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Poor attitudes and habits costing Malaysia dearly


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Transport Minister Anthony Loke has pointed out how Malaysia, despite all its modern infrastructure, is suffering from a ‘third world’ maintenance culture. 

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has hammered home a message calling for professionalism and honesty from the country’s single largest workforce, the civil service. 

What is stunting and crippling our nation is the lack of the ‘big A’ factor, ie poor attitudes. Poor attitudes have made us less competitive in so many ways compared to our neighbours – and in the global marketplace. 

Tax and petroleum revenue has been used to finance the building of first world infrastructure, ranging from skyscrapers and modern transport infrastructure to a sparkling administrative capital. 

But aside from an entrenched culture of corruption, poor attitudes are hindering us from becoming one of the most successful financial, economic and cultural hubs in the region. 

Even tourism has suffered much, despite the modern infrastructure and the resorts that have been developed all over the country, some of them with the support of policies that empower bumiputra enterprises. 

People in Malaysia have long been known for the lack of a maintenance culture. We also have a record for corruption, rent-seeking and a tendency to make quick profits, instead of nurturing steadier businesses over the long haul.

The social architecture of the nation needs to be redrawn fast if we want to overcome negative sociocultural attitudes and tendencies.

We need to stop making excuses or looking for scapegoats for all our failures and weaknesses.

Perhaps the problem also lies with a below-par education system and narrow religious agendas, which have been irresponsibly emphasised for political leverage. 

READ MORE:  'Small change' graft is still corruption

To reshape our future might prove to be a challenging task, given such poor attitudes towards maintenance, accountability and long-term business sustainability.

It will require a ‘reform-driven’ revolution to change these public attitudes.

This does not mean it cannot be done, but such change will be difficult. We must be prepared to make the effort now or risk the nation fading into oblivion. 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
18 Dec 2022 10.54am

People in Malaysia have long been known for the lack of a maintenance culture. We also have a record for corruption, rent-seeking and a tendency to make quick profits….
YB Minister may remember that the main cause may be perceived to be some among leadership/power positions and not ‘people of Malaysia’ who may be powerless as
some in leadership positions suspected/charged/convicted may escape justice due to complicaed legal procedures and closure take years/decades [recent of case of Altuntya murder which may not see closure if appeals are made] and continue their luxurious lifestyles.

Bless all

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
16 Dec 2022 8.31pm

As long as the self serving political/civil service and other services do not take pride in their duties and their appointments are based not on merit and relevant skills the poor maintenance of public and private sector infrastructure combined with lack of deterrent penalties for proven cases continue is it possible for country to achieve first world qualities?
There may be much to learn from Singapore which ranks among the best in fighting cases of mismanagement-fraud-corruption-bribery-nepotism combined with heavy penalties without any bias.
Bless all

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