KUALA LUMPUR: There is too much talk of values but too little practised in real life, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Many talk about high culture and values but very few are interested in its practice.
"We always hear about the possible repeat of history but we do not study much of the implication of abused and wrongly interpreted history," said Dr Mahathir.
He said his to the media after an event officiating the Heritage and National Culture Charter at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, co-organised by Albukhary Foundation and Budi Foundation here on Friday (Sept 20).
The charter is a product of the resolutions presented at the Cultural Congresses in 1971 and 2017.
The charter is to assist the people and the government to further programmes involving cultural heritage and to heighten the awareness of the people to create a civilisation based on morals.
"This charter should be supported by all," said Dr Mahathir, stating the need for emphasis on archaeology to know our roots.
"We always hear of today's generation being buoyed by technology and modernisation until humanity, traditions and culture is sidelined.
"The result is that we have too many who are very roughly cultured, without any manners and transgressing religious boundaries.
"Actually, good values are not a hindrance to modernisation and many of us who are successful hold to our values, manners and traditions as values have been there for ages.
"I admire Albukhary and Budi Foundations for being ambitious to make Rukunagara as the main practice of the people," said Dr Mahathir.
At the same event, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, who represented the organisers, said that arts and culture include the need to conserve the natural environment.
He said that as heritage of arts and culture is too wide and worth
RM8bil, there must be a guidance for all non-governmental agencies through the charter.
He took as a case in point the River of Life, a beautification project of Klang River.
"Sungai Gombak, Sungai Klang and Sungai Ampang are big flowing dustbins.
"Soon, we too will become toxic with rubbish, plastic and all kind of poisonous things. The fishes will soon disappear too.
"Sabah and Sarawak have very few conservation plans and too few trees are being saved.
"The future generations will ask what we have done with our environment and we will lose our direction with the destruction of our ecosystem.
"There is worth of RM8bil of Malaysian heritage of culture and arts and they are all embedded in industries such as tourism, entertainment, art and crafts.
"Most of this have disappeared and if there is, they are being lost. Too much of our heritage needs to be revived.
"Lembah Bujang, Gua Niah, Gunung Tahan, Gunung Kinabalu, traditional Malay villages and padi fields need to be preserved with the cooperation of the government and private sectors," said Rais, at the event attended by many from the arts and culture industry.
Albukhary Foundation had put in RM15mil to start up a fund to finance the charter and Budi Foundation will assist with the undertaking and promotion of the programmes.