Once upon a time, there lived a peace-loving people whose kind and gentle nature was known throughout the world. When travelers journey through this place, they did not talk about the beautiful weather or the unspoiled landscape. They talked about the friendly smiles, the genuine hospitality, and the slow and unhurried pace of life. It was a tropical paradise and I loved this place. I thought the whole world was full of people like that.
Time passed. I grew up and traveled to many places in the world. The people I met were different. The world out there was not filled with the same gentle people I knew and admired. Returning to the tropical paradise, I was even more alarmed that the gentle people I once knew have been replaced by greedy, callous, and corrupt people that I never knew existed before. In their drive to enrich themselves, they have polluted and destroyed the environment. Through corruption and mismanagement, they empty the public coffers. The utopian world of free public health care is slowly replaced by privatized hospitals. What used to be quality education is replaced by poorly run and sometimes dubious institutions from primary schools to colleges and universities. A peaceful society now lives in barricaded houses with hired neighbourhood security guards, numbed to escalating crime, and harassed by the very people who are there to serve and protect them. A tropical paradise, like the Garden of Eden, has disappeared.