Monday, August 27, 2007

Dispute, Refute...Nothing Changes...

Its most interesting to see the Ministry of Health and the Dept of Agriculture refuting the findings of researchers from IMR and Universiti Kebangsaan that 6 popular veges sold and distributed by the Selayang Wholesale Market, "were" contaminated (NST August 27). The 2 former authorities stated yesterday that only 10-30% had been found so! And that's NOT DISTURBING! City Hall Health Dept was also surprised that the findings had not been submitted to the Health Ministry before disclosure...The Vege Farmers' Association of course maintained that the contamination would be reduced after the greens are washed before cooking....!

A very familiar scenario where academic reports are vehemently refuted by the authorities involved. It would be the very reason why the report was not submitted to the Ministry of Health for it would be thrown out offhand. I'd imagine there are tons of disturbing academic findings, dismissed outright by the authorities involved. This is just the opposite of the culture in developed countries where the academes are "sponsored" to undertake the research since bureaucrats are either too busy or less qualified to undertake them in the most scientific way possible.

The tradition of distrusting the academic researchers could be a real stumbling block to development - especially the development of the high-level bureaucratic minds. It is for this reason that the nation is often "shattered" by the actual facts -high profile projects falling on their faces, landslides cracking up good roads and houses, denudation of the sylvian green, children falling sick after eating in the cateen etc,etc. The bureacrats own research had failed to uncover "the truth".

In this case of vegetable contamination it's interesting to see that the Ministry of Agriculture is not even involved since Ministries are supposed to oversea, supervise, coordinate and rectify all malfeasance and shortcomings of agencies under their control. When facts uncovered by other than beaucratic sources are continously being ignored, disputed or refuted....don't be surprised if the ceiling falls down (figuratively speaking) on the Ministries themselves, including the Ministry of Work, Housing and Local Government, etc.,etc.....

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