Danni Rais 

 Danni Rais

 Young Entrepreneur



The emphasis placed on Wawasan 2020 is difficult to ignore, having grown up with it and being reminded of the target for the country to achieve developed nation status by then. Growing up, it always felt that 2020 was a long way away. Truth is that in a couple of months, it will only be 5 years away. It thus begs the question, how far away are we from achieving the holy grail?

It cannot be doubted that Malaysia has come a long way. A major player in ASEAN, we have many advantages and strengths to be proud of, reasons that make Malaysia a major economy even by global standards; ironically these are the things that also plague Malaysia and taken for granted by her people. Malaysia is indeed recognisable in the eyes of the world, being known for the tallest twin towers, the hottest F1 and MotoGP races, beautiful airports, and developed cities. Just one glance at the concrete jungles that is Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, the three major cities, tells us we are well underway. Tourism has always been a proud factor for us.

Nonetheless, while many segments of the country seem developed, we must ensure that we do not fall into the notion of first world infrastructure, third world mentality. Or have we already fallen into that category, where the mindset of the public at large is not running parallel to the development of the nation? As such, I shine attention upon basic human behaviours; characteristics of the people living in a society that many relate to being developed. One cannot argue that the mannerisms of developed countries coincides with developed mindsets, in which simple gestures or communication can reflect greatly on how far the people have come.

How often have we come across people in our daily lives who find it impossible to say thank you? Or just common courtesy to smile at a stranger? Instances of cleaning your own rubbish than taking it for granted someone else will do the job for you? How about public services answering in a gentle manner to the enquiries of normal people, and not only to VIP’s?

Common courtesy seems to be sorely lacking in Malaysia. Without exaggerating, every person you ask would be reminded of an instance where this is true. Question arises, how do we educate people to be more developed in their mannerisms?

Could it be that it must be drilled into the minds of primary school children, so as to have a long last effect as they grow up to be kind to one another? Or does this begin at home, and is therefore the responsibility of all parents? Perhaps it is the job of those with authority at the workplace?

Bottom line is that it has to start somewhere. It pains me when a simple thank you cannot be uttered by a cashier, not knowing of the lasting effect or impression it can leave on a customer. This change must begin with us. We must be the ones that wake up everyday with a positive attitude, because as the saying goes, you never know whose day can change by just giving a simple smile.

Our neighbours are doing well. Thailand is known globally as a place where kindness is at the heart of the nation, as they put their hands together and greet you. Even in China, utterings of thank you and ‘ni hao’ is common place. Compare this to us, and it is appalling just how far we are lacking in human behaviour. The true magic of Malaysian Hospitality has been lost somewhere.

A person will never come back to visit our house, if we were not courteous to them. As such, Malaysia will go a long way in ensuring our developed nation status goes hand in hand with how we treat one another.


Capt Nemo