Can’t think of a worthwhile New Year resolution? Wandering Malaysian has come up with eight resolutions that Malaysians would do well to put on their to-do list.
1. Eat less and eat better
Malaysia is the most obese country in Asia with an obesity rate of more than 45.3% (Body Mass Index more than 25), according to British medical journal, The Lancet.
2. Refuse and expose bribes
An astonishing 87% of Malaysians believe that the level of corruption in Malaysia has either stayed the same or increased based on the findings of the 2017 Global Corruption Barometer, Transparency International Malaysia.
3. Call for a clean general election
Malaysia’s electoral boundaries are the most biased of the 155 countries assessed by the Electoral Integrity Project (a University of Sydney/Harvard University independent study) and Malaysia is ranked 142nd out of 158 countries in terms of electoral integrity (just above Zimbabwe).
4. Invite a friend from another ethno-religious group to your home
Most Malaysians had a marked preference for ethnic in-group friends and had more favourable attitudes towards their ethnic in-group than their ethnic out-groups, a tendency that was particularly pronounced for Malay respondents, from a 2017 University of Oxford study Attitudes and Ethno-religious Integration: Meeting the Challenge and Maximising the Promise of Multicultural Malaysia.
5. Plant a tree
Based on the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation initiative, the rate of deforestation in Malaysia is accelerating faster than that of any other tropical country in the world.
6. Volunteer to help strangers
Only 33% of Malaysians surveyed volunteered their time according to the 2017 World Giving Index, Charities Aid Foundation.
7. Drive less and walk more
Malaysia produces 16.6 tons of carbon dioxide per capita which is the seventh highest rate of carbon dioxide emissions in the world and almost 300 times higher than Denmark, which is the cleanest nation, based on data from the International Energy Agency.
8. Read a book
Malaysia is ranked 53rd out of 61 countries by the 2016 World’s Most Literate Nations (WMLN) study, which synthesises literacy achievement tests and literate behavior characteristics.
Happy New Year!
Wandering Malaysian is the pseudonym of a regular reader of Aliran.