Ho Ching Ling
KUALA LUMPUR (June 4): As the values of the new world are continuously evolving, it is important that East Asian member countries take these fast-changing values into consideration when developing their economies, said QI group executive chairman Datuk Vijay Eswaran.
Speaking at the 21st World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in Bangkok last Friday, Eswaran said that people in the region have strongly adapted, adjusted and accommodated new values that are now in transition.
“As mankind developed communities and generations, their values became stronger. And today, we have adapted to a whole new system and probably a new communality as well,” he said.
Vijay, who was one of the panelists for the WEF panel discussion Values: Lost in Translation, believes that the youths of today have become more actively involved in shaping the values of the current generation.
“We have also developed communities, and youth are actively engaging in and shaping the values of the current generation. This is why it is critical to account for new world values in developing our economies,” he said.
Taking into consideration the feedback during the panel discussion, Vijay recognised that the problem was not so much about values lost in “translation” between different countries, but values lost in “transition”.
“Given the urban-rural divide, our value system is continually evolving and changing. Values we had previously developed have now become different as people have developed further,” he said.
In order to keep up, he urged East Asian economies to strengthen collaboration. Understanding the different communities in the region was an important step to shaping common values, he said.
He also encourages Asian economies to guide a positive shift in values away from the materialistic to a humanitarian-spiritual orientation.
“Greater self-awareness, attention to spiritual growth, and sense of responsibility to the environment should be given equal importance to economic success.
“But we work longer hours than previous generations, and spend less time with our families. This is sad,” he said.
The World Economic Forum on East Asia focuses on connectivity within the Asean grouping, and Southeast Asian nations. It provides a platform for high level business and political leaders in the region to converge on a common platform to shape the region’s future opportunities while creating models for improved risk management and sustainable and equitable growth.
News Source : The Edge, Malaysia