Friday, 30 December 2011



What is a Problem-Solution Essay?
To answer this question, read the following essay and answer the questions below.

(a) Which part of the text outlines the problem?
(b) Which part proposes solutions?
(c) Which part justifies the solutions and actions?
(d) Underline all the linking words/phrases in the text.

Drugs abuse in Malaysia has reached an alarming rate. According to PEMADAM, the number of drug addicts has increased to 50,000.

Solution: Drug education, rehabilitation and drug policy

Definition: A serious problem which needs a convincing solution (that it will work).


Who’s in the House? – House Burglary

There has been an increased rate of house burglary in the northern states of Malaysia. Most of the cases happen during night time and also when the owners of the houses are not around. In some unfortunate cases, valuable items such as jewellery, laptops, mobile phones and other precious items have been stolen. In fact, sadly, some victims lost their lives when the burglars were aggressive and got panicked. This kind of crime creates problems for many house owners and need to be solved through preventive measures taken by the house owners, neighbourhood watch and heavy police patrol around residence areas.

            The first practical solution is by taking preventive measures by the house owners. This means that all doors and windows should be properly closed and locked before leaving the house. You should also inform your newspaper vendor to stop delivering any papers while you and your family are on holidays. Uncollected newspapers in your mail box indicates ‘an empty house’. It is also advisable to install security alarms or closed circuit television (CCTV) at strategic doors or windows of your house. Any overgrown hedges or bushes should be trimmed so that your house does not look secluded from the public. Most of these preventive measures may distract or avoid potential burglars from targeting your house.

            The second recommended solution is to organize neighbourhood watch to ensure safety of its residents. Good cooperation and commitment among the residents to take their turns in patrolling their housing areas may help reduce the number of house burglary. Any intruders or burglars will be afraid to do their criminal activities as the houses are ‘under surveillance’. Normally, the residents would form few groups to observe and watch certain areas at certain time at night. As a result, the residents could sleep soundly and peacefully. Thus, neighbourhood watch does not just encourage close relationship among the community, but it also greatly reduces house burglary. 

            Last but not least is by having a heavy police patrol around the ‘hot areas’ of house burglary. The police play an important role in enforcing the rule of law and taking care public safety. Any criminals among the society will tend to be reluctant to commit any crimes if they find that the police are active in duty. Having police patrolling the housing areas during the day or night time may also reduce the rate of house burglary.

            In conclusion, house burglary can be solved if house owners are being more responsible in taking some preventive measures. In addition, neighbours and police should work together to do the neighbourhood watch. House burglary may cause trauma and other psychological and physical effects. Thus, we should be more careful in taking care of our safety and house safety.

Based on the following topics given below, choose your own topic and write a five-paragraph essay.

(a) Poor system of rubbish collection at housing areas
(b) Destruction of rainforest
(c) Drug addiction among teenagers
(d) Social crimes due to drug addiction
(e) Developing 1Malaysia


(i) Make notes to identify the problems
(ii) Make a list of solutions
(iii) You need to expand your main points with more details and examples.
(iv) Write a first draft of your essay with separate paragraphs for the problem, solutions, justification for the recommended solution and actions to be taken.
(v) Review and Rewrite. Then, edit and proofread your final draft.

Prewriting stage
Choose your topic.
Narrow your focus.
Organize your main ideas, supporting details and examples.

Writing stage
Outline/Explain the problem clearly/present the problem. Offer reasonable and practical solutions and provide some evidence – (do some homework). Actions recommended for the readers.

Improve your work by checking the problem whether it has been clearly expressed, the content of the solutions and how you connect all the ideas within paragraphs.

Proofread your accuracy and appropriateness of grammar and vocabulary.


One early morning, a mother and a daughter were walking to a bank. As they were walking, the daughter was telling the mother how she hoped she could get excellent results in the next school examination. Knowing that her daughter was an excellent student, the mother tried to assure her that she will continue to do well in the exams. Their conversation was suddenly disrupted by a sudden arrival of two men on a motorbike. Without giving any warning, one of the men snatched the daughter’s handbag which later caused both of the ladies to fall. The daughter was unfortunate since the fall had affected her brain and later died after few weeks in coma. This is just one of the many incidents which are affecting Malaysians especially the innocent people. The question that has been frequently asked is how this social crime could be curbed. In the following paragraph, I would like to propose three ways to solve this rampant crime especially in high risk areas. The first is by increasing public awareness about the crime, second is by controlling drug addicts in crime affected areas, and finally is by involving different enforcement agencies in reducing street crimes.

            Firstly, the public should be made aware of the snatch theft crime and how it could affect their life and also their family members. Programmes like anti-snatch theft campaign and seminars on personal security should be conducted for the purpose of educating residents on the importance of keeping safe all the time. Furthermore, women who are generally the victims of this crime should be encouraged to defend themselves. Rosmah Majid, the wife of the Prime Minister, stated that “Women must be taught about personal security, especially when in public places where they are exposed to snatch thieves” (New Straits Time, 2009). Pamphlets which contain tips to avoid being victims of snatch theft and list of emergency numbers to call should be distributed to the public. Since snatch thefts often result in death or injury to the victims, it is hoped that this programme would help to reduce and eventually eradicate this crime in this country.

            Secondly, measures to control drug addicts at crime affected areas should be carried out. According to Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin, the Federal Police CID Director Commissioner, there is a relationship between drug addicts and crime. From the police investigation, “We found that 80% of such crimes are mainly committed by drug users to feed their addiction” (The Malaysian Bar, 21 October 2009). Since drug addicts do not have permanent income to enable them to buy illegal drugs, they usually resort to the quickest way to earn fast cash i.e. snatch theft. They do not have any sympathies for their victims. The incident which happened in Johor Baharu in May 2009, involving a pregnant lady who died after being attacked by snatch thieves, proved this. Thus, reducing the number of drug addicts could eventually help to bring the crime rates down.

            Finally, joint effort by relevant enforcement agencies and increasing the level of security could also bring down the statistics involving snatch theft. A joint operation involving the public and other voluntary agencies such as Rela, Rukun Tetangga, Anti-Drug Agency and the Police Department should be constantly carried out. The presence of these officers however could not guarantee that the crime would not happen at all since these officers could not be everywhere at one particular time. Thus, other means of crime prevention such as installing more CCTV at crime prone areas should be implemented. In addition, the setting up of special courts for street crimes could also expedite the legal process. Thus, the above measures would help in achieving the aimed of reducing street crime by 20% at the end of 2010 as targeted in the government’s National Key Result Areas (NKRA) and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) (The Malay Mail, 29 July 2009).

            In conclusion, reducing the crime rate especially snatch theft which has caused trauma and prolonged fear among people in this country has become one of the main priorities of the government. In order to avoid this crime from getting out of control, the three important strategies discussed above i.e. awareness raising campaign about snatch theft, arresting drug addicts in high risk areas, and combined effort by security enforcement units, should be constantly and aggressively implemented. Furthermore, support and cooperation from the public would definitely help to ensure that this street crime will be eradicated from this country once and for all.



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