Archive for the ‘Ethics, Morality and Patriotism’ Category

Sultan Ibrahim wants stern action taken against mat rempit.

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

JOHOR BARU: Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar (pic) has expressed anger over mat rempit racing on the road opposite the Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) and disturbing the patients.

The Johor Ruler said he had received complaints of sleepless nights from the patients in the hospital due to the loud noise from the motorcycles as the mat rempit raced along Jalan Pantai Lido.

He urged police to take imme­diate action against the mat rempit and nab them for racing, inconve­niencing other motorists and disturbing the patients.

“Stop being involved in the useless activity. Think of others, including patients getting treatment at the hospital,” he said in a statement issued by the Royal Press Office here yesterday.

His daughter-in-law Che Puan Khaleeda Bustamam, said the Sultan, also faced a similar situation when giving birth to her two children at the hospital.

Her husband and the Sultan’s son, Tunku Makhota Johor Tunku Ismail, could not sleep, especially between midnight and 3am, due to the noise.

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Review parking coupon system – bureau

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Members of the public began queueing from as early as 6am and turned up in the thousands to settle their unpaid compounds and parking arrears at the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) building yesterday, in conjunction with its amnesty programme.

Despite the huge turnout indicating citizens taking responsibility for their unsettled summonses, it begs the question of the efficacy of the parking coupon system, said Sabah Chartered Volunteer Society president Professor Dr Benjamin Yapp.

Benjamin, who is also the association’s head of Bureau of Public Complaints and Services, urged City Hall to review the current parking coupon system which causes trouble, risk and inconvenience to motorists, according to complaints channeled to the bureau.

“We have received many complaints from the public who experienced difficulty in areas where coupons are required. There have been many occasions on which motorists could not get coupons.

“Another complaint we received was the inconvenience of covering the dashboard with parking coupons for those who will be parked for a few hours. Just imagine having to place the parking slips all over the front window screen – it’s outrageous,” he said.

Benjamin added the system also poses a risk for elderly people who would have to rush to replenish coupons to avoid receiving a penalty, especially during rush hour and in harsh weather.

“We urge City Hall to amend the rules and replace the existing coupon system with a friendly and practical public parking concept for the convenience and safety of our KK citizens,” he said.

MCA Luyang assemblyman Datuk Hiew King Cheu said the amnesty exercise for the people to settle their long outstanding parking offence compounds and fees in arrears had helped to resolve the problem of unsettled compounds and parking fees.

Many people had turned up at the DBKK counters to check their outstanding amount and paid the compound for only RM10 each.

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A-G’s Report to include 5-year delay in building

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Penampang: Penampang will be included in the Auditor-General’s Report Series 1/2017 for Parliament in July 2018 due to the Native Court building here being completed five years behind schedule.

National Auditor-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad disclosed this after listening to briefings by the Sabah Public Works Department (PWD) Director and District Chief at the courtroom of the building, here, Tuesday morning.

She said her auditors would find out what happened and why the procedures were not followed, to avoid repeating the same mistake.

“We want best value for money, all projects carried out efficiently, effectively and economically, not like the Native Court building which was supposed to be completed in 2012 but only completed in 2017,” she said.

She acknowledged that the PWD had carried out the project in-house, designed and supervised, and its expertise could not be questioned.

“The first contractor was not competent or efficient but who supervised? It can’t be all due to the fault of the contractor as the supervisors are responsible to ensure the contractor follows all the specifications,” she said.

She said she has yet to establish how much liability was caused by the delay.

“Our auditors will produce a report and table it in the Parliament to be debated and punitive actions will be recommended for any public servant found negligent in their duties, or the consultant or construction company.

“There can be some negligence on the part of the PWD. However, it can’t be faulted 100 per cent if the contractor is also not performing. The Government promised the building but a five-year delay is very sad.

“We have to pinpoint the weaknesses so that there is room for improvement. Mistakes are made but the same should not be repeated twice,” she added.

She said punitive actions could also be recommended for third parties for negligence.

“If the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission cannot act, we will lodge a complaint to the professional bodies that govern them in order to protect the interests of the Government and the rakyat.

“When I was working as Chief Secretary for two ministries, I have had many friends but now as Head of Audit, I have no friends…but that’s okay,” she said, adding that the lessons learnt through the Sabah PWD must be entrenched in the minds of all officers.

“This building is something we are proud of but it should have been completed five years ago,” she stressed.

by Oswald Supi.

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Ethics bridges the generation gap

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

THE strength of a civilisation depends on the unity and solidarity within its nations.

According to Ibn Khaldun, the great Arab philosopher of history and often regarded as the Father of Modern Sociology, no society can achieve anything without strong consensus on its aims and vision.

This consensus is manifested through solidarity among the members of the nation (asabiyyah), and Ibn Khaldun believed that it could grow stronger if joined by a pair of powerful social bonding factors – religion and ethics.

This is very much relevant to Malaysia, which is now planning for its future development by involving the younger generation through an initiative known as National Transformation 2050 (TN50).

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has made it clear in a speech that one of the main challenges of TN50 is to forge greater unity among Malaysians. The issue of solidarity again takes centre stage.

While the emphasis is more on the solidarity among the country’s different races, another aspect that must not be ignored is the solidarity among generations, that is, the old and the young.

The generation gap can be as divisive as racial disharmony because it occurs right within the family, which is the smallest institution within the fabric of a nation, and yet it is instrumental.

Besides, the generation gap cuts across the lines of race and ethnicity.

It has always been pointed out that the gulf between the old and the young is due to their different value systems.

The youth are characterised as being more open, free, plural and sceptical towards authority, while the old are seen to have a closed worldview, are more principle-centred and are loyal to authority.

Given that our world is evolving fast and young people are quick to embrace new things, it is increasingly likely that the generation gap will persist and will be more difficult to bridge.

Some may not see this as a crucial issue, but they overlook the social problems that stem from the generation gap.

For example, there are a growing number of cases of clashes between parents and children, children running away from home, children abandoning parents in homes for the elderly, and parents suing children for not caring for them in their old age.

What is the fundamental difference between the two generations? Is it something that cannot be reconciled or is it a subjective matter that needs room for toleration?

There is usually not much cause for concern when the young and the old disagree over subjective elements like food preferences, fashion styles, ways of social communication, and musical choices.

It is, however, somehow worrying if the difference is over basic principles in life such as religion and ethics.

As Ibn Khaldun said, religion and ethics are fundamental in strengthening the bonds within a nation.

If the generational differences over religion and ethics remain unresolved, there is a strong possibility that the gap will widen and the efforts to reinforce national solidarity will be hampered.

It is therefore pertinent that religious and ethical elements such as mutual respect, justice and moderation be made key factors in strengthening solidarity among Malaysians.

In the case of TN50, such values must be recognised as among the important principles that will unite the country’s future generations.

Some may argue that religion and ethics are sources of division rather than of unity. But that only applies to radical approaches by some extreme groups in certain religions when they interpret religion and ethics.

As history has shown, religion as a whole continues to have an instrumental role, especially in refining good characteristics of mankind and good virtues that lead to the building of great civilisations.

Therefore, discussions of religious and ethical principles should always be anchored to moderate understanding, which is better left to the wise scholars among the religious adherents.

Further analysis on the role of religion and ethics will show that they are more conducive towards building unity.

They can unite the whole nation in terms of fundamental and permanent principles and values in life.

The fundamental ethical principles, irrespective of religion, are mainly universal and can serve as uniting factors in guiding the nation in terms of philosophy, vision and mission.

Because the younger generation are particularly vulnerable to radical changes and inconsistencies in life, these permanent ethical values will help them to face future challenges in life.

In addition, these principles will contribute significantly towards the proper refinement of human character, which in turn can help reduce the ethical-moral problems faced by the society at all levels.

by Dr Mohd Farid Mohd Shahran
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RTM urged to provide Murut news slots.

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

TENOM: One of the ways to preserve and empower the customs and culture of Murut is through documenting and publishing them for future reference,  especially for future generations, said Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Radin Malleh.

He said the Murut community was fortunate to be free to practise their customs and culture.

In fact, the mother tongue of Murut and Murut songs can be heard every day on the radio channel, Murut dictionary and other printed publications.

“All the publications are a significant benchmark of Murut people who are said to be one of the oldest indigenous people in Malaysia, especially in Sabah,” he said in his speech when officiating at the Melalap constituency’s Kalimaran Festival held at OKK Sanggau Jalang hall in Melalap new town here yesterday.

He said, Owen Rutter, a British District officer who served in five residencies in Sabah and also 18 months as an investigating officer in his book “The Pagans of North Borneo”, in 1929, on page 21 said: “Since the early history of the human race is a story of continual migration, it is difficult to say who were the aborigines of any country. But since there is no evidence to show that those early settlers, whose descendants are now called broadly Muruts and Dusuns, reached anything but an unpopulated land, they may be considered the first inhabitants of North Borneo.”

In this regard, he said, the Murut must cooperate in line with the theme of this Festival, “Rondo Guang, Rondo Sukuon (one heart, one goal) to uphold the culture and progress of Murut people and to compete with other races in the country.

He also asked RTM to provide Murut news slots on TV for several minutes once a week or one or two minutes daily like Kadazan and Dusun news slots on TV at present.

According to him, It will not only increase the public’s knowledge, but also encourage the interest of local youths to support the development of the Murut Culture.

“I am willing to give support if Sabah Murut Association (PMS) puts forward this proposal to the ministry concerned,” he said.

Radin, who is also Melalap assemblyman, said the government always encouraged non-governmental organizations such as the PMS to organize cultural, social and community programs that would foster unity and community development such as this Kalimaran Festival.

As a representative of the Murut community in the Sabah Cabinet, he expressed his appreciation to the federal government and state governments who provided financial assistance to cover the cost of the Kalimaran Festival, as well as proving the government’s recognition of the role and contribution of the Murut community in the development of this country, especially Sabah.

He said efforts to preserve and develop the Murut Culture involved the cooperation and contributions of all parties in the state.

All events, including the Makibombong ceremony and the Ralaa Kalimaran contest organized in conjunction with the Kalimaran Festival, will give the people especially the Murut youths to recognize the Murut culture and to highlight their talents and creativity.

“In this regard, appropriate assessments and improvements to these events should be made from time to time to ensure the achievement of the goals of the Kalimaran Festival.

“Public awareness on Murut’s customs and culture can also be expanded through social media and in this case, PMS can also create its website to facilitate the public to obtain information about customs and Murut cultural events such as this Kalimaran Festival , “he said.

Radin said the Kalimaran Festival would generate economic development especially tourism in this area besides highlighting other tourist locations such as the Mini Murut Museum at Sabah Murut Cultural Centre, Sabah Agriculture Park, Kalang Waterfall and so on.

He also proposed that Sabah Murut Cultural Centre be privatized to increase its potential as a tourist promotion centre and local culture in this area.

The people, especially the Murut community, should take advantage to increase their income as tour guides, homestay service providers, makers of handicrafts, Murut traditions dress, creators of Murut cultural embroidery and motives and Murut traditional food and drink sellers.

According to him, the Kalimaran Festival also provides opportunities for those who are involved in handicraft, clothing, embroidery and others in producing and marketing quality creative products, as well as educating the public on the uniqueness and beauty of Murut ethnic customs and cultures.

“The government always provides opportunities for the people especially the youths to engage in entrepreneurship as well as various other socioeconomic activities, besides participating in community programs that can enhance their potential.

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Fake news – check, check and check again.

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

AT times, we wickedly liken politicians to comedians. Well, there is now at least one more thing that ties them together – fake news. Both groups have found ways to use misinformation or hoaxes that are passed off as actual news.

The tactic of fooling people with false news is not a new millennium discovery, but what is different now is that there are many more channels to do so, and it has never before been this quick and efficient. Plus, there is a catchy label for it, courtesy of US President Donald Trump.

Fake news can have a huge political impact. As The Star reported on Friday, we can expect the flow of lies masquerading as facts to intensify, especially on social media, as we get closer to the 14th General Election.

Politicians have also learnt to leverage on the phrase itself. “Fake news” has become shorthand for denial, distraction and deceit.

Naturally, comedians see a wealth of material in fake news and the politicians’ responses to it.

How often have we heard a jokester mention fake news as he pulls the audience along towards the punchline? People are forever amused (and bemused) by the less noble side of politics.

But while we laugh, let us be clear that anything that keeps us away from the truth, is far from harmless.

Fake news confuses and misleads people, stirs ill will and erodes trust. It does not help us, as a society, in any way.

The best defence is to know how to spot fake news.

There will always be somebody churning out bogus stories, but that will not matter much if others recognise the falsehoods and refuse to spread them.

The good news is that it is usually not difficult to verify a piece of news.

For example, we can search online for information that corroborates or contradicts the story. We can compare with other reports and determine the reliability of the news source.

This may not be as fast and effortless as blindly passing it along, but checking it is certainly the responsible thing to do.

The question is, do we maintain a healthy level of scepticism and are we diligent enough in testing the information that comes our way?

Unfortunately, we sometimes do not meet these criteria. We tend to believe news that confirms our views and perceptions, and are resistant to information that challenges our biases.

The Star Says.
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Increasing inequality

Sunday, January 28th, 2018
The European Central Bank has acknowledged that quantitative easing has fuelled asset price inflation. FILE PIC

THE World Economic Forum’s (WEF) second Inclusive Development Index (IDI), which has just been published, is a tale of the rise and rise of wealth concentration.

After moderating from the 1920s until the 1970s, inequality has grown with a vengeance from the 1980s as neoliberal ascendance unleashes regressive reforms on various fronts.

Sensing the growing outrage at earlier neo-liberal reforms and their consequences, as well as the financial sector bailouts and fiscal austerity after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, politicians and business leaders have expressed concerns about inequality’s resurgence.

The record is more nuanced. While national-level inequalities have grown in most economies over the last four decades, international income disparities between North and South have actually narrowed, largely due to growth accelerations in much of the latter.

But while income inequality trends have been mixed, wealth concentration has picked up steam, recently enabled by the low cost of credit, thanks to “unconventional monetary policies” in the North.

According to the World Inequality Report 2018, the top one per cent in the world had twice as much income growth as the bottom half since 1980. Meanwhile, income growth has been sluggish or even flat for those with incomes between the bottom half and the top one per cent. Oxfam’s new Reward Work, Not Wealth report reveals that the world’s wealthiest one per cent got 82 per cent of the wealth generated last year, while the bottom 50 per cent saw no increase at all!

The world’s 500 richest, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, became US$1 trillion (RM3.91 trillion) richer last year, “more than four times” the gain in 2016, as their wealth increased by 23 per cent, taking their combined fortunes to US$5.3 trillion. According to the UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2017, there are now 1,542 US dollar billionaires in the world, after 145 more joined their ranks in 2016.

Meanwhile, the latest Credit Suisse Report found that the world’s richest one per cent increased their share of total wealth from 42.5 per cent at the height of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis to 50.1 per cent in 2017, or US$140 trillion.

It shows that the bottom half together owned less than one per cent of global wealth, while the richest 10 per cent owned 88 per cent of all wealth, and the top one per cent alone accounted for half of all assets. Thus, global household debt rose by nearly five per cent last year despite total wealth increasing by US$16.7 trillion, or 6.4 per cent.

The report attributes this to uneven asset price inflation with financial asset prices growing much faster than non-financial asset values. Recent unconventional monetary policies of the world’s major central banks contributed to such asset price inflation.

The European Central Bank has acknowledged that quantitative easing (QE) has fuelled asset price inflation. Kevin Warsh, a former US Federal Reserve Board member, has argued that QE has only worked through the “asset price channel”, enriching those who own financial assets, not the 96 per cent who mainly rely on income from labour.

An International Monetary Fund study found that “fiscal consolidation”, typically involving austerity, has significantly worsened inequality, depressed labour income shares and increased long-term unemployment.

Another IMF research report shows that capital account liberalisation — typically recommended to attract foreign capital inflows without due attention to the consequences of sudden outflows — has generally significantly and persistently increased national-level inequalities.

The World Inequality Report 2018 also observed that rising income inequality has largely been driven by unequal wealth ownership. Privatisation in most countries since the 1980s has resulted in negative “public wealth” — public assets minus public debt — in rich countries, even as national wealth has grown substantially. Over recent decades, countries have become richer as governments have become poorer, constraining governments’ ability to address inequality by increasing public provisioning of essential services.

An earlier IMF study also noted that the neoliberal reforms — promoting privatisation, cutting government spending and strictly limiting fiscal deficits and government debt — have also increased economic inequality.

On average, net private wealth in most rich countries rose from 200–350 per cent of national income in 1970 to 400-700 per cent recently as marginal tax rates for the rich and super-rich have fallen. The Oxfam report identifies tax evasion, corporate capture of public policy, erosion of workers’ rights and cost-cutting as major contributors to widening inequalities.

The IMF’s recent Fiscal Monitor acknowledges that regressive tax reforms have caused tax incidence to be far less progressive, if not regressive, while failure to tax the rich more has increased inequality. Besides new tax evasion opportunities and much lower marginal income tax rates, capital gains are hardly taxed, encouraging top executives to pay themselves with stock options.

It is quite remarkable how increasing wealth concentration has been described and presented to the public.

For example, the Allianz Global Wealth Report 2016 has described the trends as “inclusive inequality”, claiming a growing global middle class even as inequality has been rising.

By ANIS CHOWDHURYJomo Kwame Sundaram.

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Workplace woes: Workplace discrimination is common in Malaysia

Sunday, January 28th, 2018
Despite Malaysia’s first-class employment standards, workplace discrimination is common.

MALAYSIA stands where it is today from the hard work of its multicultural society who come together as one.

Despite the adversities faced, its people continue to live in peace and harmony for more than six decades.

Everyone has the right to work, own a home and drive, regardless of gender, race and religion.

Despite Malaysia’s first-class employment standards, many suffer from workplace discrimination in the public and private sectors.

A public relations officer from a property development company said she was always left out in conversations as her colleagues spoke in their Mandarin mother tongue.

Shanti Ramesh (not her real name) said her superiors also spoke Mandarin. Since most of them spoke the same language, they would sometimes converse in Mandarin during meetings and work discussions.

She said her employers did not address the language issue experienced at the office as they assumed other people would translate and inform those who did not understand Mandarin.

“It can be frustrating, especially when I am trying to blend in with other employees. I can’t help but feel upset.

“What is worse is that they would not acknowledge my existence when I was standing near them,” she said, adding that it also happened to other colleagues who did not speak the language.

Shanti, 29, said she would be one of the last to receive work updates as she would be informed only much later.

She said people were cold towards “outsiders” (those not of the same background) and did not try to accommodate new colleagues. She said she joined the company only last year.

Keeping a positive outlook, she said they could also be treating her differently because she was the new girl at the office.

“There hasn’t been much change since I first joined seven months ago, but I am doing my best to cope and remain professional.

“However, the people in my previous company were friendly and accommodating. Maybe that is why I feel lost,” she said.

She expressed disbelief as she never expected to face racial discrimination in an organisation deemed to be one of the “big boys” in the industry.

A mother of five, who wants to be known only as Adida Rahim, told New Sunday Times that her male superiors and colleagues continued to question her credibility and knowledge because she was a woman.

Having worked for more than 20 years in the civil service, she said she was up for a promotion to lead the digital forensic team as she had the proper qualifications and passed all requirements last year.

However, she said, she did not get the promotion.

“My boss told me that women are not allowed to lead the digital forensic team. They wanted a man to do it.”

This, she said, was not an isolated incident, stating that her boss would exclude her from discussions, but include junior male staff.

“The junior staff members have been working for only three to six years. I have been here for more than 20 years and, yet, their thoughts and opinions take precedence over mine and other female senior colleagues.

“My boss even makes major decisions without our (female staff members) input.

“When things go wrong, you know who they point their fingers to — the women at the office.”

Adida said she had lodged a report to a higher supervisor a few months ago, but no action had been taken.

She said this happened daily and it had taken a toll not only on her, but also other female comrades.

Adida expressed her relief following news that the Employment Act 1955 would be amended to address discrimination at the workplace.

“I never knew that reports and complaints could be sent to the Labour Department.

“I was on the verge of giving up, but I feel better knowing there would be hope for the people who are being discriminated at their workplace.

Khalid Amir (not his real name), 33, related his experience as a logistic supervisor at a Japanese car dealership, where he was questioned for having prayer breaks throughout the day.

He was the only Muslim there and when he took a break to perform prayers, he would inform the others that he would be gone for a few minutes.

However, despite getting the greenlight from his co-workers, he would often get calls from his superiors to return to the office as they needed him for something.

“It was so obvious. When I go to the surau, in less than five minutes, someone will call or message me to come back to the office. I would have to rush through my prayer.

“But, when I’m in the office, nobody bothers me.

“I even skip lunch to attend Friday prayers because there will always be something on.

“My bosses will always call me during prayer time to tell me that new stocks have arrived.

“I didn’t bring up this issue to the Human Resources Department because a majority of them were non-Muslims. Instead, I left the company.”


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Increased fine on ex-assemblyman for lost pistol, bullets

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court yesterday increased the fine imposed on a former assemblyman, Sarapin Magana to a total of RM1,900, for losing his pistol and bullets, almost two years ago.

Sarapin, 55, was fined RM1,000 in default two months imprisonment for losing his Semi-Auto HK Compact 9 mm with serial number 27-0692206; and another fine of RM900 in default two months’ jail for losing nine bullets.

Judge Datuk Nurchaya Hj Arshad meted out the decision on Sarapin after allowing the prosecution’s appeal against the inadequate sentence imposed by the lower court.

Sarapin was on May 15, last year, slapped with a total fine of RM1,000 in default four months’ jail after he changed his mind and pleaded guilty to losing his pistol and ammunition.

He was ordered to pay a fine of RM500 or two months’ jail on each count. The court also ordered that Sarapin can no longer be given a gun.

Sarapin lost his pistol and ammunition on April 8, 2016 about 6.30am at the roadside near Plaza 333, Penampang highway.

He was convicted under Section 35 of the Arms Act 1960 provides for imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or both.

In yesterday’s proceedings, DPP Wan Farrah Farriza Wan Ghazali, urged to court to enhance the sentence saying that the sentence was inadequate.

She also pointed out that the offence is very serious as losing a firearm and ammunition poses huge danger. It can also lead to another offence if the firearm falls into the wrong hands, she said.

In his rebuttal, counsel Dominic Chew who represented Sarapin urged the court not to disturb the sentence imposed by the lower court as it is in accordance with the law and established principles on sentencing.

Dominic said when passing sentence, it is a trite principle that public interest should be the utmost priority.

“Serving the public interest does not always mean that the respondent (Sarapin) must be put behind bars at all times. Serving public interest can also mean keeping the respondent at liberty and if by doing so he can still be of beneficial use to his family by being gainfully employed and if the respondent is selected to stand for elections as a candidate in the coming general election, the respondent could continue to serve the people of Matunggong, Kudat,” he said.


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Death of civic responsibility

Friday, January 26th, 2018
(File pix) We witnessed an extreme example of civic irresponsibility at the Seri Pantai People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday night. A chair thrown from one of the upper floors of the flat struck the head of a Form Three student of SMK La Salle in Petaling Jaya, killing him at the scene.

ARE we seeing a slow death of civic-mindedness? It seems to be so, if by civic-mindedness we mean a show of concern for public good or humanity.

We witnessed an extreme example of civic irresponsibility at the Seri Pantai People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Pantai Dalam, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday night. A chair thrown from one of the upper floors of the flat struck the head of a Form Three student of SMK La Salle in Petaling Jaya, killing him at the scene.

The boy’s mother, who was walking with him after a trip to the grocer’s, could have been a victim, too. We do not know if the chair was a killer litter from a lazy occupant, but as this paper has learnt, it is not the first time that such a thing is happening there. It had rained beer bottles and nails before.

Residents in high-rise flats elsewhere, too, have frequently complained of rubbish and other litter raining on them.

With that raining rubbish and killer litter, civic responsibility of some Malaysians have gone out of the window, too.

What ails some of us? It may be a case of the death of discipline, a discipline that acknowledges the proper place for everything. We cannot just blame our indiscipline on the City Hall or town council for not providing a place to throw rubbish, such as unwanted furniture.

Civic responsibility, like charity, begins at home. If parents litter, the child will do the same. They tend to imitate us. If we want our children to be a good copy of us, we need to be a good copy first. Bad examples do not a good copy make.

There is lots of truth in Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kintergarden.But, then again, there are the recalcitrant ones, too. No matter how many hours of civic education, their errant behaviours persist. For such people, strict enforcement is the only answer.

Surveillance cameras may need to be emplaced in as many locations as possible to deter them. Hefty fines need to be imposed, too. If this doesn’t work, community service, followed by jail term, may just rehabilitate them.

Lack of civic responsibility is not just the disease of some flat dwellers. It is evident elsewhere, too. We see it at the parking lots of our iconic Twin Towers, shopping malls and theatres.

Ubiquitous may just describe the Malaysian strain. And, civic irresponsibility is not limited to trash, either. It is evident in how we drive and where we park our cars.


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