As Malaysia moves closer to becoming a developed country, we, the Malaysian needs to strive to be a cultured society. There is a dire need for Malaysians to ponder on how we can make a difference in the quality of our lives.
First of all, I totally agree that we own the first class facilities, but we have the third world mentality. I say we, the Malaysian have the third world mindset as in the aspect of our behaviour in using the facilities and our management when using them. As a Malaysian, I consider myself living in a well-developed country. We are provided umpteeth first world facilities by our government, so to speak, like the skyscrappers, internet service, shopping malls and the like. However, do take a closer look, are they complete? Well-equipped?
Let’s take a look at our public facilities, the public toilets. Outside, we can see graffities being drawn on the walls such as vile words or obscene pictures. This is already a bad impression for everyone. While inside the toilet, it is revolting to see that the toilet is covered smelt of urine stench with dirty black scum on it. The worst part of it is the flushing system is not properly maintained and often come without or with faulty lever. Another example, it is common to see potholes on the roads and they are dimly litted which can cause road accidents. Lines are also not clearly drawn to indicate warnings can endanger road users. All these show that Malaysians have shortcomings in maintaining the facilities even we are provided and built with the state of the art know-how.
By taking Singapore as a closer example, it is well-known for its hygienic country. People there are being fined when they litter on the streets or elsewhere. While littering is banned, the people are responsible about the cleanliness of the country to date. In contrast, in Malaysia, people litter all the time and it has became our habit. Piles of mountain-littering can be exposed like that in certain rubbish disposal area and people or the authority can just overlook. We are care less of the hygiene of the country and we are susceptible to many diseases such as malaria and diarrhoe. From here, we portray ourselves to be of third world mentality and take lightly on the importance of cleanliness of the country. This is the third world citizen mentality that we are embracing.
In some places in Malaysia like in my town, Tawau, the authority of the town council was reported in the newspaper to be only know how to “decorate” the town but not adroit in maintaining its facility. I realize that especially on the road, some of the lamp posts are very colorful to be installed. Even up on the trees we can see there are colorful light bulbs being strung up. While the road is in bad shape, why would the authority rather spend more money to decorate the road? What I mean is, it is more practical to spend money on the utility structures that are lack-of-maintenance such as road condition which the road users are more concerned. Additionally, it is good to know that there are road signages being installed to provide traffic direction for the convenience of the public. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon to see these signages obstructed by branches of trees along the roads. The authority should prune the branches regularly so the road users can see clearly what is the road signs are showing. This is for the convenience of the road users and to help avoid road accidents.
It also puts shame on us as Malaysian to be said by tourists as we show the worst hospitality and services of the country. For example, whenever the tourists haul for taxi to go to places, the taxi driver would response in an unfriendly manner. I wouldn’t deny it as it has became a fact that especially whenever we go to immigration centre, the government staffs serve you with gloomy faces and giving us hard time to go through all the red tape just to get our identification cards done. While at the hospital, we will have to wait up to few days or even weeks to get a complete medical check-up. These examples to be named a few, is enough to smear the good name of our country.
To sum up, I feel we, the Malaysians are far more lucky to have the opportunity to share every facilities and infrastructures provided by the government together. Let’s not take them for granted but use them wisely while maintaining them at the same time. Malaysians are not working hard to pursue wealth and status, but lose sight of our civic obligations.