THERE was a period in the 1960s and 1970s when it was common for Malaysians to wear raincoats.
They not only provided protection from the torrential rain but, more importantly, they kept us safe.
Cyclists and pedestrians’ safety was improved.
In fact, the raincoat was a must-have item for schoolchildren as well as the working class.
Boys had black coats while girls wore coloured raincoats to or from school.
Today, it is a lost practice here, while our Asian neighbours continue to make use of the benefits of wearing raincoats.
Today, you see schoolchildren running as they try to beat downpours.
Working adults dart about in the rain and slip and fall on out poorly-maintained walkways.
Motorcyclists race to underpass shelters, posing a danger to vehicles, not to mention choking up roads.
Perhaps, it is time that the authorities pay serious attention to the benefits of wearing raincoats.
Politicians can play an advocacy role here, instead of tearing their opponents apart.
To begin with, schools must re-educate pupils and parents the benefits of wearing raincoats.
In fact, we should bring back the practice of including the raincoat as one of the book-list items.
And working adults, especially motorists, must get into the habit of using raincoats.
The authorities should make it mandatory for motorcyclists to use raincoats instead of taking shelter in underpasses, causing congestion and posing a road safety hazard.
While we aim to celebrate high- income status and obtain a world-class infrastructure label, we would do better to keep the practices of bygone times that protect our lives.