Malaysiakini Letter

Have we become delusional?

TK Chua  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | It is just so funny. When our corruption index is down, someone in authority decided to formulate and start our own index to gauge the country’s performance in the fight against corruption.

Before this, we have heard of arguments like “I did it my way” and “development following our own mould” whenever we want to justify going against international norms or standards.

We behave as if our country is under constant siege. We hold on to the notion that other countries are jealous of our success. Their criticism and negative comments were motivated by bad intention and jealousy.

Seriously, if we find a country doing better than us, are we going to argue that the methodology used in the study is faulty? Are we going to say that the comparative study has used the wrong criteria? I think there will be no end to this.

Comparative studies must meet objective, independent, and verifiable criteria. Otherwise, it is merely a “syiok sendiri” (navel-gazing) study.

When we conduct our own performance study, we violate objectivity because we are an interested party.

We can claim “heaven and earth” in our efforts to achieve certain targets, but ultimately it is not for us to trumpet.

We can’t set our own criteria and then use the results to compare performance with other countries. That is comparing apples to oranges.

We also can’t pre-establish performance targets and then find criteria and measurements that are able to support such targets. That is dishonesty and cheating.

Sometimes we could be delusional in our efforts. We think we are doing a great job by focusing 80 percent of our resources to solve only 20 percent of our problems. That is input driven, not output or outcome oriented. We are pretending to be busy. Alternatively, we are busy for nothing.

There is another reason why we like to have our own studies and performance indices. We try to hide our deficiency and weaknesses in statistical/empirical mumble jumble.

My suggestion is we should try to refrain from indulging in meaningless studies. Nowadays, people are very aware of not just fake news, but also “faulty” studies.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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