NEGATIVE behaviour by some ugly Malaysians prove that there is an urgent need to revisit or review the national campaign to promote courtesy and noble values among the people.
Such a review will help determine how far the campaign has achieved its objectives as some Malaysians still show negative behaviour as seen in the recent vandalism cases at the MRT stations and on its trains.
Cases of road bullies, traffic rule breakers, litterbugs and vandals etc show Malaysians are far from being courteous and polite.
Inching into the yellow box on the roads when the traffic lights have already turned red proves their lack of patience and selfishness.
Judging from the negative and deplorable behaviour and attitude of a substantial number of Malaysians, I have serious reservations about the effectiveness of the ongoing campaign to promote courtesy among the people and make it a way of life.
Based on my observations, the virtues of courtesy, politeness, patience, humility, tolerance and respect have yet to become our way of life.
A lot more remains to be done to inculcate these virtues among Malaysians, particularly the young generation.
Many school students these days do not even utter “thank you” when an award or certificate is given to them.
I have on several occasions given out certificates or awards to students to recognise their academic achievements and they will walk away without even saying thank you.
It is not that I want them to thank me personally but as a matter of courtesy which they should learn from home or school.
It is also common to come across inconsiderate driving and parking on roads, littering in public places, vandalism, queue-jumping and people not saying “sorry” when they made mistakes.
Other issues that need to be addressed are talking rudely to customers, smoking in non-smoking areas, spitting in public and not giving up seats to the elderly, disabled and pregnant women.
It is time for all Malaysians to address these issues and ask ourselves to what extent we have been courteous and are practising noble values.
Having a campaign to promote courtesy and noble values is important but what is even more essential is to put into practice the values we are hoping to promote.
The civil service, for example, should promote courtesy among frontline staff dealing with the public besides practising basic civility and courtesy such as responding to calls and replying to letters promptly.
Any courtesy campaign must start from school and in this regard, the Moral Education subject should be reinforced to emphasise the importance of learning and practising the 36 noble values.
Memorising the 36 noble values for the sake of passing the subject is certainly not desirable.
What we want is to put the noble values into practice in our daily life.
The attainment of developed and high-income nation status will only be meaningful if Malaysia is able, among other things, to inculcate a culture of courtesy and noble values among its people.
Hopefully, the Government will include efforts to inculcate a culture of courtesy and noble values in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) Plan .
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE,
1 Malaysia Foundation trustee