ATTITUDE counts for everything. It will decide the kind of Malaysians that will one day roam the pillars of power at the country’s administrative capital.
While debate swirls on what it takes to capably run this nation, it is understandable why Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal had a frank discussion with the young Administration and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officers early this month.
He told them in plain terms that they had to adapt themselves to the best practices that could catapult the civil service, readying them to take over the various posts in different ministries here in Putrajaya.
“In shaping up to the government’s target of achieving developed-nation status by 2020, the PTD should also practise greater openness, rationality and pro-activeness in line with the people’s aspirations and other stakeholders.
“One day, one of you will sit in my chair (as PSD director-general),” he told them, adding that sacrifices had to be made occassionally even in terms of their personal time.
Zabidi also stressed the value of teamwork in the service, regardless of rank and file, as it was crucial in securing the government’s goals, doing away with bureaucratic red tape by inculcating better networking within the service and external parties.
Zabidi was spot on about having a proper attitude and it does not apply only in one’s work but in every part of life.
The significance of attitude has been acknowledged by many leaders across history, including two-time United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, who had described “attitude as a little thing that makes a big difference”.
Another leader, United States President Thomas Jefferson, shared his view that: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on Earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
Thus, having the right attitude requires everybody to be on the same page and responsibility for a task should not be shouldered by certain quarters only. Everyone must chip in by displaying a conscientious attitude in one’s daily life.
Unfortunately, some of the attitudes seen among Malaysians were less than desirable. In fact, the stories we heard were horrifying to say the least. One of my favourites involved a soiled diaper being thrown out from a moving vehicle and durian skin blatantly being flung from another vehicle.
I was floored by the rude behaviour displayed by such individuals. And, how many of us have had rude experiences with shop assistants who gave us the stare or scowled at us as we browsed through items in their outlets.
Such negative attitude will not be good for the nation’s image in the long run. These little things, especially good values, will shape the kind of Malaysians we will become in the future.
I shudder to think what will happen to the country should it be run by individuals, such as litter bugs and grouchy workers.
This country has a promising future ahead of it because of its policymakers, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who have begun various transformation processes to steer the nation to greater heights.
And, we need the right people who really understand what it takes to ensure the nation’s future stays bright.Like it or not, it starts with the most trivial of things. AZURA ABAS - NST Opinion Columnist 20 JUNE 2014 @ 8:00 AM