We shun rain­coats, but other na­tions use them with grat­i­tude

New Straits Times - - Letters -

TUES­DAY, MAY 16, 2017 THERE was a pe­riod in the 1960s and 1970s when it was com­mon for Malaysians to wear rain­coats.

They not only pro­vided pro­tec­tion from the tor­ren­tial rain but, more im­por­tantly, they kept us safe.

Cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans’ safety was im­proved.

In fact, the rain­coat was a musthave item for school­child­ren as well as the work­ing class.

Boys had black coats while girls wore coloured rain­coats to or from school.

To­day, it is a lost prac­tice here, while our Asian neigh­bours con­tinue to make use of the ben­e­fits of wear­ing rain­coats.

To­day, you see school­child­ren run­ning as they try to beat down­pours.

Work­ing adults dart about in the rain and slip and fall on out poorly-main­tained walk­ways.

Mo­tor­cy­clists race to un­der­pass shel­ters, pos­ing a dan­ger to ve­hi­cles, not to men­tion chok­ing up roads.

Per­haps, it is time that the au­thor­i­ties pay se­ri­ous at­ten­tion to the ben­e­fits of wear­ing rain­coats.

Politi­cians can play an ad­vo­cacy role here, in­stead of tear­ing their op­po­nents apart.

To be­gin with, schools must reed­u­cate pupils and par­ents the ben­e­fits of wear­ing rain­coats.

In fact, we should bring back the prac­tice of in­clud­ing the rain­coat as one of the book-list items.

And work­ing adults, es­pe­cially mo­torists, must get into the habit of us­ing rain­coats.

The au­thor­i­ties should make it manda­tory for mo­tor­cy­clists to use rain­coats in­stead of tak­ing shel­ter in un­der­passes, caus­ing con­ges­tion and pos­ing a road safety hazard.

While we aim to cel­e­brate high­in­come sta­tus and ob­tain a world-class in­fra­struc­ture la­bel, we would do bet­ter to keep the prac­tices of by­gone times that pro­tect our lives.


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