks to soaring inflation owing to a weaker ringgit. With domestic debts on the rise, consumer sentiment will sink after the clout of the BR1M is over.
Global political environment is not going to be any more conducive. The Middle East is still struggling to get back on its feet, and Uncle Sam is already pushing the international community for sanctions against Iran. If the latter were to block the Straits of Hormuz, as it has repeatedly threatened, international oil prices will soar by 50 per cent, putting a further strain on the already anaemic global economy.
Environmental disasters will in no way dissipate in the Year of the Dragon. While there are no clear signs the Doomsday will eventually arrive this year, it is beyond doubts that our living environment has gone from bad to worse. Just pray that Malaysia could be spared from another massive catastrophe.
The Year of the Dragon is also an election year for Malaysia, and with elections come uncertainties.
Merrill Lynch has said if BN fails to secure a two-thirds majority this time, investment funds will rush out of the country. Delays in announcing the big date only serve to show that the ruling coalition’s confidence is diminishing.
Due to the looming general election, this festive season is impregnated with political talks, that not even the lifting of firecracker ban would do much to bring in the joy.
No one likes spirit-dampening talks, but it is imperative that the Chinese community gets prepared for the worst.
Life is not a bed of roses. We must ready ourselves for the ups and downs, and a solemn mind is all it takes to weather the unpredictable.
I recently came across a wonderful book while visiting a book store, which I would like to share with you at a time when temperaments run wild: “Although we are not Buddhas, we can absolutely live the life of the Buddha.” (“The Power of Calmness”)
Panic will only jumble our directions. If we remain calm even in the face of the most destructive turn of events, we will be able to put the pieces of puzzle together and sail past all our crises safely.
Hope this will inspire you. A very happy and prosperous Chinese New year to you all. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.