Corruption at the very basic level

My parents run a government school canteen for almost a decade. All of the money earned from the canteen are hardly earned. There, I learned the value of money.

If a student buys 5 pieces of 20 cents food, it made you feel happy.


And to be graded couple of A’s for canteen cleanliness and services is something that does not come easily. My parents ensured that all food are prepared in timely manner besides serving it while it is hot and not cold. All chickens, fish and vegetables are bought early in the morning at the market to ensure its freshness.

At the school canteen as well, they have experience corruption happened at the very basic level. And the short story begins:

For the teachers, we prepared a station for them to self-serve themselves during lunch time. And normally, they would pay before leaving the canteen by mentioning what they ate and drank.

But there was one day when one teacher came to my dad and mentioned this exact phrase, “Uncle, this is RM10 for all the food I ate for this week.”

So, my dad asked, “What did you eat?”

Feeling offended without any obvious reasons, she then began raising her voice and replied, “This (the money) is more than I ate”.

“We don’t want the extra, just the exact amount,” said dad.

“No, this is more than enough,” she insisted and left.

I still remember that this happened in 2007 because it was before I flew to the UK to further my studies. I realised that this act of corruption or dishonesty is happening at the very basic level ie primary school.

How can I trust her to teach good stuff to the students? I doubt she is projecting positive things to the students. If yes, it is very artificial.

People are fighting for the “change” to happen in the political system, but the change needs to happen within yourself first. Then to others. From bottom to top AND top to bottom.

If you are a leader with good values, you will instil good values and project it to the people around you. Within your circle of influence.

I was thought since I was a small kid that even if I put a table spoon of curry on my rice, I still need to mention it.

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