Lam Thye: More must be done to promote courteous behaviour
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — More aggressive efforts should be undertaken to inculcate courtesy and noble values among Malaysians, said social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He said promoting these virtues was essential in view of the deterioration of such values, particularly among young Malaysians.
“Based on my observation, the virtues of courtesy, politeness, patience, humility, tolerance and respect have yet to become our way of life. Despite our technological progress, we are confronted with the issue of decaying morality in our daily lives,” said the 1 Malaysia Foundation trustee in a statement, here, today.
He was commenting on the latest appraisal by Reader’s Digest magazine, which placed Kuala Lumpur at number 34 out of 36 major cities in the world in a list of Least Courteous Cities.
Six years ago, Reader’s Digest placed Malaysia’s rudeness level at 33 out of the 35 countries ranked.
Lee said that though it was not certain what criteria was used in the assessment, the fact that it comes from a reputable publication is a matter that cannot be ignored.
On the contrary, he said, the public should be concerned about the findings and should address them in the best possible way.
Judging from the behaviour and attitude of a large number of Malaysians, Lee (picture) expressed reservations about the effectiveness of the ongoing campaign to promote courtesy among the people and make it a way of life.
This was because negative behaviour, as reflected in problems like smoking in toilets within a confined space; littering in public places; not giving up seats for expectant mothers and the elderly; rushing into lifts, trains and buses before allowing other people to exit; ugly driving habits; and not saying ‘thank you’ when assistance is given, which Malaysians continue to practise shamelessly have clearly proven that people were still far from being courteous and polite, he added.
As such, he strongly felt that the time had come for all strata of Malaysian society to ask whether they had done enough to ensure the success of the national five-year campaign to promote courtesy and noble values among Malaysians.
Lee said it was time for all Malaysians to address these issues and ask themselves as to what extent they had been courteous and were practising good noble values. — Bernama