Yin says that the Dakota Indians believe that when they discover that they are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
He gives a brief insight into how our government works, below. Will PH learn?
Yin: Someone sent me the above which so aptly describes our government that I wonder if it is not required reading by ministers and civil servants.
We are all familiar with the standard response to any problem:
1. Set up a committee within the ministry to look into it.
2. If it is very serious; set up a Task Force to deal with it. Put our best ‘yes-men’ party hacks and cronies in the Task Force. A reward for their hard work and loyalty.
3. If it is really really serious; set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Let the flavour-of-the day ex judge or politician head it.
If we don’t like what they recommend we can shelve it and tell the rakyat the cabinet is studying it. And if we oppose we just ignore it – like the RCI on Local Government Elections Inquiry headed by Senator Athi Nahappan which recommended reinstating local government elections.
4. Just to make sure the horse is not really dead but sleeping; the government changes rider and if the rider cannot put life into it . . .
5. Form a committee to see if the horse is really dead or is it because the rider is no good.
6. Just to be sure they have covered all the bases the responsible will institute a “Pelawatan Sambil Belajar” tour of countries which are experts in resurrecting dead horses. And if they suspect the public will accuse them of going on a junket they let the private sector pay for it especially one which has a vested interest. Istanbul comes to mind.
7. If all else fails and the horse is clinically dead just change the definition of ‘dead’ by lowering the standard we can say that the horse is not dead but just resting.
8. The alternative is to classify it as ‘impaired’ and by that deft move create a whole new line of action again.
9. Hiring experts on princely salaries to advise the government. That’s how we bought the Scorpene Submarine and God knows what else.
10. Get the different ministries to pool their dead and see if that works. If it doesn’t they can blame the other ministries horse and everyone gets off the hook.
11. Throw money at the problem and hope it will go away. It’s only the rakyat’s money anyway.
12. After exhausting their arsenal of hare-brain ideas; produce a “Buku Kuning” explaining how clever it is of the government to have bought a dead horse. Now it won’t be a drain on the public purse because we don’t have to feed it. By that one genius act the government has saved the rakyat zillions of ringgits.
13. If the dead horse turns out to be a donkey (it’s hard to tell; they come with certificates and degrees from Cambridge) just promote him and keep him out of sight.
I hope this has given you a better appreciation of how our government works. We have 50 years of experience flogging dead horses we know what we are talking about.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan