Malaysians have many traits which can be a boon to their culture but in some cases it can be a magnamous disadvantage. What I’m going to write about concerns the latter and how I perceive this trait to be the very undoing (or at least a blocker) to us moving forward as a unified 1Malaysia towards Vision 2020.
I was away on holiday recently and upon returning home to Malaysia I had to rent a taxi to get me from KLIA to Shah Alam. I had with me 3 hard case luggages and a pushchair to fit into the rented Proton Perdana. Incidentally I used the same type of car to get to KLIA at the start of my holiday so naturally I was confident everything would fit.
This is what annoyed me about the Malaysian taxi drivers & staff: they were more than happy to jeer, pass negative remarks and group together to watch the ensuing commotion than offer a helping hand. The commotion I’m talking about is what seemed like the inability for all my luggages to fit into the Perdana. Safe to say they were adamant it was impossible to fit everything and that I was pulling their leg. Sweating profusely, this got me really worked up and at one point I shot back at one of the smart alec drivers by telling him to just shut up if he’s not going to offer any solutions. Which brings me to my point. I realize at that moment, amidst all the commotion, that this is the attitude of most Malaysians. Not all, but most. This might sound hard to swallow but if you think back to your experiences at school, university and now at work it might ring a bell or two. Why do we Malaysian’s like to see others fail? Why is there so much negativity in our minds that it affects everything we do? And where’s the unselfishness that should come to the fore whenever we see people in need? Mind you I’m not doing racial, ethnic or income group profiling here. I feel this trait is evident across all segments of our population.
The fact of the matter is, we will fail as a country if we continue behaving with such negativity, pessimistic mindset and petulant self-centeredness. To make it worse, we do it without shame amongst ourselves! I say that with great disappointment because we Malaysian’s can be so very warm & humble to foreign visitors to our country.
I do hope we all can learn from each other and not emulate the bad traits. If we don’t, then there’s a chance we might lose the very identity which makes us unique and stunt our progress into achieving developed nation status.