THE EDITOR, Sir:
Once again, the spotlight is on our young people, this time brought about by reported cases of lewd, crude and violent behaviour by some of them at the Transport Centre in Half-Way Tree.
But, like most things that need fixing in Jamaica, it becomes a nine-day wonder, and after that things are back to the usual state of inertia where nothing gets fixed. I sincerely believe that if we stand the slightest chance of seeing any marked improvements in the behaviour of our young people, we all have to support the idea of establishing a new value system, one that is based on the twin objectives of respect for oneself and respect for others - it all boils down to respect.
This not-so-new approach must be encouraged by our media, partnering with other stakeholders like the National Parenting Support Commission and the National Parent-Teacher Association. Part of the work of this new alliance would see the media houses adopting new programming formats with much less emphasis on messages through songs that glorify violence, sex and general disrespect for our women, where the 'gyal' syndrome and what to do with a 'gyal' is not the first lesson our young boys learn before they even enter school.
Set a higher bar
Having just read the biography of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, l have been asking myself what would Yew do now, and the answer that keeps coming to me is leadership. He would never have allowed the free-for-all reign of slackness that permeates our airwaves by 16 or so radio stations competing for the scarce advertising dollar.
He would set the bar much higher regarding what is fit for airplay and put in place a strong watchdog agency with the necessary backing of the law to levy harsh penalties on any media house that violates the law. The kind of laissez-faire, no-holds-barred, push-the-envelope attitude that characterises the way things are done here is a recipe for social and economic disaster. And if we continue like this, we will not be "the place to do business, raise families and live" by 2030.