Monday, July 30, 2007


THE NUMBER OF PENSIONERS IN THIS COUNTRY MUST BE EQUAL TO OR MAY EVEN EXCEED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. If we add to this number those who retired from active duty in the private sector or self-employment, pensioners and retirees would present a considerable pool of "intellectual resources" in the country.

Question is: Do we utilize these resources or are they considered as archaic and irrelevent? We do see prominent retired personnel sometimes picked up by government to serve on certain committees. But they are few and far between. The bulk of them seems to be sleeping away. Only reporters from the media sometimes tried to pick their brains on some issues facing the governemtn and people.

Among them, I believe, are some of the best brains in the country. Although their chronological age has prevented them from continuing to serve the country and people, they certainly have a lot of useful experience that can benefit the government if tapped. They, especially the Malays, will not go to the government to offer their views unless asked because they wouldn't want to be as the saying goes " Hidung tak mancung pipi tersorong-sorong!" The new leaders too, both in politics and the services, especailly among the Malays, would not readily go to their ex-bosses for advice or exchange of opinions, because it would lower their prestige - " habis modal dan minta nasihat pada orang lama!"

Of course some of the current leaders would say: " If they had been very good all their ideas would have been put to practice while they were still in the service." Wrong! They might not have had the chance nor was the condition quite suitable then. Imagine if the computer savvy among them had asked all govenment departments to go on-line some 10-15 years ago, or introduce the handphone and SMS to the public? Treasury and the Telocommunication Department would have blown their tops.

So, what can the pensioners and retirees do now? Are they happy to sit back and watch what's happening in the country without saying anything? If they do want to say something, give their own piece of mind ( old but not tired or retarded) on some issues which kept popping up again and again like delays in the goverment service, lackadaisical attitude among civil servants, maintenance of governemt buildings and facilities left to the dogs etc... to whom would they say it? What channel can they use and how free are they in using it, without circulars being issued to contain their enthusiasm? Some organizations and government agencies even have Pensioners' Club to give their members a voice. But we haven't heard much from such organizations.

May I suggest that the pensioners and retirees start their own websites aad become bloggers. Don't know how? It's time that they learn from their young ones - their children or grandchildren - on how to create their own blog on the internet. I think that the young people of today would be just too happy to show their dads and grandads what they can do on the computer.
My son, for example, takes much pleasure in barking at me for not being able to follow the instructions on the Menu. I take it with humility and bark back at him on some other issues. That puts us on equal ground such that we can yekety-yek for hours on end.

I'm sure the pensioners and the retirees, especially those who had been in the top executive circles, have much to say in terms of solving the current dilemmas facing the country and people. The experience they have had as mellowed and distilled by time and hindsight, would put them in a good position to show some way out of problems like the lack of discipline in schools, why teachers are going bonkers over problem kids, why corruptions continue to profligate and why the implementation of many government projects are still delayed in spite of effective monitoring by the I- See- You ( ICU) in the Prime Minister's Department.

So, pensioners and retirees, wake up. Ask your children or grandchildren to show you how to speak through the computer. Let's have some fun with the kids at their own games. You can then give those "leaders" in the government who could have been your very juniors before, an advice or two! And the young people on the Blog. Go and drag your dads or granddads to the website and show them what they can do "under your supervision". Let them speak their minds out without bothering everyone in the house. Isn't that a fair deal?

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