PUTRAJAYA, March 16 — Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today called on youths in the country to emulate the noble values of the Japanese in their quest for success.
Among their virtues, he said, was that they would be ashamed if they failed to carry out a responsibility.
He said this (feeling of shame if one fails)) spurred them to build Japan to become a major economic power after the country faced mammoth destruction in World War Two.
“We need examples, we need icons or those who have proven to be a success, like in the case of Japan which now has become the second largest economy in the world, only behind the country (the United States) that defeated them (in WWII).
“Imbued with the feeling of shame if one were to fail made its people work very hard to carry out the trust placed in them, a virtue we must emulate to be successful,” he said when launching the “Search for the Federal Territories Youth Icon” programme at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here today.
Also present were Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.
Dr Mahathir said due to this factor, the government was now re-implementing the Look East Policy, which used to be introduced when he was leading the government previously, to ensure the noble values held by the society in that country could emulated and practiced in Malaysia.
The Prime Minister said a feeling of shame should not only be limited to failure in examinations but more so if the failure or something untoward was committed when one was given the responsibility which impacted on society.
He said youth, who were nurtured with the noble values of the Japanese such as being ashamed of failure and being hardworking, could become inheritors in national development towards becoming a developed nation by 2025 as targeted by the government.
‘‘As such, we want the people, specifically the youth, aged 10 to 20 years, be nurtured with the noble values of the Japanese which surely would bring good to the future of the country.
‘‘Definitely, the fear of failure can motive everybody to rise and perform a task and trust much better and this is proven through what Japan possesses currently,’’ he said.
Dr Mahathir praised the initiative of the Federal Territories Ministry to pick youth icons following certain categories and it would indeed be hugely beneficial to the nation in future.
The Federal Territories Youth Icon was adapted from the ‘‘Youth in Iceland’’ programme whereby, after 30 years of its implementation, the youths of Iceland were now recognised as excellent in the cleanest living teens index in Europe.
The programme targeted the involvements of 2,000 youths, aged 12 to 17 years, staying in the People’s Housing Programme and Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s Public Housing schemes.
It was implemented based on six modules, namely, spiritual and character; welfare and societal; patriotism and unity; health and recreation; skill and creativity and sports. — Bernama