THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF A SOUTHEAST ASIAN

(A Chronicle of Hope from Womb to Tomb)

 

I don’t want to have as many brothers and sisters as my parents had before me, and I do not want my mother to have a child too soon after me.

I don’t care whether my mother and father are formally married; but I need them to live together in reasonable harmony.

I want good nutrition for my mother and me in my first two or three years when my capacity for future mental and physical development is determined.

I want to go to school together with my sister and learn a trade, and to have the school impart social values to me. If I happen to be suitable for higher education, that opportunity should be available.

When I leave school I want a job, a meaningful one in which I can feel the satisfaction of making a contribution.

I want to live in a law and order society, without molestation.

I want my country to relate effectively and equitably to the outside world, so that I can have access to the intellectual and technical knowledge of all mankind, as well as to capital from overseas.

I would like my country to get a fair price for products that I and my fellow citizens create.

As a farmer, I would like to have my own plot of land, with a system which gives me access to credit, new agricultural technology, markets, and a fair price for my produce.

As a worker, I would want to have some share, some sense of participation in the factory in which I work.

As a human being, I would like inexpensive newspapers and paperback books, plus access to radio and TV, without too many advertisements.

I want to enjoy good health, and I expect the government to provide free preventive medical services and a good, cheap, readily available curative service.

I need some leisure time for myself and to enjoy my family, and I want access to some green parks, the arts, and traditional social and religious festivities.

I want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

I would like to have the security of cooperative mechanisms in which I join to help others do things which they cannot do alone, and they do the same for me.

I need the opportunity to participate in the society around me and be able to help shape decisions of the economic and social, as well as political, institutions that affect my life.

I want my wife to have equal opportunity with me, and I want both of us to have access to the knowledge and means of family planning.

In my old age, it would be nice to have some form of social security to which I have contributed.

When I die, if I happen to have some wealth left, after leaving an adequate amount for my widow, I would wish the government to spend the rest to make it possible for others to enjoy life, too.

These are what life is all about, and what development should seek to achieve for all.

 

The strategy for the United Nations Second Development Decade prescribes the preceding objectives, among others.

 

Appendix to

“Thoughts on South-East Asia’s Development for 1980,” June 1973.