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People are becoming more materialistic. They are concerned with making more money
and what money can buy. What is your opinion on being materialistic? You should write
at least 350 words. [60 marks]
They say that money makes the world go round. And indeed it does as without money, life
would be very difficult as in todays society, nothing is free. The side effect however is that
people are becoming more materialistic; more concerned with making money and what
money can buy. But how much money is enough? Is it ever enough? To some, it will never be
enough. In my opinion, I truly believe that this statement is true and that people are becoming
more materialistic in nature. In this essay, I will discuss how materialism has affected modern
societys way of life on an individual level, the countrys economy as well as our spiritual and
moral beliefs.
First and foremost, each individual is affected by materialism to some extent in this day and
age because hedonism is becoming an uprising trend. This is because today's generation are
geared towards making more and more money so that they can enjoy the carefree lifestyle
that is so popular these days. Moreover, people now are striving to earn more income in order
to afford things that are more expensive and branded. For example, people spend their hard
earned money on material objects like genuine LV and Coach handbags, expensive gadgets
like Iphones and Tablet pcs and so on which in my opinion is a waste of money when regular
goods may prove to be good enough. Therefore, while individuals become more focussed on
their pursuit of material wealth and improving their standard of living, they may forget that
what matters most in life is quality time spent with family and friends and not the quantity of
their material goods.
Secondly, when society starts spending in a materialistic manner it will surely have a domino
effect on the countrys economy. This means that the spending power of society will help
boost the economy and create more business opportunities for the booming trade. However,
when a society overspends, using plastic money or credit cards, or when they take loans they
cannot afford to repay, then the countrys debt margin will be higher. For instance, USA today
is facing an economic crisis because banks have approved home loans to people who aspire to
own bigger houses than they can actually afford and this is causing the collapse of the
countrys economy there. Thus, while a societys spending habits helps our economy to grow,
overspending due to materialism will have an adverse effect to the countrys financial stability.
Last but not least, materialism affects our spiritual and moral beliefs. This is due to the fact
people who are materialistic may become amoral whereby they disregard their spiritual and
moral upbringing and instead turn to crime to satisfy their materialistic needs. In fact, the
crime rate is increasing because criminals these days have developed many ways to gain more
money from society. Take for example, there are more reports of snatch thefts, burglaries,

kidnapping for ransom, credit card fraud, internet banking hacking and others that are driven
by materialistic criminals. Hence, when people lose sight of their spiritual and moral beliefs and
believe instead in the greed of materialism, therefore the crime rate is bound to increase.
In a nutshell, materialism is a common agenda in the 21st century as more people are working
hard to afford things beyond their reach. While this may spur individuals to work harder to
improve their standard of living, overspending due to materialism may cause the downfall of a
countrys economy and their morality. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that materialism has a
strong hold on todays society; both positive and negative effects. Our government can
encourage society to be less frivolous and wasteful in spending by running campaigns such as
Consumer Awareness and Buy Malaysian Made Products in order to educate our younger
generation for the prosperity of our nation.


The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail,
Facebook and Short Message System (SMS). What is your opinion of this growing trend?
Discuss. You should write at least 350 words. [60 marks]
Everywhere we turn today, the world is crowded with people busy typing SMSes on their
Nokias or iPhones or someone is staring unblinkingly at a Facebook or Yahoo page on the
computer screen. Whether you like it or not, the age of Information Technology is upon us, and
we can either learn new skills and adapt to this new technology, or be forever lost and stuck in
the older generation. In my opinion, I am fully convinced that this growing trend is the way of
the future, and it brings countless benefits to mankind. In this essay, I will discuss three positive
effects of electronic communication, namely its efficiency, enhances communication and
creates a borderless world community.
First and foremost, more and more people are relying on e-mail, Facebook, Short Message
System (SMS) and other types of electronic communication tools because of its high efficiency.
This is because in today's age of globalisation, we need information at the tip of our fingers.
Moreover, with the use of these tools, we can increase the speed of getting the necessary and
relevant information within seconds and this will increase our productivity. For example, gone
are the days of using 'snail mail' or regular letters using stamps and envelopes and many more
examples of 'old' technology because it is simply too slow and inefficient. Therefore, these ecommunication tools increases the access to important information which is why the new
generation is fully accepting this growing trend.
Secondly, this form of technology enhances communication among people today. This means
that when we use SMS, e-mails and websites like Facebook, we are able to communicate

clearly and directly to our target audience. Furthermore, people today find that the message is
more important than the form it comes in as an e-mail in short but clear sentences is just as
good or even better than a long and formal letter. For instance, an SMS can give clear
instructions in just a few words and this communicates what needs to be done quickly and
directly. Thus, when the intended message can be spread clearly using short and clear
information like in SMSes and emails, communication can be enhanced and there will be less
problems of miscommunication.
Last but not least, e-communication creates a borderless community in the world we live in
today. This is due to the fact that the boundaries that separate each country becomes less
relevant when information is transferred without limitations. In addition, the world would be a
better place because there is a sense of 1-World commitment, respect and tolerance for the
global community through efficient and clear e-communication. Take for example, we are able
to connect with people on an international basis using Facebook, Friendster, Tagged, Hotmail,
Yahoo and others. Hence, these tools will enhance global unity and create a more peaceful
In a nutshell, this growing trend has many positive effects not just to individuals but the global
society in terms of efficiency, enhancing communicative skills and shaping a borderless
community. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that this latest trend is the best way forward
and if we do not catch up, we will be left behind by the tide of development. Our government
can encourage the proper usage of electronic communications by increasing communication
amenities and free broadband accessibility especially in rural areas so that they can enjoy the
same facilities as city-folks therefore balancing the development of our country towards
achieving Vision 2020.


The most valuable thing in life is friendship. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at
least 350 words.
[60 marks]
It is true that no man is an island meaning that no one in this world can live alone without
friendship. That person would be very socially challenged as he or she would miss the
camaraderie and life experiences that come with friendship. However, I completely disagree
with the statement that the most valuable thing in life is friendship as there are certainly more
important and priceless things in life besides this. In this essay, I will outline how life itself is
more valuable than friendship, and elaborate on why family and the individuals principles in
life are ranked higher.

First and foremost, before one can enjoy the beauty of friendship, one must surely value life
itself or in other words, we should value our health. This is because, the quality of our life is the
single most important criteria in life if we are to live a meaningful and wholesome life.
Moreover, without good health, we will be hard pressed to do even the simplest of tasks like
feed ourselves or relieve ourselves without the help of doctors, nurses and caregivers. For
example, if we are paralysed, lost our sight, hearing or ability to speak or even a simple case of
a fever or allergic reactions, then the quality of our life is greatly reduced and no amount of
friendship can make us healthy again. Therefore, while friends can stand by us in our time of
need, pristine health is still the most valuable asset in our lives.
Secondly, we are no one without our family as indeed blood is thicker than water. This means
that however you analyse it, friendships will almost always play second fiddle because family
always comes first. Furthermore, if we do not value our family above others, then there must
be a problem among the family members that has caused their relationship to be strained. For
instance, people tend to turn away from family if the family member(s) themselves are the
ones to cause them to react negatively such as divorced parents, abusive parents or siblings
and so on. Thus, when people consider friendship to be the most valuable thing in life, more
often than not they may come from a troubled household.
Last but not least, a persons principles in life is by far more valuable than friendship alone. This
is due to the fact that each person needs to have a code of ethics, quite often prescribed by
their individual religions. In addition, this code will guide each person to live their lives
according to the good and right principles. Take for example, if an individual has set his
principles to do good, then no amount of friendship especially negative influence from friends,
can shake his hold on his principles and cause him to commit undesirable deeds like smoking,
stealing, raping, murdering and others. Hence, if a person values friendship so much to the
point where he is willing to break his principles, then he has done a serious misdeed against
himself and will most likely regret his actions later in life.
In short, friendship is the rainbow of life as it colours our horizons with invaluable experiences
but without good health, a supportive family and strong principles, life becomes empty and
meaningless. In my opinion, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that I still firmly believe that
friendship is not the most valuable thing in life. Our government can encourage people to
prioritise health, family and principles in life by organising awareness campaigns especially in
primary schools where the younger generation should learn about priorities in life because
they are the leaders of tomorrow.


The rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products. How will this

affect the society? Give your opinion. You should write at least 350 words.
[60 marks]
Money is always an issue in today's era of materialism. Most people need it for basic survival
while the lucky few indulge in luxuries without worrying about money. In my opinion, I strongly
agree that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will
definitely affect the society. In this essay, I would like to touch on the effects this price increase
has on society today, namely increasing vice activities, widening the gap between the rich and
the poor and affecting the population trend in the long term.
First and foremost, society will immediately be affected by the rise in fuel prices because
consumer products will be more costly and this leads to an increase of vice activities. This is
because basic necessities such as rice, flour, sugar and so on will be in great demand and some
warehouses will store or hoard the items to further increase the price of the product. Moreover,
in the newspapers today, reports of smuggling of these items prove that this vice activity is on
the rise. For example, the recent sugar price hike caused a furor among the Malaysian society
as it costs more fuel to travel to and from the supermarket and when arriving, most places had
run out of stock even though the government had allocated 2kg of sugar to one person.
Therefore, the fuel price increase had definitely caused more hardships to society today.
Secondly, it is undeniable that the rise in fuel prices leads to the widening of the gap between
the rich and the poor. This is due to the fact that people are greatly affected by the price of
basic necessities such as food and fuel in particular. Furthermore, the rich people will still be
able to afford such things but the poor will face greater challenges as the popular saying goes:
"The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer." For instance, when money is used to purchase
consumer products that are necessary for survival, then less money will be spent on health and
dental check-up, educational purposes and others. Thus, it is clear that the fuel price hike will
further stress on the differences between the rich and the poor which is such a tragedy.
Last but not least, in the long term the population trend or demographics of the society will be
greatly affected. This means that new families will consciously decide not to have too many
children in order to increase their quality of life. In addition, society is now more aware of birth
control and family planning so this will greatly reduce the population as most families will have
1 to 5 children instead of more. Take for example, new families with less children will surely
spend less on basic necessities like food, clothes, transport and many more. Hence, the
demographics of the whole country will be affected and this in turn will reduce our workforce
which will affect our country's productivity and prosperity.
In short, there are many short term to long term effects of a fuel price increase which includes
more crimes like hoarding and smuggling will occur and this leads to the widening of the gap
between the rich and the poor as well as a change in the society's demographics. I still strongly

believe that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this
will surely cause a negative impact to society. The government must find a way to stabilise the
fuel price at a reasonable rate so that it does not affect the productivity of this country towards
achieving the aspirations of the nation for Vision 2020.

In this modern civilization, man struggles to survive the high cost of living expenses, which
significantly increases with each passing year. This causes them to use any method
available that generates income and they start to sideline the importance of preserving
nature. This is due to mankind realising the potential of economy that can come from
nature. So, I strongly believe the destruction of nature is mostly caused by man's careless
attitude whereby they prioritise their greed for money and the development of civilisation.
Let us analyse this phenomenon in terms of the country's development, illegal activities of
exploiting nature and the job opportunities.
First of all, many nations try to achieve the title of the most leading nation in economy or
infrastructure. So in order to compete with other countries, most nations try to explore
any available land in their country for development such as industries, tourist spots and
many other purposes that are related to money. Whenever they see the potential of a
certain piece of land, they tend to develop it despite some of these places might still be
uninhabited or the home for many wildlife. Sometimes, they would also plod through
jungles or level the mountains for road development which severely changes the landscape
of nature. As a result, this selfish and careless act will cause the deforestation and global
warming. For example, Indonesia has become quite careless with their handling of these
problems. In Kalimantan, Indonesia, the forest is being severely deforested by their people
for land development. And to make matters worse, they even choose the fastest and cossaving method of deforestation which is by burning down the trees, the mass release of
carbon dioxide from the mass burn down of trees lead to ozone thinning and greenhouse
effect. Also, the haze problem is another negative side product. As for the real victims of
these acts, they are the neighbouring nations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and
Philippines especially as haze causes many health issues such as lung cancer and breathing
problems. Therefore, these careless acts and greed not only cause the destruction of
nature but also endanger many lives, both man and animals.
Secondly, some people's greed for great fortune and easy life make them become selfish
and careless by over-exploiting nature. They willingly do illegal activities such as cutting
down trees or animal hunting, seeing the high demand for these materials. It will slowly
cause the depopulation of different kinds of flora and fauna. In China, these activities of
eating inner organs of animals such as tiger or bear and they even use these animals' body
parts for economic purposes such as tiger skin, crocodile skin and elephant teeth and tusks
by exporting it to those who pay a high price for it. This has a serious effect on the

ecosystem which is the extinction of animals. In Indonesia, trees are being cut down for
making expensive house furniture made of material such as teak wood. In fact, these trees
require a long period of 10 to 20 years to mature. Thus, the continuous cutting down of
trees will eventually lead to its extinction. These activities are illegal by law and still occurs
widely despite many countermeasures that have been taken by the authorised
organisations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Somehow, these criminals are able to
slip through the organisations's enforcement laws of protecting the wildlife and nature.
Plus, most society are careless to even take notice of these problems because they have
yet to come to awareness of the dangers that would happen from these illegal acts. If only
they had given more attention and cooperation to the authorised organisations, these
problems might have been able to be prevented.
Lastly, to survive in this modern world, every person needs to be able to make a living for
themselves of their family, but many people with low education level cannot get high
salary jobs, even university scholars are yet to be certain of getting a proper job after their
graduation despite their high level of education. The competition is just like the survival of
the fittest among these graduates and people with low qualifications. Therefore with the
growing demand for more natural materials such as petroleum gas and minerals from the
earth as well as a high demand of smuggled goods, people are willing to pay high prices to
have employees do their job of exploiting nature because these jobs are high risk. So
people that are desperately in need of jobs are usually tempted with the pay and they
would take up the call. This situation had opened up a lot of job opportunities, but they are
careless to not realise that these jobs are the main cause of nature's destructtion because
they are being pinned down by the pressure of high living cost in this modern world that
they have forgotten the importance of preserving nature.
In a nutshell, I still strongly believe in my opinion that nature's destruction is mainly
caused by man's careless attitude. They strive to make a living in the world so desperately
that some eventually deny the truth that it is their own fault for nature's destruction. If no
serious and proper actions are being taken immediately by many wildlife and nature
preserving organisations or authorised organisations such as WWF, UNESCO and ASEAN
to prepare an effective strategy or blueprint to prevent this problem, there probably won't
be any jungles or wildlife left in the future and our young generaton will have to live in a
polluted world.