Monday, October 29, 2007

Budget = Boring?!

Ever wondered why people complain about the lack of commitment of the authorities in improving the development of the road system in rural areas? Or perhaps why there is still a large amount of unemployed youth in the society? And of course, the most talked about issue would be the ongoing serious problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah which had been going on for decades and sadly remained unsolved. Well, part of it comes from how the budget for each sector was being used. Using common sense la, you want to solve a problem, you have to have the money. In this case, the budget could either be misused, or not enough of the budget is being given.
When I was told by the ‘Chief’ himself, Mr. Ewon the talented speaker, about attending a “Perbincangan Round Table Belanjawan Negara 2008”, I’m like, ‘Okayy…so it’s about a bunch of figures being presented on Power Point??”. Thing is, I’m not a fan of numbers. Back in high school, I’ve never passed on any math subject (I managed to score during the finals though, thankfully!) and whoever asked for my help in book-keeping or accounting, I tell them to just get outta my face! Mum was invited too, but since she was reluctant to go, she insisted that I go ahead and attend it.

le komulakans in their most well-behaved poses hehe
On the early morning of 18th October, I drove to the venue, which was the Penampang Library, prepared with expectations that it’s going to be another boring talk of figures, figures, and figures. But surprisingly, I was wrong. Each of us was given a list of speakers representing their own area and the topic they were going to discuss on. There were altogether 26 speakers (each present their speech for a duration of 10 minutes), but only 17 turned up. Still confused, I asked one of the Komulakan members on what are the speakers generally going to present on. He told me they would talk about on whether they are satisfied with the budget being given for the particular sector and what are the improvements can be made to develop the sector even more. From there was when I generally had a basic understanding on what it is all about. Another niggling thing I noticed about the list of speakers was that out of the 17 speakers, only 2 were ladies! Looks like we still have a lot to do in order to prove that we can be at par as the men, ya?

the speakers viewing out their opinions!

Anyway, some of the common problems being discussed are the lack of computer & technology knowledge among the kids and adults, lack of water & electricity in most rural areas, illegal logging activities, underdeveloped transportation system, lack of teachers in rural areas and their ability of being fluent in English, and the problem of domestic violence against women and the increasing migration of women to West Malaysia for better job opportunities. One issue that caught my attention is the yet to be developed arts & film industry in Sabah. When’s the last time I’ve ever watch an original Sabahan film? Never. Why? ‘Cos they never properly advertised them in public. I know some of you will say, ‘Haiya, Sabahan actors where got handsome and pretty one!’ Or ‘Some more, I don’t even understand Kadazandusun. So why should I watch it?’ But the speaker of this topic gave a very good point whereby if Malaysians are willing to watch Japanese, Korean, Hindi, or French movies in which they are completely not fluent in, why won’t they give Kadazandusun films a chance? But in my opinion, expertise, creativity of the script, and promotion of the film is vital to success. So, for all aspiring local actors and directors out there, you must take action first before whining all day that you are not able to outperform Western and even the Malay films. It’s a loooong way, but miracles do happen =)
Another ‘hot’ topic discussed was the corruption situation in Sabah. The speaker for this topic may looked like a fudey-dudey old man, but when he speaks, Whoa! , everybody listened to him with rapt attention. It’s because he spoke with such enthusiasm (not in a positive way of course) and threw in some jokes here and there to lighten up the grim atmosphere. He remarked that the three most corrupted agencies are… (drum roll, please) (1) the Police, (2) the Army, and (3) the Majlis Daerah ( Council). He said that because of corruption, illegal logging activities are still going on, the PTIs (Pendatang Tanpa Izin) or just simply known as the illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Phillipines, are still seen walking around the streets and their houses are shamelessly build in the public eye. Also, because of corruption, drugs like Syabu can be smuggled into the state through the ‘insiders’ and that top senior positions in the government are still held by West Malaysians in Sabah, and also that the distribution of scholarships among high-achievers in Sabah are very, very limited.

group photo with YB Donald Mojuntin!

But of all this, I think the main problem which has reached a critical (almost in a coma!) state in Sabah is the PTIs issue. I think everyone will agree to that. Maybe some of you may not realize that the amount of PTIs has actually outnumbered our Sabahan population, which happened in just a mere of 30 years, imagine that! Why are they so eager to come to our state, I don’t know. They have acknowledged themselves as true Sabahans by producing their so-called ‘ICs’, saying that they were born here, and that they are eligible to be voters during elections. There was one PTI who claimed that he was born in Ranau and had been living in Sabah ever since. But when he was interrogated, found out that he could not speak a word of Dusun (ha!). So you guys out there, be careful that your IC’s are not being ‘cloned’ by them. An example would be two different ICs but with the same passport picture and thumb prints. Imagine your identity being taken by someone else…such a big violation against human rights, isn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t want to say more on this, nanti kena kutuk pula for saying too much hehe. But I must say that I did not regret in attending this discussion event as I (the usually clueless one) can get a few insights on what is actually going on in the neighborhood surrounding us. So, next time before you complain on anything, look into the facts first, then you decide whether you can contribute something into it =)


Diana Rikasari said...

waaa...seems that you've been very active in proud to see you like this..keep it up!!! maybe someday you can be the leader of Sabahans hehehhe...amin....:)

V oN toP said...

me a leader?! hehe no la...i just like to help people =)