Friday, March 10, 2006

Ptui!!!

That's right folks - tomorrow's column is about spitting.... and all the other unslightly habits of us Malaysians. There's that saying: you can take a man out of the kampung but you can't take the kampung out of the man, but I think that's a bit harsh lah - some of the gentlest, most polite people I've ever met are from the kampung. They're beautiful folk full of gracious manners and gentle habits...

...who put their city counterparts to shame!

Why doesn't the big city, where money is booming, lights are shining and standards are climbing to international standards inspire people here to be a little bit more genteel...? And you know just what I'm talking about: people who barge into you at the shops without bothering to apologise, Mercedes drivers spitting out their car windows (eew.. SLKlass-less?), people asking you how much you earn in public, cutting queues, bad driving habits etc etc.

It's just all too common... But that's just it isn't it? Common because we're all a little guilty of transgressing boundaries of politesse... even just a little bit.

So are we being unduly harsh on ourselves when we talk of Malaysians being crass? Or is it time to really start despairing the behaviour of our fellow men and ourselves? And the more pressing question: Can anything actually be done about it?! (Or are we just wasting time sitting around, picking our noses thinking about it?)

4 comments:

Aku Di Sini said...

well, they need to attend class on public manner or it is their way of handling stress living in big city or they lack of empathy or they are selfish people.... i'm not one of them!

Anonymous said...

Trix:
I like your article in The Star but I have to disagree when you said that the only way to deal with the bad manners is 'to stop trying to correct rude behaviour and start seeing it as part of our charm'. Well, I think many of us have already perceived their rude behaviour as 'part of their charm'. But rude behaviour is simply not something that we should put up with, especially when you consider that it has degenerate into more serious problems: e.g. road rage, discourteous road users, the rude attitude to the poor and the servile attitude to the rich, (any kind of) service providers who provide lousy service and yet shout at you when you question them, etc.

I guess all these rude behaviour has to do with our egotism and selfishness. Many of us are too self-centred that they fail to see how their rude behaviour is affecting the people around them. They have never tried to put themselves in other people's shoes, so to speak.

It is sad that we are too much of a self-congratulatory lot: we praise ourselves most of the time. We fail to see our flaws. Many are not even capable of self-criticism or do not think they need to do so. How sad!

b. said...

To be honest, at any time when I read an issue akin to this, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to minority of Malaysians who have been longing that, most if not all Malaysians change to a first class mentality manners. However the subsequent thing that moves quickly up in my mind is the fact that majority of us do not want to change or more practical, “suffer” in a change. They are keeping themselves in too-comfortable zones (selfish I should say) and also the fact that the Government does not take drastic actions and enforcements do not help the cause either. Nonetheless I still bear the tiny hope that one fine day, Malaysians will fit into the “real” First Class Facilities, First Class Mentality setting. But for now, what the minority can do is to continue to put shame (if they do sense that :p) to the culprits.

Alice Teh said...

I was at the Kelana Jaya LRT station on a lovely Friday morning, going to work. Lo and behold, this Indian taxi driver just Ptui!!! right smack in front of me. Eeeeyeeerrrrr... Speak about timing! There goes my lovely Friday morning. I was careful to avoid that spot as I walk past him...