MALAYSIANS are looking at the new government with renewed hope and confidence that it will do whatever is necessary to meet the people’s needs and priorities.
But it is also time for Malaysians to think about what they can and should do to contribute to the making of a better Malaysia.
As former US President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
A country can only be better and more successful if the people and government work together to do what needs to be done to get there.
In my view, it is highly essential for Malaysians to change their attitude and behaviour and refrain from acting in ways that are detrimental to the nation.
Firstly, we need to stop reckless driving, ignoring traffic signals, road bullying and offering bribes to enforcement officers when apprehended. We must also refrain from causing obstruction to traffic flow by double parking or driving into and staying in the yellow boxes while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.
Such behaviour shows we do not have civic consciousness and courtesy.
Throwing rubbish indiscriminately, showing disrespect to the elderly in public transport and polluting the environment also indicate lack of civic responsibility.
Another indication that many Malaysians have yet to discard their Third World mentality is their tendency to vandalise public property. Judging from the frequent complaints on road signs being plastered with illegal advertisements, it appears that the authorities are also fighting a losing battle in the war against those who flout the law.
We must also put a stop to the mat rempit (pic) and mat lajak problems among young people who ride modified motorcycles and bicycles respectively and perform stunts on public roads, posing a hazard to other road users while endangering their own lives.
It is not fair to rely solely on the authorities to stop such activities. More awareness campaigns should be conducted to encourage parents to spend more time bringing up their children properly.
Parents must also ensure that their children are not involved in drugs and other negative social ills. Drug abuse is the most serious social problem confronting our youths today. If left unresolved, it will have serious implications on public safety.
In our efforts to become a developed country, we need to practise good noble values, civic responsibility and courtesy as a way of life.
It’s time for Malaysians to put their best foot forward and help the new government bring in the necessary changes in people’s attitude and behaviour for the betterment of the nation.
And there are many more issues that need to be addressed to ensure that all Malaysians are prepared to get rid of their bad habits and practise universal noble values.
All citizens must do their part to make Malaysia great from all perspectives. It is by no means an easy task but we must all take up this challenge. No one should be tagged as an “ugly Malaysian”.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
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