By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily
Honestly, I am not very clear about what they mean by a "welfare state".
However, it has become a famous political term in Malaysia.
PAS has made it a hot term during its recent party election and its popularity has even surpassed the "Islamic state".
Candidates promoting the welfare state concept have been elected into the party's central leadership and newly-elected party deputy President Mohamad Sabu, who has a round smiling face, should be the best spokesperson for the "brand".
From the view of marketing science, it is called a sellable product. It would become a saleable product with a good combination of 4Ps, namely product, price, place and promotion.
It might even become a best seller with the help of other favourable factors, just like iPad.
During the initial period, most consumers did not even know what the iPad was meant for.
However, Apple Inc co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs understood that cumbersome notebook computers could no longer meet the consumer market and thus, they have introduced the light and portable iPad.
The iPad is destined to be sellable with Jobs' well understanding of consumer behaviour.
He told the world that iPad could change human life and bring more features and satisfactions. People believe him and iPad has then become a saleable product.
After the first group of people tried it, appreciative comments were spread, making iPad a best seller.
When other competitors in the market found that iPad has become a hot cake, many manufactures rapidly restructured their production lines to reduce the production of other products and start producing their own tabled personal computers.
Some manufacturers have even filed a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement, claiming that they were the first to invent tablet PCs.
As for the welfare state issue, the professional faction of PAS understands that many people, including the party's supporters, are indifferent to the Islamic state concept while non-Muslims do not like it at all.
The existing product is unsalable and thus, they must introduce a new product.
When many people are dissatisfied with the current political situation, believe that the existing structure is aging and hope to see some changes, the welfare state concept might become a saleable product.
If everything is going well, it might even become a best seller.
And now, other political parties have also been awared of its potential and thus, they claimed that they are more qualified to promote the concept or have already implemented it.
Whoever the first to suggest the concept is not important at all. If the welfare state could shake off extreme thinking, play down religious and racial distinctions and take the middle path, it is actually a good thing for the country and the people when political parties compete on the issue.
No matter what brand it is, it will become a best seller as long as it is good in quality.