Politics in Malaysia can be summarized in three words : Greed, Wealth and Power! If you insist throw in arrogance and deceit with a little helping of duplicity and last but certainly not least, the zealous promotion of religious principles but not the adherence of it!
Many who first dabbled in politics with good intentions much too soon, became corrupt and enrich not only themselves but also their family and friends. And then begins the endless circle of injustice and abuse of executive power as they seek to increase and protect their wealth and hang on to power. Losing power means losing their fortunes and their freedom.
As they lose relevance within their political enclave some seek to become politically relevant again in other political niche. Some en mass congregate again to become another political organization with the same values, the same aspirations and the same leaders but with a different moniker!
Some HVT (high value targets) jump ship and land comfortably within other political organization where they are welcomed financially and conveniently as heroes and warriors who dare to do what is right for their country and their people – never for themselves! Never for themselves!
Some reinvent themselves into crusading zealots that seek to right the wrongs that they themselves have in the past indulge in with a vengeance that would even surprise themselves…what more us!
There are those who are now without power, without influence, without any political platform and without any other reason then to redeem themselves in the eyes of others, come out of retirement or anonymity to proclaim their lack of courage to right what was wrong when they could have done so while still in power. This could be due to genuine regret for their lack of courage to do what is right while in office or possibly through some quirks of nature, they have come to understand the joy of self-harm!
And then there are also those who still see themselves as the source of wisdom and knowledge for all things political. A King they think they still are but to others a King without any clothes. And so these people strut on center stage spouting forth their discourse on this and that while we mortals contemplate the absurdity of a has been that still thinks themselves to be the person that they once were.
No one, and I mean no one bar anyone, does this better then Mahathir. It would be a laughable matter for all if not for the deference that age somehow manages to give to anyone who chooses to use age as a crutch when all else fails. They say wisdom comes with age but sometimes, old age comes alone!
So now look around us and see who is who. Strip each and everyone of them naked and get them to stand before you. Now ask yourself if their public persona matches their private one. Ask yourself from the past that you know of them, how have they now become a different present?
No it is not about whether a Zebra can change its stripes or a Leopard its spots. It is not about whether anyone does not deserve another chance in redeeming himself in the eyes of others. And certainly it is not about us denying the opportunity of anyone to do the right thing by us all.
It is about finding good and decent leaders within us all. It is about honesty and about trust. It is about having leaders that will stay the course with us through thick and thin.
We will grant these leaders their peculiarities. We will overlook their fallibility if it does not affect the work they will do for us. We will even tolerate their multitude of sins done in a distant past. But all this we will do only if what they now present themselves to be to us is true.
And I say all this because as committed as I am to ABU I am certain that I will not tolerate being lied to by those that seek to be our leaders today. There is no room for leaders that speak self righteously of truth, justice and honor when they themselves are without them.
It is not about asking the one who is without sin to cast the first stone. I for one will never, can never, be the one to cast the first stone. And I know that many of you too will not be able to cast the first stone. We who are not able to cast the first stone do not seek high public office nor deign ourselves to be worthy of any leadership aspirations. So we will sit by and watch those that do seek these high public office and see if they are worthy of that office. If they are not we will tell them. Our country deserves nothing less then good and decent men and women to be in government.
Anything less will invariable take us back to UMNO, to Barisan Nasional, to Mahathir, to Samy Velu, to Lee Liong Sik, to PKFZ, to the Scorpene Submarines, to the massive rorts and corruption that comes with corrupt leaders…and we do not want that, do we?