NOWADAYS when we get up early in the morning, it is about beating the traffic jam, or getting the parking space nearest to our workplace.
In the old days (I’m from the 90s by the way), we still woke up early, had breakfast and went to school because it was fun.
Back then, we didn’t know about integrity and transparency index, but we knew honesty is the best policy and discipline is of outmost importance.
One is looked up on those good qualities and not how many As one obtained in the examinations.
Parents and teachers, during my school days were very loved, respected and feared.
Since we love, respect and fear them, we made sure that we complete all our homework and achieved our grades.
Headmasters and teachers were highly regarded and respected by the community.
News about teachers’ misconduct was very rare back then.
During my schooling years in 1997, the Asian financial crisis hit Malaysia.
Though it totally changed our economic and political landscape, the public didn’t really feel the heat.
My parents never complained about rising goods prices or expensive houses.
We even had 0% inflation campaign at that time.
The whole time we were all confident of the man at the helm to steer us through during the rough weather.
As we move towards a more technologically advanced era and aspire to become a fully developed nation in 2020, I don’t know whether our values and ethics have advanced in tandem with the progress.
The ugly truth is today we are a divided nation and not heading in one direction.
This blessed land of ours was recorded as Suvarnabumi (in Sanskrit) and which was later translated into Greek as Golden Chersonese (the land of gold) once upon a time.
We can still keep it that way for many generations to come if we choose to be truly united like in the days of yore.
BATHUSHA SHAREEF K.S. ALI
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation