Malaysiakini Letter

Problem solving, the Malaysian way - what say you...

Saleh Mohammed  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I have the highest respect for Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah. It is not because we went to the same school - Sekolah Rendah Jalan Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur - but for his superior intellect and he has also written numerous articles and spoken on a wide range of issues.

Sultan Nazrin has urged the authorities to identify and study the factors influencing the youth to join militant groups. Sultan Nazrin Shah said identifying these factors could help the authorities draw up more comprehensive measures in tackling the issue.

That urging reminds me of the way we try to solve problems nowadays. We either enact new laws or try to enhance or increase punishments. There are also cases where the rakyat has to incur additional costs and are also threatened.

Take for example security issues in housing estates. Many seem to have lost trust with the police. Maybe they are too busy with other priorities. We then put up barricades and engage private security companies. Crime rates show a reduction and the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) will report likewise, sort of giving credit to the police force.

At a time when inflation is creeping up, cost of living is a major worry and we have to pay so many form of taxes, we have to incur extra costs to beef up security.

A few days ago, a minister advised the public to question about price hikes and know their rights. He claimed that 60 percent of the city’s traders are with the opposition and have raised prices to arouse anti-government sentiments but did not mention the source of the information.

He reminded these businesses that they were licensed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and warned that their licences would be revoked if they were found to have pushed up prices as a political ploy.

The main talking point nowadays are fraud and corruption. For the last couple of years we have heard and seen lots of fraud and corruption cases. To address the problem, some were arrested and some were lucky and went scot free for whatever reasons. Many cases are pending. The point here is more cases are unearthed as days go by and the amounts involved are enormous. Those charged were ‘takers’ and if I am not wrong, none on ‘givers’.

For all the three cases above, if only our ministers (and lawmakers) and the authorities took heed of the urging from the sultan to identify and study the factors and reasons that lead to those problems, I think we could easily reduce or even eliminate them. In short, identify the root cause.

The sultan also added, “Issues of race, religion and culture are exploited for short-term partisan political interest, like a smouldering fire in the husks, having the potential to trigger hostility and ignite anger among the people.”

I cannot agree more and would strongly urge our leaders and bureaucrats not to take the easy way out but put on their thinking cap and look for long-term solutions. Look at things holistically. If there is a need for training or refresher course, please ask the relevant authorities to arrange. Meantime, do rely on facts and figures and not ‘shoot from the hip’.

We need effective approach on issues and produce innovative, workable and satisfactory solutions to all the problems Malaysia is facing today. More so, we need leadership.

Not only Malaysians but the world is watching how we tackle issues effectively before confirming that we are a ‘developed ‘ nation.

What say you...

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