The respectable thieves…political immorality at its worst!
There was a time not too long ago when we read of political leaders in Africa dipping their hands into their nation coffers with the regularity of a woodpecker busily pecking its way into a new nest – not for their nation interests but for their on. These Tin Pot Alley dictators built for themselves massive palaces in the jungles of Africa as Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Emperor of Central Africa did. Like Mobutu, they travelled the world in private jets to Paris, London or New York doing their country’s “business” with the leaders of the world while their wives, families, girlfriends and mistresses scours Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris or Oxford Street in London with their unlimited expenses account and their entourage of limousines and servants trailing behind them. When the meetings and shopping’s are done these respectable thieves sweep back into their private jets and return to their jungle abode and lock themselves behind close door to gloat and indulge in their richness behind close doors – away from the people whose money they have taken to be their own.
These are the respectable thieves that I speak off. Political immorality as we know it in Malaysia.
Africa has now come to Malaysia. We hear of having “Batik” fashion show in Monaco conceived, I am sure, in a moment of “national euphoria” and thoughts about covering oneself in “personal glory” amongst the ostentatious surrounding of Monaco…F1 and Fashion…what a heady confluence of hedonistic excesses and hideous consumption…and out of it all the forlorn hope that one will become a “player” in the world of the super rich. Methinks not!
While Kuala Lumpur is not exactly a jungle nevertheless the palaces that these politicians build as a testament to their greed and questionable ability to reward themselves for services rendered to the nation is still breathtaking. While Bokassa Palace rises majestically in stark contrast to its poverty stricken surroundings, here in Kuala Lumpur you still stop to stare at the palaces of these politicians with their stable of cars and servants as you go past them. Palaces built on the salary of a Minister or a Mentri Besar? How?
The time will come soon for these respectable thieves to understand the need to be accountable for what money they have. Even the criminal elements are loath to openly display their trappings of wealth lest the tax man cometh after them. No such fear for these respectable thieves for are they not the government that governs these tax man? As Deng Xiaoping said “To be rich is glorious” ..and in Malaysia when the rich police themselves this is doubly so.
But here comes the unkindest cut of all …at least for the people of the country. The rise and rise of these immoral politicians turn respectable thieves can only be sustain in as long as they are able to feed upon OUR money not theirs. Our hard earned income not theirs. Our nation richness, not theirs. As they deplete these resources these respectable thieves start becoming bolder to feed their insatiable appetite.
No, not in terms of how to go about getting this money – that has already been a given factor – but in the amount to be stolen. No more in the hundreds of thousands of ringgits – not even in the millions. Into our consciousness comes the hundreds of millions lost by PKFZ, Sime Darby, the Banks, EPF, Petronas, state run organization, commission for services rendered by their friends …the mind boggles….but as in all things human…as our mindset gets condition to these figures, we too start to become numb about the figures being lost by these “commercial failures” directly under the grasp of the Barisan Politicians. And so where will this end?
It will not end if Barisan Nasional loses the coming General Election for there will be elements within PKR that will see it as their right to continue what Barisan Nasional can rightly claim as being their legacy to political immorality in our country if not the world. But it will the beginning of the end.
When Barisan Nasional looses so will the cloak of respectability of these thieves be taken away from them. When Barisan Nasional loses the politics of immorality must hide behind close doors if it were to be continued by those within PKR. It must be done in furtive whispers and hidden behind close doors for it will surely not be tolerated by the PKR government of the day. Politicians will again be servants to the people that elected them. Politicians will be held accountable for the things that they do – both publicly and on a personal level. Politicians will be people that must have the respect of their voters if they are to be allowed to govern…and once again we hope that politicians will be the “Yang Berhormats” that we aspire them to be when they were first bestow with that respectful title that most of them now do not deserve.
When that happens then these respectable thieves will be gone and the immorality of politics will be a thing of the past – the past that will surely start to leave us with the defeat of Barisan Nasional! So my friends for now we walk softly and carry our big stick…we will know how to use that stick when the time comes!