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Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

Values play a vital role in inculcating integrity in the education system among Asean member states.

Former education ministry deputy director-general Datuk Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim in stressing the importance of integrity said that it was important for young people to develop good habits and manners.

“Our value system plays a very important part. We need to have role models. Educators and policy-makers also have a role to play and must ensure that values are instilled and practised,” she said during the recent Asean Integrity Dialogue 2015 organised by the Malaysian Institute of Integrity.

Expressing concern over low moral values among students, she said even a simple ‘thank you’ gesture was missing from them.

She recalled an incident where students who received ang-pows from a VIP did not even say “thank you”.

“Children are not saying ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. This is not good and the role of educators is to first and foremost, set an example by inculcating these moral values and making sure they are practiced in the classroom,” added Noor Rezan.

There is a need to educate and remind children about our traditional values and etiquette for only then will they develop into adults with character and integrity.

At the event, Malaysian Institute of Integrity board director Dr. Chandra Muzaffar called on academicians from Asean member states to play a role and contribute towards creating an environment and culture of integrity in the region.

He gave five pointers to achieving integrity in Asean member states. They were:

• Providing good and ethical education to students;
• Question of integrity should be linked to one’s spiritual, moral, cultural and local environment;
• Need for two dimensions to strengthen integrity, namely through content of what is being taught at institutions of higher learning, and living those values;
• Introduction of case study on integrity at institutions of higher learning across the Asean region; and,
• Education institutions cannot combat corruption and overcome abuse of power unless the environment is conducive.