Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Double Standard can split society...

Reading the many criticisms of government that some of the more articulate and outspoken bloggers tabled on this website, I gather that the thing which agonized and angered them most is the blatant double standards that sometimes become obvious in certain decisions made. A most obvious one is where certain parties are allowed to hold a gathering while certain other parties are not, especially when the gathering takes the form of a show of protest, demanding certain things from the authorities, or gathering public support. Other criticisms involves the issue of conflicting information, explanations that are incomplete or readily refuteable, or not making any when the public most wanted it. As regard decisions which do not please certain quarters or against their wish, we must always remember that the government must act in the interest of the majortiy, for the common weal, and no government can please everybody all the time.

So the 'double stadard' and 'conflicting or inadequate information' issues are really the culprit which offended the critics of government most. Differences of opinion and priorities which must be upheld are the previlege of the government in power to adhere to and what the Cabinet and Parliament dicided must become the order of the day in a Parliamentary democracy.

Can the government, therefore, take a closer look at some of the decisions made which the bloggers and critics say reflect double standards and the 'information flow' from government authorities which sometimes contradict each other, cancel or negate each other, and sometimes comes in drip and pieces ( or none at all) when the public are clamouring for an explaination. If the Police decided to disallow public gatherings to protest against any issue, all parties should therefore be diallowed to do so. There shouldn't be any exceptions and excuses like " we can't stop such gathering." If the nature of the gatherings are different to justify the permission granted to one group and not to the other, it should be properly and convincingly explained. Don't give explanation just for the sake of saying something or in pribahasa Melayu " melepas batuk di tangga."

That ties up with the question of examining the information flow. When information or explanation given by various authorities contradits and negates each other, curiousity is never satisfied or minimized but rather maximized to become a gnawing disbelief. Can you them blame the critics if they say that there's a cover up, that someone is hiding the truth etc.etc. When no complete information is yet availabe, just say so. Stunted of stilted information can become disinformation. It can set off more rumours rather than stop dangerous conjectures. A most annoying thing is when a report is witten but the public is not duely informed of its content. It the surest way of inviting wild speculations.

I feel it's most urgent that government serously check on these two issues as raised by the critics and enraged bloggers. Otherwise many explanation given by government with all the contradictions, the gaps and the missing links ( real or imagined), will continue to widen the communication gap between the critical bloggers and the government. Worst, it can split society along the lines or differing views and interests.


rambomadonna said...

Hmm, I attended a very important meeting this morning with Tan Sri KSN and he said in his opening speech that the mantra for public service this year is "speed in decision making".

I believe that what he really meant was - "fast and good decision" not making decision at the spur of the moment or impromptu decision.

The problems faced by many government agencies that deal directly with public is that people want answer immediately but we have rules and protocols to follow. And when information moved upward, slowly some information were overlooked or not disclosed to higher management.

But I for once advocate transparency but not to the extend that public used it to make speculations which is also a common human behaviour.

Cuma one thing I have to agree with Tan Sri this morning with regards to this issue, if there is a law and rule dictating how a public gathering should be done, the aggrieved party should complain. I after dealing with many "kinds" of people in my 7 years in this department don't like allegations and baseless assumptions.

norzah said...

The bureaucracy in the public services is the antithesis of quick decision-making. Even as a head of dept, you've to put u r head on the chopping block to make quick decisions. My moto had been do what is possible to help the public in duress when there is a clear and genuine need, do the best that you can and face any question later, even by your seniors.

As an ordinary member of the public now I respect most the public servant who tries to be helpful, not just brush you aside. He or she might not soleve the problem but does everything possible to do so.

Well J, you've a lot more years in the service to show how helpful your can be. Let satisfaction over a good deed done be your reward and don't hope for a praise from the boss unless he (or she) is a very self-confident person.

No, I'm done with trying to say what is right or wrong in the cicil service. Just do what you've to do and you'll be alright. Are things regaining their colors now or the gloomy mood is still lingering?

rambomadonna said...

OH NOrzah ... age must be coming up with me. My mood can change 360 degree in seconds ... tapi so far its between bubbly to grief ... belum sampai lagi lah baling fail, bakar ofis atau "free fall" dari tingkat 11 huhuhuh ...

I must do that Omega 3 therapy lah ...

norzah said...

J, you don't need polyunsaturated fatty acid or omega3. Peace of mind lies in reaffirming your faith in the Almighty, Our plans in life are self-determined: He disposes, as we all know. A line from Salman Rushdie's book 'Midnight's Children'might help: "What cannot be cured must be endured". Life certainly is a flurry of activitiies and that flurry we call 'reality'. Remember, behind that flurry of activities which can be most confusing, aggravating, even debilitating lie some forms (meaningful pattern or guidelines to life).."meaning that reveals itself in flashes" ( Rushdie). Keep searching for that (not for illusive realitiy) and life's purpose will become vibrant and
wholesome again.

Hey, I advise only u know. I keep chasing that forms but the only victory is the run, hehe.