PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday called on youth 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 II.
“We need examples, we need icons or those who have proven to be a success, like in the case of Japan.
“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).
Also present were Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.
Tun Dr Mahathir said due to this factor, the government was now re-implementing the Look East Policy, which he introduced when he was leading the government previously, to ensure that the noble values of the Japanese could be emulated and practised 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 responsibility that impacted on society.
He said youth nurtured with the noble values of the Japanese such as being ashamed of failure and being hardworking, could become inheritors of national development towards making Malaysia a developed nation by 2025 as targetted by the government.
“As such, we want the people, specifically the young, 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 motivate everybody to rise up and perform a task or trust much better and this is proven through what Japan possesses currently,’’ he said.
Tun Dr Mahathir also praised the initiative of the Federal Territories Ministry to pick youth icons in certain categories, saying it would indeed be hugely beneficial to the nation in future.
The Federal Territories Youth Icon programme was adapted from the ‘Youth in Iceland’ initiative, whereby, after 30 years of its implementation, the youth of Iceland are now recognised as excellent in the ‘Cleanest Living Teens Index’ in Europe.
The programme targets the involvement of 2,000 youths, aged 12 to 17 years, who live at People’s Housing Programmes and Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s Public Housing Schemes.
Models are being sought after on the aspects of spiritual and character; being welfare and society-centric; patriotism and unity; health and recreation; skills and creativity as well as an affinity for sports.