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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holistic? That Sounds like our Systems are Full of Holes!

We always hear nice speeches from ministers at grand functions where they can expound beautiful phrases and make lots of promises but the sad truth is that many of our systems of welfare and care are struggling to exist.

"We need an integrated and holistic approach in prevention, rehabilitation and enforcement, and also the emotional and psychological support from the community and families," Najib said.

After 50 years of independence, the fabric of society has become fragmented and tattered. Families no longer provide the safety net as young people move to cities and leave their old folks behind.

Politically we have had a fragile coexistence with political parties still harping on race issues rather than working towards a Malaysian identity. After all not everyone agrees on "What is a Malaysian?"

One major contribution to the social distress is the lop-sided NEP where rich cronies with political connections get awarded billion-ringgit contracts without competitive tenders and so the rich get immensely wealthy while the rest get crumbs.

As families struggle to cope with rising costs, most parents work and young children are poorly supervised. The inevitable result is juvenile delinquency with teachers having to cope with poorly disciplined students.

Broken homes and one-parent families also need more urgent support and it is unfortunate that people have been encouraged to contribute to the 70million population target by the previous Prime Minister.
That would be sustainable if families stayed united but now that policy has seriously damaged the social fabric.

Enforced staying with step-parents also exposes young children to incest, rape and other social ills.

So when we hear the word "holistic" there is the tendency to think more of holes in the system.

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