UNEMPLOYMENT forces people to live their lives in a way they do not wish to.
It brings with it despair, unhappiness and anguish as well as causes mental health problems, tension at home and can even lead to an increase in crime.
The sad thing is that the unemployed are unable to put their skills to use and if left for too long, may even lose some of those skills.
This is a great loss for the country especially if an unemployed person is on a government scholarship.
For those self funded to study abroad, money they borrowed from banks or parents is wasted.
Getting a job for them, after finishing their studies, is similar to playing a lucky draw where their chances of finding a job only depends on luck despite achieving the best exam results.
We are wasting our country’s human resource because of unemployment. We can help the country’s development if we can solve the unemployment problem.
For the past 10 years we have tried almost everything but we have not solved the problem.
And this will be more prevalent with thousands of graduates finishing their studies year on year, adding to the number of unemployed.
The situation used to be that locals would not take jobs below their qualifications. But after years of being unemployed, many have had to bite the bullet and take any job, even those with a salary of below BND500 per month.
The biggest issue is that many major companies look for skilled candidates only and not fresh graduates.
This can be seen especially in the oil and gas industry where the most skilled jobs are taken up by foreigners.
We cannot deny the fact that the number of jobs available in the government is decreasing every year and the development of industries is slow.
A good example is tourism. If the tourism industry was booming, we would be able to create thousands of jobs.
Those unemployed with less qualifications can easily find jobs as taxi drivers or work with transport companies such as Uber, Grab or Dart.
Those with qualifications can even be executives in industries supported by tourism such as medical and educational tourism.
In my opinion, tourism and agriculture are the two easiest industries to develop.
Yet not much is being done about it.
The support from the authorities is still not at a satisfactory level despite the changes in the top management.
We can’t just build attraction sites, buildings or facilities for tourists and expect tourists.
That would be just like placing a bite on the boat hoping the fish will jump in as we are too lazy to cast the fishing rod.
As for the agriculture industry, what product can we be proud of exporting?
Do we have tea leaves, coffee beans, banana, pineapples or even belacan that can reach the international market?
How about meat and poultry products?
It is obvious that we are still slow in business expansion and thus in my opinion it is impossible to tackle the unemployment issue.
The problem of unemployment gives rise to the problem of poverty.
Young people, after a long time of unemployment, find the wrong way to earn money.
To get rid of unemployment stress, they accept contraband.
As the unemployed youth don’t have anything to do and have no money, some will start to commit crimes.
There are also many who were caught for possessing or consuming controlled substance.
But why were very few caught for smuggling and selling them?
What I have noticed is that there is a poor border control during the inspection for smuggling controlled substance.
Do we have sniffer dogs or narcotics trace detector machines such as those found in the US and European border control?
In May, 2014, after being tipped off by members of the public, Narcotics Control Bureau officers arrested a person for possessing cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.
He purchased the cannabis in Kuala Lumpur then smuggled the cannabis into Brunei Darussalam via Miri by concealing the drugs in potato crisp bags.
I am sure there have been many smugglers who were not caught using this tactic.
As for auto thefts which are rising at an alarming rate, the Police should introduce ‘Bite-Cars’ fitted with GPS trackers and hidden cameras to catch potential thieves and trace which workshop they use to strip down car parts.
I read that in British Columbia the ‘Bait Car Programme’, run by the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team, is recognised as the largest of its kind in the world.
Since they began operating in 2003, auto theft is down 73 per cent.
Thieves who break into a bait vehicle will be seen live on video at their website.
We should be following their foot step.
– Pg Hj Abd Rahman