PUTRAJAYA: Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood is concerned that even basic things like saying “thank you” is becoming rare among the younger generation, what more respect for elders.
And the Prime Minister’s wife hopes to play a key role in bringing back traditional values, which she says Malaysian society is at risk of losing.
“Rape and molest cases happen because men have lost respect for women. Even this is an issue of values.
“We need to inculcate our values and to do this we have to go back to education,” she said during a tea reception she hosted for the media at the Deputy Prime Minister’s official residence here yesterday.
(Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Endon are expected to move into the Prime Minister’s official residence soon.)
Endon added that she was glad that her husband was giving more emphasis to education as society could go back to the basics of values through education.
She also said she was concerned over how certain local television programmes did little to combat the erosion of these values.
She cited the compere of an awards show who scolded her co-host using the words “kepala otak kau” and an actress-cum-television host who dressed modestly but shouted and jumped around onstage.
“These personalities are crowd-pullers and role models to the young, but they are doing things that are not part of our values.
“The Malay adage goes 'Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat' but our own adat is gone,” she said.
On the new Cabinet formed by Abdullah, Endon said she was very happy that an Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry was formed as a separate entity – from previously being part of the Tourism Ministry – as culture and the arts were very close to her heart.
“I always felt it was wrong to put them all together. To me culture is not only about dances but also our values. I am glad the ministry was set up.
“It will be able to check on what is happening to our culture, which includes our values,” she added.
She said the performing arts had also been neglected and the new ministry could revive dying traditional arts such as wayang kulit and mak yong.
Endon also said that Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim was the right man for the job as Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister as he was once the Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry’s parliamentary secretary and was also very fluent in Bahasa Melayu.
“Furthermore, the ministry is taking over Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka because it is very important to teach the young to speak proper Malay,” she added.
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