MELAKA: Young people were urged today to go to Turkey and find work there so that they can help develop Malaysia on their return.
The prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, speaking to college students at a Semarak Merdeka townhall session, held up the hard working Turkish people and their thirst for knowledge as examples to emulate.
“Development in Turkey is better than in Malaysia, and that is the result of the Turkish people themselves,” said Mahathir, who was in Turkey on a working visit last week.
“The younger generation should go to Turkey, learn the Turkish language and work there for 10 years and when they return here, I think there will be changes in Malaysia,”he said.
He urged young people to be proud of their Eastern values and way of life, and not to be influenced by Western culture which could result in colonisation of their minds.
He said Western societies had strayed far from the values they once held. “They create new values of life, which are sometimes totally inappropriate,” he said. “There are some of us who are trapped in this view and if we emulate the Western values, we will once again be ‘colonised’ by the West,” he said, according to Bernama.
The rise of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) lifestyle was a manifestation of western freedoms, he said.
“Men married to men, women to women: how can they have children? If they do that, I think within 100 years, their nation will disappear because they will have no children,” he said, to laughter from the audience.
Mahathir calls for support and trust in the government
Later, Mahathir launched pre-Merdeka Day celebrations and the Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign by urging the people to support and trust in the government to carry out its duties.
He outlined the government’s initiatives to achieve its target of shared prosperity, among which were the restoration of the integrity of the civil service and government-linked companies and agencies such as Felda and Tabung Haji.
“The people must rise together with vigour and determination to help the government chart this shared prosperity,” he said in his speech at Dataran Pahlawan, where the country’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, first announced that independence from Britain had been achieved.
Mahathir also spoke about the importance of peace, harmony and unity in ensuring stability and the well being of the people. “Even though there are times inharmonious voices threaten the peace by raising racial issues, Malaysians as a whole reject such narrow views and hold firm to the principles of tolerance and respect.”
Mahathir, who is 94, said the government had recognised the important role of the younger generation by moving to lower the voting age to 18.
However, he was concerned that the younger generation would not realise what sacrifices were made in the past that led to their current comfortable lives.
By taking their lives for granted, they do not regard the country’s problems as being their responsibility. “Such a perception can bring ruin to the country, so the spirit of patriotism and identity needs to be embedded in the younger generation because their character will reflect the nation’s character now and in the future.”