Shortcuts not good for problem-solving: Sin Chew Daily

In its editorial on Feb 29, the paper slams the government's short-sightedness in dealing with complex issues.

Cars involved in illegal road racing.
Cars involved in illegal road racing. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The government's plan to legalise street racers have received largely negative feedback from the public.

While the plan looks absolutely ridiculous, from the theoretical point of view, legalising some of the illegal things might help put things under control and check further deterioration.

This seems to go well with the rationale of federal territories minister Tengku Adnan's proposal to legal road racing.

But, legalising road racing is not the panacea to fix the Mat Rempit (illegal street racers) issue. 

The problem with our government is extreme shortsightedness, often looking at only a small part of the problem instead of offering a more comprehensive solution. 

In the end, the effort is more likely than not rendered futile.

Indeed there are successful instances of legalising road racing, but before they did this, they had already reinforced their enforcement and stricter penalties to tackle illegal racers and force them to conduct their racing activities at designated places in order to achieve the objective of controlling their activities.

What about Malaysia? We have been overly lenient to illegal racers for years and we now we try to get the problem solved by legalising their activities, which I do not think will work at all.

Meanwhile, the government has responded to the tremendous demands for 3D (a term used to describe those doing dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs) workers by bringing in more foreign labourers instead of looking into this matter from a more comprehensive perspective.

As a result, the country has become excessively dependent on migrant workers, causing more and more of them flooding in at the expense of our existing social structure and stability.

Another instance, the teaching of science and mathematics in English.

To improve the students' English standard, the government several years ago forced through the policy despite powerful backlash from the society.

It was later discovered that the students' English standard did not improve and the policy was put to an end abruptly.

In fact, we need more holistic and painstaking plans to push up the students' English proficiency than just one or two measures.

When the government lacks a more macroscopic view of a problem as well as the political willpower to to introduce the much needed reform, it will be hard for it to come up with some truly effective solutions to address our problems.

The world that we are living in is a highly complicated organic body with a series of interlocking social factors.

To solve one problem needs more than just a solitary solution but concerted effort and coordination at different levels in order to produce the desired effect.

To be honest, it is extremely difficult to propel various agencies into synergistic cooperation.

As such the government must have strong political willpower to get things done.

This explains why our government prefers to adopt the simplest and most straightforward solutions because it takes a lot more effort to conduct in-depth studies and draw up long-term solutions than taking the easiest path.

A simple and thoughtless measure is never sufficient to tackle the intricate reality and a meshwork of problems.

Taking the well trodden path is way easier and effortless, but what awaits us at the end could be a sloppy mud pool.

Sin Chew Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 22 newspapers.