By LIM SUE GOAN
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
The recent demands made by Malaysians and their dissatisfaction are closely related to American psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs of physiological needs; safety needs; love and belonging; esteem and the need for self-actualisation.
Management theorists adopt the Maslow's theory to develop staff motivation methods. They first meet the lower-level requirements, such as sufficient salary to meet employees' needs of livelihood, a safe and comfortable working environment and mutual respect to enhance employees' potential.
A hungry man will not care about nutrition and taste. For a country committed to achieving the ambition of advanced state, how is it going to meet high-level needs if it fails to meet even low-level needs?
People need air, water, food and health to survive. These are basic needs or physiological needs. These things seem to fall from the sky, but the Klang Valley areas are in fact facing a water supply crisis.
The ruling and alternative coalitions are accusing each other while politicising the water supply issue. There are even a rumour about a conspiracy theory saying that water disruptions were deliberately staged so that the people would blame the Selangor state government. What is the use to provide free water supply if the people cannot get even a drop of water from their taps?
It seems like neither of the parties is willing to make a concession. The water supply issue would not be solved in a short period of time and the people of Selangor would have to continue suffering.
Safety needs are also considered as low-level needs, including personal safety, stability, free from the threat of disease and property safety. Malaysians are recently having a lower sense of security as criminals have been rampantly committing crimes everywhere.
The Home Ministry and police have repeatedly stressed that the crime rate has dropped and it is only an illusion and stereotype for the public to think that crimes have increased. However, when people lack the sense of security, they would be dissatisfied with the government, even if the government introduces more 1Malaysia products and services.
The authorities have adopted the piecemeal method to address security problems. Even if Rela officers are stationed at shopping malls, criminals are still lurking in every corner of the society. The people may convert their homes into impregnable fortresses, but they still need to go out.
For families of crime victims, it will be a permanent pain as their parents, siblings or children will never return. The data will be insignificant, no matter how impressive the figures are.
Similarly, in a mock voting held in 29 local cities and towns, as well as four cities in Australia on July 14, a total of 20,194 people were opposed to the Lynas rare-earth refinery plant for the pursuit of a safe living environment. It will be meaningless no matter how prosperous the economy is, if there is a radiation leakage that pollutes the environment and damages public health.
In addition to the anti-Lynas rare-earth refinery plant movement, there are also voices opposing to cyanide metallurgy and petrochemical plant, based on the needs of safety.
Instead of staging political shows, it will be better for politicians to meet the people's most basic needs. And instead of engaging in digging scandals of their opponents, it will be better for the ruling and alternative coalitions to truly care about the people's suffering.
Any policies that fails to meet even the basic needs of the people should be considered as a failure.
Today, political parties are chasing for maximum political benefits. They wish to get something worth RM5 by just spending RM1. How pity it is as politicians just turn a blind eye on the public's physiological and safety needs, which affect most people!