Monday, October 12, 2009

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish!

The Government can afford to buy two Submarine costing RM3.4 billions ringgits but they could not afford to pay for five cans of Ridsect costing RM43.50.

I only knew how hard-up the Civil Defence is after I personally made a call to them on Thursday afternoon. The 991 cannot afford to buy Ridsect but our government can buy submarines.

It all started last Saturday when a mother from Sg. Moyan wanted to spend quality time with her brother and three children to play in the jungle near their flat. After a swarm of hornets attack them, the three children were killed while the mother is still fighting her life in the Intensive care unit. Her brother is the only lucky one who escaped the fatal attack.

This is a bitter lesson for Kuchingnites to learn. After the incident, everyone appears to be looking upward searching their areas for hornet nests. And I must say, the hornets breed fast and far.

An officer from 991 was interviewed by the media following the incident urging the public to contact the department for help if they came across any hornet nests. I was impressed by their readiness to assist the people.

Back to Thursday, I received a few phone calls on the whereabouts of the hornet nests. I called 991 to give them the information. I was surprised when I was asked to describe the size of the hornet nests. I told them I have no idea as the complainant asked me to relay the message to them. I asked if they could go and see for themselves, providing them the location for their easy reference. The officer replied that they had too many phone calls and was unable to do so. I called back to the complainant and asked him. I then called 991 again to convey the size of the hornet nest which was described as the size of a rice plate.

Then the officer of the 991 dropped the bombshell: “Can you ask the complainant to get ready a five cans of Ridsect and we will try to go tonight”. I must say I was not only taken aback but was too shock to answer him. I can only say I will convey back the message.

The reality of the situation hit me hard. If it were not a serious matter, I would be laughing away. On September 3, the first submarine arrived in Malacca Straits and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the 2nd one will arrive in December. He announced that in the 13th and 14th Malaysia Plan, the Ministry will try to acquire a few more submarines.

Here we are buying submarines worth billions. And the government CANNOT AFFORD to buy a few cans of Ridsect to save the lives of Malaysians!!! And all this time, I was impressed by the news report that 991 is willing to walk the extra mile and help the people. For once, a government department had taken an extra step to help the people. How wrong and disappointed I am to learn that there is a catch there.

Why is it that the people always must bear the consequences? There are lots of hornet nests found in trees and rooftops. It is not the people who breed the hornets there.

The officer-in-charge of 991 here should get his people moving. Go down to see how large the hornet nests are when people called up. Write to your bosses to ask for funding. If the government can afford to buy submarines, I am sure they can buy you Ridsect by the dozens. The Internal security department of which 991 is under will not break its bank buying Ridsect to save people lives but with more submarines (I am still wondering what it was for, another Malaysia Boleh ego trip for the government?), tax payers money are not used wisely.

And when you service the people, please do it sincerely. Do not ask them to buy the basic necessities for you to do your job when it should be your Ministry’s responsibility to do so.

The whole incident left a sour taste thinking of the logical inefficiency of our government system. The country may have the means of saving the country from enemies invading our shores, but to destroy a few hornets nests in Kuching, it would require members of the public to purchase the means to do it.

What next – members of the public pay for the petrol in police cars when they lodge police reports? I understand this is standard practice in a neighbouring country.

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