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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Positive or negative reinforcement?

This is the second time the Sabah election is held simultaneously with the general election of Malaysia. As the campaigns pick up steam, all kinds of tactics are being used to sway voters' emotions. One recent report appeared on the Daily Express newspaper in Sabah in which the Chief Minister has been quoted as saying that he would not even want to see the opposition representative should he/she be elected. That means cut development.

So how? Vote for food or vote for your beliefs?

Of course when it comes down to food, we have to take care of our basic needs already. How to survive without food?

Wait a minute, is Sabah so backward now that food is used as an issue for the election campaign? This sort of campaign scare tactic has been going on for ages. However, the past election results (1985, 1986) in Sabah speak something about the people's dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition-led government that went beyond food. People were not happy because they were mistreated.

So, instead of raising threats about the end of development for Sabah when the opposition is elected, wouldn't it be better to focus on how the state can develop further if they (the present state government) win?

Atkinson Clock Tower

As an analogy, when you use positive reinforcement on your kid, you would say,"if you work hard, you are going to succeed." When you use negative reinforcement, you would say,"if you don't work hard, you are going to fail." In the first instance, you are giving encouragement. In the second instance, you are reminding threats.

I like the first one better. It gives me a sense of direction of where I am going if I listen to an advice. It is like getting a healthy dose of vitamins. It gives me the impression that a person who speaks in this manner has wisdom in his or her thinking, which is important in a leadership role. With wisdom (and courage), a good leader will be able to make good decisions that benefit the people (or rakyat), including matters related to your rice bowl.

Sadly, based on the statement made by him, our current Chief Minister does not seem to demonstrate that kind of leadership.

Doesn't this make it a stronger case to vote for your beliefs instead?