Third World?

I just saw a tweet that inspired this blog post. Someone posted:

“I almost had a heart attack at Jalan Bukit Bintang. There are children selling roses on the street!!! When did kl become so third world??”

Yes, I agree that children in the third world countries are forced into being child labors, beggars etc. That’s what I saw when I recently visited India. Malaysia fall in the list of developing countries, though some Europeans still think we live on trees and caves, but that’s not the truth.   

So what if you see children selling roses in the streets of KL? Does that mean that we are still a third world country? We, Malaysians are always oh so sensitive when people call us a third world country. In fact, we never liked it when someone degrades our country, no? But what is the point of having first class facilities and developments in the country when the people/society here still have a third class mentality?

Let’s start with the basics. Malaysians refuse to say ‘excuse me’ or ‘thank you’. They cut queues in the train stations and push others to rush into the train. Our middle fingers commits sins everyday when we flash it to other drivers on roads. People still spit in public. Our customer service is beyond terrible. Some people pretend to fall asleep in the train just because they don’t want to give their seats to the elderly. With that said, how does these things make us better than the ones living in third world countries? 

The term Third World was originally coined in times of the Cold War to distinguish those nations that are neither aligned with the West (NATO) nor with the East, the Communist bloc. The bottom line is we are all humans. Let’s act like humans first before we classify ourselves into these groups. 

I really wish for a society with better manners and etiquette, not to mention common courtesy. I wish for a more empathetic society who look out for its citizens and acknowledge the less fortunate, not look down on them. Then we can think about being a first world country. 

One comment

  1. Victor Uzoma · March 28, 2013

    Nice one Kalpanaa. Keep the good work up.

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