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Name of school: SMK SUBANG UTAMA

Name: Lim Shwe Wen


Class: 5 Gamma
Code no: ECE2
Ministry of Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob
wrote an article, The Values Malaysia Live By, in which he described 13 values that
Malaysians posses. Many of the values that he describes are evident among
malaysians, especially the youth of todays country, but they have failed to be
recognized among our society. One value Malaysian youths have is materialism. I agree
with the way that Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob views materialism among Malaysian
youths. People in Malaysia tend to collect more items than people in other countries
would even dream of. Malaysia have significantly higher standard when it comes to the
things they own. As materialism continues to grow in our country, its becoming the only
way of life that kids know. Teenagers are growing up in a world where the aspect in life
is want rather than need. Materialism is shaping the Malaysian perspective on values,
so that in their minds, materialism equals happiness. Due to parenting, competition, and
spending, teens growing up in Malaysia are more materialistic than ever.
Its true that children look up to adults. After time they develop the habits, good
and bad that their parents have taught them. When children see their parents strive for
the latest gadgets from Apple every month, they assume that having the newest and
priciest items is acceptable. Not only do parents want material objects for themselves,
but they use material objects as a way to bribe their children. Often I hear of fellow
classmates receiving money and gifts for achieving high grades. Parents use material
goods to motivate their kids into doing well in school, giving the kids the interpretation
that if they do well they will obtain something high in value in return. Also, parents are
often buying their children things to make them feel better, or to be kia-su but
excessive materialism is proven to be linked to emotional problems. Many people think
that money can buy happiness, but this is not the case. Surprisingly, due to Malaysia
materialism there is a new group of at-risk kids; the kids that factor materials into
equaling their happiness. This group of kids belongs to the upper and middle class, all
of which have parents that make a comfortable income. It is assumed that children
coming from families with privileges are better off in all aspects of life, but this is not
true. According to the Ministry of Health, 22 percent of girls from affluent families are
clinically depressed, which is three times the national rate, and somewhere between 30
and 40 percent of teens from privileged backgrounds have significant psychological
symptoms (Levine). Owning the best of things does not always make for an ideal life. In
the twenty-first century it is becoming evident that materialism in teens is being passed
down by their parents. Children learn by watching and imitating the behaviors of those
around them.

Consumers are hypnotized by the world of competition, sending them into the
downward spiral of materialism. One of the many reasons that people, particularly
teens, want to buy things is the brand name. The brand name of a product will ensure
that a persons wealth will be displayed for everyone to see. When teenagers spring for
the expensive pair of jeans they are doing so not for themselves, but for the people
around them. They want to be sure that everyone recognizes what they have, and they
do so by, (a) mentioning a brand name, and (b) mentioning that the item purchased was
expensive. Materialism can either make us greedy by showing off what we have or
embarrassed of what we dont have. People are constantly trying to outdo each other
when it comes to the things they own. Having more and the biggest of things seems to
be what drives people to be so absorbed in materialistic lives. The choice of college and
a persons career even fall into this category of want. Some people go to college to
pursue a career based on the amount of money that they will make afterwards, not on
whether or not they have a passion for it. People use college as a way to obtain all of
the things they want to have. It paves the way to own a big house, expensive cars and
the leisure to throw money out the window . The competitiveness of having the best of
everything, makes falling into the category of materialistic a race to the finish.
Americans compete for the satisfaction of knowing they have the greatest things.

The spending trends of Malaysians contributes to the amount of materialism in
this country due to the lack of money management. Teens have a tendency to not let
money burn a hole in their pocket and spend the money that they obtain right away.
Sales contribute greatly to teenagers spending their money on things, especially sales
around the holidays. "Holiday shopping accounts for almost 20% of annual sales" said
Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during one of his interviews with The Star newspaper. In
the months of November and December which Malaysians do theirs shopping for the
new year or Christmas Day, people are occupied with finding gifts for their friends and
family. It goes to show that Malaysians arent focused on the actually holiday itself, but
what type of new materials they will be receiving. Christmas was is supposed to mark
the date of Christs birth, and to spend time with family, but its taken on a new meaning.
This is evident with the sales that stores offer, which also leads to splurge purchasing
among consumers. A splurge purchase is a specific purchase item that consumers
distinguish from other purchase items and consumers have an initial, self-references
definition of what purchases are deemed splurgable purchase. When consumers
splurge purchase they have an idea in mind of what they want to buy before they go to
the store.
When college students go back-to-school shopping, they have in mind the stores
that they want to go to, what type of jeans they want to buy, and how many shirts they
want, and what brand are the clothes. Primary and secondary school students are no
difference as they prefer shopping at well known outlets at shopping mall than a typical
uniform store. They also prefer purchasing stationories that has a brand instead of the
usual type you will find in a small stationary shop. A purchase by this type of consumer
is based on what they want as opposed to what they need. They spend money just to
spend it, until they have none left. Teenagers in Malaysia dont know hove to mange
their money correctly. The saving money process is almost unheard of in the world of
teens. In a way, Malaysians have grown weary of the work-spend-consume treadmill;
and a growing number of us are recognizing that consumerism and its counterpart,
materialism are inerendy and are casting about for alternative value systems. The
expectation of teens is that once they earn money they need to go out and spend it or
even worse, they spend money that they dont actually have. Theyre drifting off the path
that is seen as an acceptable spending by other countries, other than Malaysia.

Materialism in Malaysia continues to grow. Teenagers are living in a world where
the idea of want over need is more relevant. Even though many Americans do not
realize that our values are decreasing, other countries pay close attention.The
standards of countries other than Malaysia are much higher than ours, resulting in
higher values as well. Teenagers are adding to a materialistic Malaysia based upon the
way they were raised, competition among other teens, and spending habits. What all
Malaysians fail to realize is that materialism does not bring happiness.