Hornbill Unleashed

October 4, 2014

That downright stupid Act

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,


Jimmy Adit

Putrajaya can forget about extending the Social Workers Act 2012 to Sarawak.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem says Sarawak doesn’t have any need for a law as stupid as this one.

Speaking at the launch of the state-level Women’s Day 2014 in Kuching on Sept 27, he said many laws are very sensible, but some laws are “downright stupid”.

“Can you imagine, a person wants to do good, but you say ‘no’ because the person is not qualified to do it? It’s stupid. Downright stupid.”
Adenan knows he is speaking for the state’s volunteers who number in the hundreds of thousands whose efforts at helping the poor and sick have been part and parcel of Sarawak’s heritage.

The scores of NGOs like those clan-based associations that have been doing a lot of charitable work; Hope Place, which has been giving out food stuff throughout Sarawak; Saberkas, with its more than a hundred thousand members ever ready to volunteer their services any time they are called upon to that, what will happen to them if they are subjected to the Social Workers Act?

Where will all these NGOs and individuals like Kelvin Wan of Hope Place figure in the Acts’ new categories of social workers namely, Registered & Licensed Social Worker, Registered & Licensed Associate Social Worker, Registered and Licensed Specialist Social Worker, and Registered & Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

No wonder Adenan calls the Act downright stupid, saying it will kill the spirit of volunteerism. He knows that among the state’s volunteers, some are not only academically unqualified but they have also been drawn from mothers and housewives as well as daily paid labourers and students.

But unqualified as they are, these volunteers have never failed to perform. They have been in the thick of action. They cleared dirty and polluted rivers and gave them a new lease of life.

They came to the aid of victims of a landslide in Simunjan that killed more than 10 people in 2002. They scoured the Batang Samarahan and Batang Lupar each time they were called upon to hunt down the killer crocs.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the best of the rescue efforts by unqualified people was one made by three villagers when an express boat overturned in Ulu Belaga last year. Harudis Busan, Nevius Busan and Remmy Loget Tanjong risked their own lives jumping into the swift current to bring passengers to the safety of the dry land.

“Their spirit of volunteerism is highly regarded by all Sarawakians. This is the fighting spirit to save others in times of need, emergencies regardless of who they are. This caring spirit should be emulated by all,” a state minister was quoted as saying.

Adenan must be thinking of all these people when he said: “I do not want the Social Workers Act to be extended to Sarawak for a simple reason – it will kill the spirit of volunteerism.

“Do you have to ask whether a volunteer is qualified or not? Do you have to ask a social worker where her certificate or diploma is?”

Sure those in support of the Act will say it will promote professionalism in social work practice. They also can’t help associating developing the nation’s social work to its desire to be on equal terms with the global world. Malaya, it would seem, has this obsession of wanting to be at par or if not better than its neighbours on all fronts.

But Adenan wants volunteerism to be an exception. For him volunteerism is meaningful only if “volunteers” are what the word itself stands for:

“V is for very special people; O for overwhelming support and compassion; L for little things that you do. Maybe to you, it’s a little thing but to the person that you do it to, it means a very great thing; U is for unspoken words that sometimes mean just as much, like a signal or a gesture to indicate that you do care.

“T is for the time you give on top of your busy schedule. That you make time for others; E for the emotional support you continually give to people who are sick and poor; and E, also for the endless energy you all seem to possess, as people who volunteer are very energetic.

“R is for the responsibility you have taken on and never once complain; and S is for the smile on your face as you go about helping people. A smile is a gift.”

For Adenan, the spirit of volunteerism must be preserved “as every contribution, regardless of scale or degree, would make a difference”.

To him a volunteer can be anybody – a tailor, a blacksmith, a fisherman and a cabbie – because “in a small way, you cannot change the world, but you can make a difference in your corner. Do not think that your contribution is very small, even though it is small compared to solving world problems. That should not stop you from making some contributions to society.

“I don’t want volunteerism to be controlled because it is something spontaneous, so leave it be. So I’ll have to tell Rohani (Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, the Federal Minister of Women, Family and Community Development) ‘sorry, we don’t want the Act to be extended to Sarawak’.”

He noted with much gladness how volunteers in the state “bring hope when there is (hope) to spare, bring joy when there is sorrow, lighten the burden of suffering, and they do it for nothing – not for reward, credit, award and so on and so forth”.


  1. I humbly suggest to Tan Sri Adenan that volunteers in Sarawak follow the law. Firstly they must be registered with the ROS. Otherwise they will be arrested like PPS members in Penang. Even if they are not educated enough to fill ROS forms. Secondly, Tan Sri should bear in mind that the new rules form a new law. And Tan Sri Khalid can send his Police to arrest everyone who runs foul of the law, no matter how stupid.

    When arrested, there is no plea in the law books called “Tan Sri Adenan Satem said OK because the law is an ass.”


    Comment by Pohchee Kay — October 7, 2014 @ 12:03 AM | Reply

  2. Typical of them bn politicians isn’t it. They say one thing but they do a different thing. They come out once in a while to shout themselves coarse about an isue just to get them the attention when they need it and then lie low until the people forget about what they’d said. Its their way of keeping themselves in office longer then needed.

    Didnt one of them admitted that we sarawakians are now the poorest in the country? Thats something taib and adenan can proudly display in taibs new pet project,a museum to glorify his 30 plus years of corruption and oppression of the dayaks!

    Perhaps he should ask his still physically strong and agile foreign wife who is now a full citizen with a blue ic to contibute more of her time taking care of those he made landless and poor!

    Comment by brian — October 5, 2014 @ 10:19 PM | Reply

  3. Next will be Social Beggar Act. You need to have a licence to become a beggar.

    Comment by Ali bin Abu — October 4, 2014 @ 9:37 PM | Reply

  4. I’d like to see Adnan state his stand on the Allah issue and come out with a strong statement regarding the state’s stand on it. No point talking among ourselves but take a back step when the federal government display their ugly stance an bullying tactic.

    Comment by apai — October 4, 2014 @ 2:33 PM | Reply

  5. We all know that such law is downright stupid and no lawmakers from both divides in Sarawak should give it a hood. But will Adenan and all BN lawmakers be firm in their stand when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the state government after the next state election ?

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — October 4, 2014 @ 10:34 AM | Reply

  6. My highest respect to a top-class CM … he should be the PM

    Comment by tigerykey — October 4, 2014 @ 10:04 AM | Reply

    • Dont be fooled by clown. Look at the bible issue and 20% oil royalty. When the federal gpvernment decided to appeal against the High Court ruling on bible issue, BN Sarawak did not protest. When the federal government decided not to grant 20% oil royalty to Sarawak, Adenan and BN lawmakers dared not protest. It showed they are only good to speaking up on certain issues but have no authority to follow through. Not worth our two cents coin to listen to all his craps.

      Comment by Sabri Yaman — October 5, 2014 @ 12:32 PM | Reply

  7. The name: Bodohland dont come easy you know….LOL

    Comment by tiuniamah — October 4, 2014 @ 9:59 AM | Reply

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