We could learn a thing or two from the West about morals

New Straits Times - - News -

I AM writ­ing a book for the trans­for­ma­tion of the Moral Ed­u­ca­tion for Form Three and am ea­ger to be part of the com­mu­nity to bring about the change, which is part of the moral de­vel­op­ment and hu­man in­volve­ment.

One of the top­ics sug­gested for Form Three is budaya kuning, or yel­low cul­ture.

Budaya kuning is about the neg­a­tive in­flu­ence brought from the West, such as punk cul­ture and skin­head.

How­ever, is ev­ery­thing that comes from the West im­moral? Def­i­nitely not.

I would like to put for­ward my case in two is­sues, one in­volv­ing eat­ing and the other driv­ing.

If we ob­serve the West, ev­ery res­tau­rant or eatery that you en­ter is as clean as a slate.

And, how is that? It’s been a long-stand­ing prac­tice that peo­ple who en­ter restau­rants will make their or­ders, eat the food and en­sure that ta­bles are as clean as how they were ear­lier.

Do we have such a cul­ture in Malaysia?

In schools, stu­dents are en­cour­aged to put their plates and cups in the des­ig­nated place.

But, the same stu­dents, at times do so, and at other times do not, in pub­lic places.

One good ex­am­ple is fast food restau­rants. At peak times, the ta­bles look messy and un­invit­ing.

This cul­ture of leav­ing the ta­ble clean af­ter eat­ing needs to be learned from the West.

Next, driv­ing. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, when the traf­fic light turns red and the pedes­trian-cross­ing light flick­ers, as pedes­tri­ans, we need to be alert as some driv­ers have a ten­dency to run the red light.

At zebra cross­ings, do not even think of cross­ing un­til you are sure cars have stopped.

On the other hand, es­pe­cially in the United States, driv­ers will wait for you to cross the road be­fore they pro­ceed.

Some­times, we might be three to four me­tres away from the zebra cross­ing, but they will slow down, al­low us to cross the road and then drive on.

This is an­other cul­ture that we, in the East, need to learn from the West.

Not ev­ery­thing that comes from the West is im­moral and the term budaya kuning needs to be re-looked at by lin­guists, ed­u­ca­tors and pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

We tend to judge oth­ers based on how our youth be­have and re­act to other cul­tures.

How­ever, do we have a foun­da­tion to en­sure that Malaysia pro­duces youth who are re­silient to neg­a­tive in­flu­ences and have their own iden­tity?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.