8 Values of 1 Malaysia – Part 3: Humility

By Tuesday April 14th, 2009 No Comments

To learn more about my thoughts on Humility as a key value of 1 Malaysia, click here for the video or read the transcript below:


I think humility is an important trait to have. In the context of – let’s say for example if you’re a politician. If you’re a member of Parliament. To be humble basically is an asset because in our society, especially in our traditional society, they tend to appreciate people who exhibit the trait of being humble. In Islam, it is the concept of Tawaddu’, which is humility, translated as humility. As you know in the Malay society, one is expected not to be too showy. When you go and do your work as a member of Parliament, for example, you must be able to fit in with the society. I’m very conscious of the fact that when I do my work as a member of Parliament that I’m at ease with that kind of situation. For example, if I’m in the surau, or I go to a house that belongs to a poor member of my constituency, I make sure that I behave in a way that I will make the person feel comfortable, and I’m not going there and looking down on or having a patronizing attitude towards them. So basically I think it is an asset. But being humble must not be a sign of weakness either. In certain societies, it tends to be misinterpreted as a sign of weakness. When you deal with outsiders, for example, there are times when you need to show your strength. You need to show your confidence, because when you are seen as being too humble in their perspective, it is deemed as a sign of weakness. So I think it is also quite situational, you must realize that within the Malaysian society it is an asset, but there are times when you are dealing with the world that you do need to show your strength and your success, but not in a heavy-handed manner.

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