By Anthony Dylan

First of all, I would like to wish every Sabahan and Sarawakian reading this a Blessed Tadau Kaamatan and Ari Gawai Dayak. It is the harvest festival for Sabah on 30th and 31st May and 1st and 2nd June for Sarawak each year.


It is also the first time that the Federal Government has decided to place focus on both Sabah and Sarawak and started to become aware of unique rights of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (also known as the MA63). Will this sustain long term or would this be mere rhetoric of politics? Would we see the alternate start to use the divisive tactics or race and religion to win at the expense of peace? This is just one example of the spectre of decision making.


Humans are given the right to decide on any actions and whether these are acceptable depends on who has sold and bought into the ideas. Decision making is easy to say but harder to do. We study this in school, college and in university. We study this in a predictive and assumptive way. Experience provides you with the skill to decide based on what went right and what went wrong. Mostly deductive to limit the undesirable and amplifying the chances.


A decision made is a cognitive process. You would have to first identify an issue.  Thereafter, this process is used to select a course of action or a selection of belief amongst many alternatives generated. It requires information gathering before alternatives are provided. It requires one to reason out and take one which is believed to be superior to the other before implementing and then evaluating. It goes on and on until one is satisfied. The hardest part is deciding from the alternatives provided. If this is not habitual, every decision is cognitive.


Many do not have the guts to decide and hide behind the requirement for group decision making. Otherwise, you would be called a dictator. Leadership requires some form of directive, and this can only be done when one is clear of the directions or at the very least, believes that the direction is right. Group decision making is one which often wastes precious time analyzing until they are paralyzed.


It is a well-known belief that group decision making favours the majority vote or voice. This would only work if those who are in the minority were encouraged to take part in the direction. Otherwise, you would have opposition. This in today’s understanding is akin to one saying an entity for check and balance. We complicate matters. Why aim to win when one loses? The loser should be kept in the loop and their views heard. Dissension happens not because people like to challenge regardless. It happens when you lock them out. It happens when it becomes a decision made to win at all costs.


Bad managers and those with larger-than-life egos create many of the problems we face. The weapon of choice is to divide and conquer. Every small step forward is never enough if you do not hit the desired. When you do get to the desired and provide one higher than expectations, the accolades belong to the leader. The manager. What gives? The foot soldiers are forgotten. Given paltry sums to say, “Thank you”. Your broken bodies and time fighting for what is right and for unity meant nothing as you have no place for participation in governance.


Politicians and Corporations are key players in a world of material wealth and status. Peace and unity have no place in their drive for profits. The cost of living and your homes are dictated by them. A Jekyll and Hyde analogy in real life. What gives? Nothing is free. Not even the beach anymore as corporations take over the beach for the benefit of those who can pay. Was it not free before? The same with the streams and jungle treks as some charge entrance fees in the name of maintenance. We have a hard time to get to enjoy God’s gifts anymore. Are we in a realm of socialism or capitalism? In my opinion, a hybrid where both are used depending on need by those in power. This is strangling us.


Somehow, we are stuck in a moment we cannot get out off. We must comply and adjust because if we don’t, we will be ostracized and made an enemy of the state. I dare say that Selangor is heading towards the most important elections ever in the coming weeks. The current assembly will automatically be dissolved in less than a month. Vote wisely. Vote for the future of your children and for those who would have to live with the decision you made at the voting slip. Choose the one which provides some form of surety of peace and unity. At least for the next 5 years.


We have come too far to lose peace. We need to create a better future and we need to have the government and corporations know that free trade merely benefits the leverage of the rich. We cannot allow decision making of others force us into compliance without the criteria of care. We cannot allow a situation where we throw away what freedom we have to decide because we think it is not precious. Stop being naïve and act stupid. Those in power whether in Government, opposition or corporations; all aim for power and leverage to make profits. Only so few do so to try to make a difference for the whole population to be peaceful and united in prospering.


The spectre of decision making is real. You must make one and live with it. Learn from it and improve. Only then can one progress forward. The past should not be forgotten, nor should the present in deciding the future.


God bless.