"Aiya, in Malaysia it's like that one lah"
"Scared what? Everybody also do like that mah"
"You complain for what? Not like you can change anything also"
On countless occasions such sentences were uttered, especially when wrongdoings were observed. This became a problem by its own because we seem to tolerate things that should be corrected sternly and immediately.
Take extremism, an issue we have long been trying to mitigate, for example, even if only 1% (literal definition of extreme) of the people are practising it, our silence would mean tolerance and perceived acceptance to it. Like any other wrongdoings, it will be taken as acceptable, and continued to be practised by more people because they know others are doing it without getting punished or criticised.
We may not be public figure, but that doesn't mean what we do or say do not matter. The danger arises when they become ideas and be implanted in others' mind. We often point our finger to those who appear on newspaper, but little response is given to those who don't.
Extremism, racism, power abuse, sexism and social injustice are not what we want our children to live with.
Speak up for what's right and act against what's not, or be prepared to answer "aiya, in Malaysia it's like that one la" when our children ask why we did not.