Give moral, ethical values ‘highest priority’ attention — Lee Lam Thye

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

KUCHING, Feb 19: Malaysia’s technological progress and economic growth should not cloud people’s minds on the importance of checking the degradation of moral and ethical values.

In highlighting this, Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye emphasised that it was also essential for national leaders to focus on the moral and ethical dimensions, which are important ingredients to the attainment of nation-building.

“As our society becomes more affluent, ethics and morality are under threat. They are on most occasions not given due emphasis and only take a back seat,” he said in a press statement today.

He emphasised that failure to accord due recognition to noble values and morality issues had contributed significantly to social disequilibrium and had led to the emergence of many social problems.

“Social development based on noble values can minimise social problems and at the same time can be more beneficial in national development.

“National development has to be attained through strong family institutions to produce youths who are our future flag bearers. They are our national asset and can help shape the future destiny of our nation.”

However, Lee noted that nurturing good family values among youths amidst rapid modernisation and changes in lifestyles was a major challenge today. It required a collective effort from all sectors of society to achieve this goal.

“We need to make Malaysia a fully industrialised nation not only in the economic sense but also to ensure it is fully developed from all dimensions particularly from the moral, ethical and caring aspects.

“Civilisation and progress are not to be measured only by the gross national product (GDP) and technological capacity. They are also measured by the development of the human conscience and its response when faced by the facts of human sufferings and denials of human needs.”

In his view, a caring society reflected a vision of a nation, which recognised that all its members are entitled to protection for their personal, physical and psychological needs.

“A caring society, in my view, is one that attaches great importance to the development of the human being – the human being who is imbued with compassion, understanding, a sense of justice and a generous attitude.”

While it is essential to strive for a caring society, Lee emphasised that such a society must be developed and fostered not only for the purpose of our nation building but for the sake of the poor, the needy and the less fortunate, who are found in every society.

“The progress and maturity of a society are not measured by GDP ringgit and technological wizardry alone, but also by its sense of responsibility, the spirit of generosity and the importance it places on the dignity and well-being of its less fortunate members.”

While it is gratifying to note that by and large Malaysians are generous, Lee felt more could be done by the affluent to help the poor and the less fortunate out of their concern for their fellow men.

“More could and should be done by the more fortunate Malaysians either individually or collectively to help build a caring culture and a caring society so vital for the attainment of a united and harmonious nation.

“There is a need for an enduring caring culture and efforts to instil into each and everyone a caring attitude, a feeling for humanity, the poor and the needy and care for the less fortunate.”

He observed that the spontaneous outpouring of sympathy and offers of practical help by the public in response to several tragedies in the country and abroad involving human lives; the continuing financial support given to charitable causes as well as the expressions of concern for victims and disgust shown towards perpetrators of sexual and physical abuse were ample evidence of the caring attitude of Malaysians.

“Our caring efforts should be intensified in the days ahead and steps must be taken further to instil in the young a sense of being caring and concerned for our needy fellow human beings.

“The need for a concerned and caring society is all the more essential in view of the many social problems plaguing our society.

“What is most fundamental in this regard is to strengthen the family institution to withstand the demands of a changing society as well as to establish itself as the core of a healthy and stable society.”

Moral decay, he elaborated, was caused by the erosion of spiritual and ethical values, which can be overcome by upgrading the quality of family life to impact basic moral values to the youths.

“Here lies the challenge of family empowerment towards tackling the nation’s social ills. The inculcation of good moral values and ethics is not only essential to building our youths for positive roles in nation building but also in ensuring the success of our national vision.

“This is because the national vision we aspire to achieve encompasses good values, ethics and integrity. Good moral and ethical values must, therefore, be given the highest priority in all programmes to train and build our youths for character and nation-building,” he concluded. — DayakDaily