Only if we join feeling responsible and duty-bound can success be achieved

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  • Khin Maung Oo
  • In building up a democratic nation, we can succeed provided that every citizen will join in co-operation, feeling we all are responsible and duty-bound. Discipline is of great importance in a genuine democracy. Being a period of nascent democracy, it is not an easy task for every individual to have a sense of responsibility. Many still can be addicted to past habits so that they are not above taking opportunities when they can take advantage of the situation and when no one is around to see them doing bad things. Such an addiction can easily develop in us, but we will find it difficult to get rid of it, out of our bad habits.
    Once in the past there were two alter egos. One was too strict with character and morality, while the other tried to behave like him in everything, being an alter ego. One day they got into a public-owned bus and no ticket seller came to them. Thus, they got off the bus carelessly when the bus reached the bus-stand, their destination. As soon as the bus started to proceed, the first one ran after the bus to pay the fare, realizing that they had not paid the bus fare. The second one said that he need not rush to pay such a small amount of money. So the former asserted that one could not achieve success in life without paying attention to small details which were important.
    It was a true story. Later in life, the first one became a rich and famous man while the second one lived an ordinary existence for the rest of his life. In building up a democratic nation, we all have to make an effort to narrow the gap the rich and the poor and between the states and regions. All our citizens need to realize that rights come with responsibilities such as obeying the laws of the land and having high regard for the rule of law. They should understand that no one is above the law and that every citizen is equal before the law. As the nation develops, individual living standard will improve.
    At such a time when we are building up our country into a democratic country, everyone is required to energetically join in the task of national development, abiding by rules, laws, ethics and disciplines. In a democracy we can differ from each other. We can even engage in lengthy discussions as to how best to develop our country. This is all part of the democratic process. As we march on towards a just and prosperous federal democratic union, those who are faint hearted and lag behind will not reach the desired goal. So, all Myanmar citizens should have courage, determination and singleness of purpose in the face of all types of challenges and threats.
    Yangon can be taken as an example in launching a campaign for the nation or the people. For example, things like throwing away rubbish, spitting after chewing betel quid, vending on roads and jaywalking. Though changes can be achieved to some extent during 18 months, it is not yet a satisfactory result. After an 8 month-period when the “pay as you go” method was adopted, it was soon found out that there were many passengers who knowingly rode buses without paying.
    As there are responsible and dutiful people desirous of national development, we have the opposite group, which is the most part of the populace. If we sit without saying anything about those who are not above taking opportunities and advantages when the going was good, we will never reach our desired destination. We will reach our destination only if we can change the mindsets and behaviour of such kinds of citizens.
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