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And I must agree on a writing mentioning , “It’s hard to find any good news these days. It’s about time news portals develop a section for good news – positive and heart warming stories that we can share to uplift our spirits.”

But everyone knows that the news portals need sensations writings for readers to read, whether it’s true or not it does not matter; the editors-in-chief knows and hold the say to any writings.



For writers to share views and opinions, they are always hopeful that their writings will be published, but again, it must be the discretions of the ‘owners of the portals’. 

Coming back to the ‘how Malaysians should learn to be happy’.

Defining happiness is subjective, and differs across cultures; countries all over the world are competing in happiness rankings.

Happiness is angling to become the metric of the future.  Authorities are developing “smart” approaches to measuring happiness, mobilizing an ever increasing array of mobile apps and behavioral data that aim to sense, map and explain our daily happiness.

A simple Google Scholar search for happiness scholarship published in 2018 will pull up an astonishing 23,000 hits.

Happiness scholars are setting out to bring together diverse insights from philosophy, psychology, sociology, health perspectives, economics, cultural studies and the arts, to rigorously investigate how satisfied people feel about their life and how they assess their own subjective well-being.

Psychologists in particular were fed up of focusing on distress and disorder, and launched the associated field of positive psychology at this time.

Every three years since 2012, a World Happiness Report releases eagerly awaited global rankings of happiness.

The rankings are usually dominated by the Nordic countries, with Finland currently topping the list.

But is it true in saying that happiness can be measure through level of income, education, social relationships, good national governance, and health.

Global economic inequality and high rates of global depression and mental distress persist thus happiness as a whole has not improved.

In Malaysia, how many studies are done to measure happiness, is it valid and reliable. It’s only when a minister mentioned in the news that people will ‘aye’ them.

Happiness generally relates to something outside of ourselves (we feel happy “about” something), and can be transformed by a change in our external circumstances.

Even the idea that subjective well-being can be measured by a survey is increasingly contested by some economists, who have, for example, identified that people’s assessments of their happiness can be affected by the way in which their country’s education system grades exams, an unusual effect which challenges the validity of global happiness indexes.

We might commonly think of happiness as the opposite of depression, this does not always appear to be the case.

People living with mental health problems can simultaneously report feeling happy.

Even  Finland and Denmark, also have high suicide rates, as reported in a new study, which set out to expose some of the contradictions in the Nordic dominance of global happiness league tables.

Isabella Arendt, a researcher at the Danish Happiness Research Institute, sees happiness as a relative and dynamic term, which seems far more sensible:

Even if we lived in a Utopia, there would still be unhappy people.

Creating the conditions to promote well-being may in fact be driven by a sense of dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the status quo.

The study also mentioned that ‘less happy people are more likely to be politically active than happy ones.’

Little wonder, then, that increased scientific knowledge about happiness has not yet led to significant social change.

Tracking happiness is all very well, but before we use such maps to determine how we are governed, we need to understand what happens to our happiness when it becomes an emotion to be mapped, measured and managed.

Azizi Ahmad Kheru Khek New Straits Times Opinion Letters February 1, 2019

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