When I was young, we often heard stories from our elders about the heroes and the villians in history. My dad used to tell me that to be famous, we can either be very good or become very bad. When a person is very good (like good rulers) his deeds will be remmebered for thousands of years. Similarly, if a person is very bad a (tyrant for example), he will also be remembered for generations and generations.
The only difference is that it is very shameful to have a bad name. Shame is something we were taught to avoid. Shame and dignity cannot coexist. Only if a person can feel shame, can he avoid committing sins . We have also read in history about people who had unintentionally committed error, and was so shameful that some even killed themselves.
So it is good to be well known for good deeds and good behaviour. It is also shameful to be well known for the wrong reason.
Some time back, we read about a monorail in a Malaysian city having glitches on the first day of opening, and subsequently, on many occasions, the same mono-rail has malfunctioned and stalled, causing inconvenience to passengers including many foreign tourists. I suspect some of these tourists, despite what was reported in the main stream media, must have privately cursed the system and our efficiency. It has at least become a laughing stock locally in coffee shops and even chatrooms.
Yesterday, we have a top leader of that state saying that the glitches in fact made the monorail famous, and this has attracted many tourists to come to try. He also boasted that it was probably a Guinness record that there were so many glitches for the monorail in such a short time.
I do not know whether he said this as a joke-I think he must be joking– but if he is serious, then there is really something very wrong. It is worse than the ‘tidak apa’ attitude that malaysians are famed for. It would be like someone who wanted to be famous by becoming a very bad character. It would be like tyrant who becomes a tyrant so that his name can be remembered as the most famous tyrant. It would be like a robber who wanted to be remembered as the most vicious robbers of all time.
It would be something to show people that we have lost the feeling of shame!
Perhaps he said that to spite the people running the monorail. Perhaps he wanted it to be like the MB who handed out a broom to discredit someone.
But if a wrong can be so light-heartedly dismissed, and there is no shame at all to be perceived as the worst monorail (if what he said about the Guinness record is true) , then any wonder why some Malaysians have no qualm being medocre, and why in some of the sports , we have gone down so much in ranking?
Do not mistake infamy as being famous!