Walk the talk in rural visits


PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent directive to senior government officials to visit rural areas is not just timely but crucial (“PM’s calls for even growth in society”, Sunday Star, July 7; online at tinyurl.com/ 598amhfr). Having experienced the bureaucratic reluctance first-hand during my tenure at the Economic Planning Unit in the 1990s, it is clear to me that mere lip service won’t suffice.

Back then, “turun padang” was more slogan than action. There was little pressure to witness the realities of rural projects firsthand. Reports from third parties often painted a rosier picture than reality, leading to delays, cost overruns, and compromised quality.

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