Monday, March 09, 2009


I am not sure whether the owner of this signboard did the right thing or whether he did things right. Robinson would be amused.

I am sure that many of you are not too amused by what is happening in the country lately. Let us take an example.When the "insulated box" was decreed, fishermen all over the country were far from amused. Consequently, when the price of fish went up, consumers were not amused until the Minister rescind the ruling, which is the right thing to do. Whose idea was it to specify the fish container in the first place? Is it terribly wrong for fishermen to transport their catch in barrels, plastic bags or wooden crates? They know best what is best for their livelihood. Maybe the authority concerned thought that it is the right thing to introduce new methods. Maybe the intention is good. They forgot that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the fishermen gave them hell indeed. Lessons learnt I hope. Do things right. Think thoroughly. Research and research again. When you think you did the right thing, stick to it. Do not flip-flop.

How do you know that you are doing the right thing? First, you have to believe that what you are doing is right. Then you convince others with facts and figures that you are on the right track. Sane and reasonable people will agree with you and you will have less problems afterward.

You can think of many other instances where people in the administration are not doing the right thing or not doing things right. Once upon a time, the government thought that people involved in village handicraft should also be taught a bit of bookkeeping to keep track of profits and losses etc. In one village in Sarawak, one old Dayak lady was reluctantly inducted into one of the courses. At the end of the course, the course leader asked her whether she understood what "debit" is. This was her reply:
"I know Debit. He is my second grandson. His brother is Michael."