It goes without saying that Malaysia is one of the incredibly diverse countries, with a lot of different languages, religions, and values. People from the different ethnicities in the country have for long maintained their old cultural values and spirits. As a result, the Malaysian community has retained a richly diverse culture of values, lifestyle, and beliefs.
According to Goh (2005), the Malaysian youth have been nurtured by certain beliefs and practices that have been passed down from their guardians, parents and the grandparent's generations. With the coming of the internet and the education in the country, it has made it easier for the youths to access the values and spirits of becoming a good Malaysian citizen. This has greatly expanded their minds. Goh (2005) adds that this is one of the chief reasons as to why the younger generations are much further in some cultural aspects than, the older folks.
The government has been following the 2050 National Transformation dialogue sessions where the youths in the country have been playing a pivotal role. Around 1.5 million young youths from all corners of the countries have been involved in the sessions. From all these sessions, the youths raised various concerns which include; human trafficking, the countries health, the holistic education system as well as the creation of a civic-minded community. This clearly shows how the spirit of being an excellent Malaysian especially amongst the younger generation in Malaysian well established.
Although it is safe to say that the Malaysian youth are bright, innovative, and creative and possess a high degree of general knowledge, the lack of practice of Malaysian values and the spirit of being a good Malaysian is evident in many ways. I agree with it that there are challenges in the implementation of the values among the Malaysian youth.
In this essay, am going to discuss the challenges and give suggestions on how to implement the values among Malaysian youths. I will achieve this by supporting my discussion with evidence drawn from the various literature in regards to this topic of interest.
Challenge 1: Presence of Different Migrated Diversities
Admittedly, currently, the Malaysian broader population is composed of many different communities of people with foreign ancestry who majorly reside in the cities. Some of these populations include; the Europeans, Filipinos, Nepalese as well as the Indonesians. This makes up the small population. The larger population is made up of the Chinese-Malaysians. According to Wilson (2014), the Han Chinese make up to 22.6 % of the total Malaysian people, and the Indian-Malaysian make up to 6.7 % of the total population. Wilson (2014) adds that the majority of these groups are comprised of the descendants of the laborers who migrated to Malaysia. This was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, specifically in the period of British colonial rule. Currently, these populations are well established and have had third or even fourth generations which are all rooted in the country.
Both the ease and the frequency by which the various foreign populations in Malaysia interact with the local people have led to a change in values, especially in the youth. Currently, the Malaysian people are no longer confined to the older values and beliefs but can choose their desired values from a wide range of values from the different identities. The youths have currently adopted new clothes, new lifestyle as well as the new ways of speaking of any group of their choice.
The adherence to the unadulterated cultural traits, beliefs, and values of the Malaysian society is not the same in the different places. According to Kennedy (2005), there is a plague of the erosion of the values and beliefs especially in the urban sectors where the majority of the foreign population reside. Kennedy (2005) notices that the Malaysian values are in a small percentage internalized in rural areas.
The Malaysian youth population has lost the folk songs, the folk dances, respect as well as virginity in regards to urbanization which has brought up by the emerging and diverse foreign communities. Kennedy (2005) points out that education is the only tool that could continuously and consistently reshape the Malaysian youth values.
Challenge 2: Social Hierarchies in the Malaysian Population
Generally, the Malaysian population displays a strong acceptance of the social hierarchies. The community members are often more comfortable when they can distinguish another person's status relative to them. This enables individuals to fine-tune their behaviors accordingly for them to gain much respect from other people in the community. Education is one of the tools that are used to establish the individual status in Malaysia.
The proficiency in the English language and the overseas education has for long enhanced social standing and prestige. Wealth has also recently become a factor in the exhibiting individual social status. For instance, the youths with vehicles are said to belong to a different social class status from those who lack the vehicles. The Malaysian society has become more cosmopolitan and materialistic.
Other factors that determine the level of respect of an individual in the society include aspects such as the age. For instance, the Malaysian community holds to it that the elders are filled with great wisdom, and this gives them a commanding tone in the society. As a result, many people tend to spend a lot of their time with this older generation and thus gaining a lot of attention on the broader community. The Malaysian society has always called for respect for the older population, for instance when talking to them.
Today, Malaysians come across a wide variety of people in different social classes. The youths in the different social-cultural levels have abandoned the country values. For instance, the more educated youths, who have studied in outside country, do not hold the country values as they feel they belong to different social classes.
Challenge 3: The Use of Social Media Among the Youths
According to Shojaee & Azman (2013), there are radical changes in the use of social media in Malaysia specifically to the youth population. In very brief intervals of time, there has been an erosion of the human values as a result of the rise in social media. Currently, some of the television shows create a lot of dramas and the end nothing of value is produced.
Shojaee & Azman (2013) claims that when for instance Television is appropriately used, it could be a significant tool in the education of the people and could be of importance in the preservation of the cultural values and beliefs. I agree with this as for instance; a history channel could be of concern to the Malaysian youth community. The history channel could provide the youths with the historical events as well as the values which at the end it may reveal a lesson that was learned. With such programs or even the television, series could keep the cultural values alive. All in all the digital media, specifically the Television, ought to promote the cultural values in its programs.
Currently, Television has already gone online with the likes of YouTube and Netflix being in place. This has given a majority of the Malaysian youth a chance for them to make more choices as well as the freedoms in watching the programs of their interest. This is to say that the new digital media platforms have provided almost everything that has led to the youth to either preserve the countries values or diminish them.
According to Banks (2005), there are around 12 million Facebook users in Malaysia, with the majority of them being the youth who spend their time on such social networking platforms. Banks (2005) adds that in Malaysia the majority of the young users aged between 15-17 years are exposed to social media hardly check their email. In regards to their communication, they talk to their friends via instant messaging and the online chatting. This is an illustration of how traditional country's values have been lost. In Malaysia, people could meet to talk face to face especially when vital issues could arise. Currently, online chatting has led to face to face communication being ineffective. Banks (2005) confirms that the youths aged between 25 and 29 spend part of their online time at their time getting the news update and checking their emails.
One of the significant online activities for the youths in Malaysia is listening to music as well as watching videos from sites such as Vimeo and YouTube. If these youths are not on these two named sites, then they are often tuned to radio where they listen to various tunes in different radio stations. Traditionally, the Malaysian values called for the youths to visit specific places or even concerts for them to get entertained and promote their musicians. This value is slowly eroding away as very few youths attend the shows as the majority find it wise to download the songs of their choice and listen to them while at home.
Challenge 4: The Style of Communication
Respect and Etiquette
Various communication styles do exist, with every person having a specific communication style in the way they interact and exchange their information. Good communication styles require high levels of respect as well as etiquette. Malaysian youths are not an exception to this. Malaysians are members of a multicultural society where there is an excellent attention to how these members respectively interact with each other. Traditionally, there have been taboos as well as cultural norms that the Malaysian people have always believed and always held to (Goh, 2005).
This is in close relation to the Malay concept of 'Budi' where the two aspects of respect and politeness are taken to be very significant in regards to human interaction. The word may lack a direct English equivalent, but it is generally comprehended as a describing term of an individual's morality, virtue as well as wisdom. In this manner, individuals can relate the Malaysian politeness and respect to the strong ethical basis.
Generally, Malaysians are polite, calm and respectful in their modes of communication. However, this good behavior is shifting among the younger generation. The reason for this is that the youths are accustomed to a style of communication which both respect and politeness are no longer practiced. With the online communication being in place, the gentleness in communication has continuously faded away. Nevertheless, it is vital for the Malaysians, especially the youths to maintain a gentle, polite and respectful tone while in communication (Goh, 2005).
Challenge 5: Lack of Support to Preserve Values among the Youths
Admittedly, not everyone tends to abide by various values in a country, but many individuals do abide by these values. Some may view the issue of the values as archaic and no longer relevant especially during these modern times. Preserving the values among the youths is essential in the society as it keeps the integrity of the people in a given community.
In Malaysia, some of the values are fading away as some of the efforts to boost the existing values are not in place. This is true, for instance; the Malaysian parents currently do not emphasize the importance of the practicing of some of the values amongst the youths. Some of the parents rarely spend their time with the children, and this leaves them with little knowledge of the values of interest.
The community too is to blame for the loss of values amongst the Malaysian youths. The community schools have always neglected to teach some of the critical values to the youths. Additionally, in these schools some of the values are practiced; thus, the youths are rarely exposed to the significant values in the society
Finally yet importantly, the authori...
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