THE sad truth of “Malaysian time” is that those who are early or on time for functions and events are punished by those who are habitually late.
These latecomers waste other people’s time. And seldom are these stragglers apologetic for their lateness. They give one excuse after another – the most popular one is “traffic jam”.
VIPs and artistes turning up late for events (such as opening/closing ceremonies, press conferences, dinners, etc) are the norm. It seems the more senior or important the official is, the more unpunctual he/she tends to be.
If we are able to quantify the wasted/idle time of those waiting for the event to begin, I’m sure it will amount to millions of ringgit a year.
Unless the late-comers are punished for their actions, they will continue to do so, and not make any effort to be on time.
We should have a sign hung on the door of the meeting room that says “Come in, you’re on time” on one side and “The meeting has begun, sorry, you may not enter” on the other.
All it takes is a firm stand by the big boss. I know of a CEO who locks the door as soon as the meeting has begun at the scheduled time. After word had gone round, tardiness was never a problem for the company.
Recently, in Singapore, those who arrived late for a concert were not allowed in; they were ushered to a waiting room and were only allowed into the concert hall after Act One had finished.
Finding a way to “punish” tardy VIPs may not be a simple solution. Perhaps the Government led by our Prime Minister and Chief Secretary to the Government should initiate a move to encourage all concerned to be on time.
The message that has to be sent is that the country is losing millions of ringgit by their actions (and in the process is affecting our competitiveness) and that they have to set good a example by being on time for all of their appointments.
The media can also report if a particular VIP is perpetually late.
PAUL SINGH, Kuala Lumpur.
Source: The STAR Home News Opinion Friday March 23, 2012