PUTRAJAYA, Sept 15 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged Malaysians to push themselves harder and strive for the best in everything they work for and not be easily comfortable with sub par results.
He said the need to work hard in these modern era is very important and those who take everything for granted will not achieve anything.
Citing the Japanese as an example, Dr Mahathir said there is a lot that Malaysians can learn from them and hoped it would be adapted and practised by Malaysians.
“After the war they recovered very quickly and the reason is because they have a great pride, a sense of pride for their own country and a sense of shame if you do something that is bad, you feel ashamed of yourself including committing harakiri if you fail.
“So they want to avoid feeling ashamed of themselves which means that whenever they do something they want their product to be recognised by people as a good quality product. Then they will feel proud”, he said.
He further added that for Malaysians to have and practice these principles, it must be taught at an early stage to the younger generation.
Every Malaysian must also play their role in instilling these moral values including within the education system, he said.
“So in the schools we go into changing some of the curriculum in order to include some kind of shaping of the character of the people at a young age.
“Of course some people may see this as a kind of work camp and things like that, you are trying to brainwash their children, but we are all being brainwashed, we are all brainwashed by our community, by our parents all the time.
“And when you embrace them and push the brain in a good way, I think it should be accepted,” he said.
Elaborating further, Dr Mahathir said teaching these values and knowledge alone would not suffice, instead it must be nourished and guided delicately to reach its true form and produce positive results.
“I always compare to the knife, if you have a knife we see something sharp, you can use the knife to carve beautiful things, you can also use the knife to kill people.
“It’s your decision. So if that decision, if it’s in ... the knife is in the hands of somebody of bad character then his usage of the knife will be bad. But if you teach him good character, then he will make full use of the knife to carve beautiful things and to do good things. So that is what shapes a person,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said this during an exclusive interview with The Third Age Media Association and Bernama News Channel (BNC) recently.
The interview with the Third Age Media Association was held in conjunction with the Ageing, Learning and Technology: Enriching Lives Connecting Communities Conference 2018 on Oct 9.
On his insights and plans for Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said since the new government was formed, the country was faced with an enormous task that needs to be addressed and it boiled down to him and his cabinet of ministers to tackle each and every one of it.
“I think I have a lot of things to do now. Because the country is in a very bad shape, indebted in trillions of dollars and then the government machinery has been spoilt and we have to rebuild the government.
“Put in place good people and all that, retrain them and bring them back to serving the country, saving the people and the country, not serving one particular person. So this is the job that I have to carry out and with my friends of course in the government,” he said.
He said that hoped his experience serving as Malaysia as Prime Minister for 22 years back when he was the 4th Prime Minister would contribute towards the rebuilding of the nation.
Closing the interview and in conjunction with the National Day and Malaysia Day, he left a message urging the younger and older generations to work together and build a great society living in a great nation.
“One thing about older people is that they have experience. Young people have got ideas, old people have got experience. You cannot just base on experience, we cannot just base on ideals. There should be a marriage of the two assets that we have, the old people with their experience and the young people with their ideals,” he said. — Bernama