Seriously, the quality of Mentris Besar in Pahang (actually, throughout Malaysia), is dropping! Either that, or this MB just loves collecting brownie points.
Today, the Pahang Menteri Besar, Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, (above), told the state legislative assembly, that the Pahang government will pass a new law, to compel business operators to show loyalty to the state ruler and the Agong before permits and licences are issued. Failure to do so, will result in their licences and permits being revoked.
So, how does one “show” loyalty?
First. What Wan Rosdy said is a form of blackmail. Why should loyalty be mixed with business? It is bad enough mixing business with race, and religion.
It appears that Wan Rosdy aspires to be another Ketuanan Hero and conflate business with another “R” – royalty.
The Queen of England, King of Sweden or the Emperor of Japan, do not ask you to show loyalty to do business in their countries. So how Pahang MB?
Second. Are foreign businesses excluded? Foreign businesses like Lynas? Or the PRC companies which purchase the bauxite from the red earth around Kuantan to ship back to China for their aluminium industries?
So, is a communist able to pledge loyalty to a Malaysian ruler? What about a Thai national who has business interests in Pahang? His allegiance is to his King. The Pahang MB has not thought this problem out fully has he?
Third. How do you measure loyalty?
In Perak, a few years ago, the state administration forced businesses to fly the flag outside their business premises, for Merdeka, or else, their business permits would be revoked. When a government become heavy handed like this, the people will rebel.
One cannot equate flying the flag with patriotism. Is the person who flies hundreds of flags outside his business or home, more patriotic than the person with only one flag? Does that mean the person who cannot afford to buy a flag, is not patriotic. Stupid reasoning.
So, what is the Pahang MBs criteria for measuring loyalty to the ruler?
Can he tell us where to buy a loyalty meter? We can measure temperature with a thermometer. We can measure depth, altitude, loudness, concentration of gases, with various instruments.
Fourth. In the mafia, one “measured” loyalty by giving a portion of the profits to the don in exchange for protection and the permission to do business in the area. In America, gang members have to kill someone, to prove their loyalty.
If the Pahang MB cannot be clear in how he expects us to show our loyalty, he should just be quiet.
Fifth. In ancient cultures, one way of measuring loyalty to the ruler, was to train able young men and send them to the king for his army. And perhaps, nice maidens as bed-warmers. Or virgins for sacrifice.
Again, the Pahang MB should be specific when he demands that the people of Pahang/Malaysians show their loyalty to their ruler. Should they bow lower? Curtsey lower and longer? Or what?
Sixth. What if the businessman lies just to get his business permit? How is the Pahang MB going to differentiate between genuine loyalty and false loyalty?
We have seen that the loyalty to disgraced, former PM Najib Abdul Razak, was not genuine. His supporters’ loyalty evaporated as soon as he was unable to pay them.
Drop in quality of Mentris Besar
More importantly, the quality of our Mentris Besar has dropped. We thought many of the previous MBs were bad. Today’s lot is disappointing.
The richer the state, the worse they are. If the allegations about their sudden accumulation of wealth are to be believed, perhaps the MACC should show a keen interest in their bank accounts, their overseas homes and their business dealings. Check out their close family members and any proxies they may have.
Remember the former MB from an east coast state, who could barely manage a sentence in English, who suddenly announced that he was off to Antarctica because of his interest in climate warming etc. It was more a free trip for him and his entourage!
Tourist trips to Antarctica are not cheap. I bet he and his entourage stopped off for a bit of sight seeing in South America, on the way to Antarctica. All courtesy of the tax payer. Nice!
Soon after this MB returned from the nice holiday in Antarctica, he resigned.
Why have standards (of MBs) dropped?
Well what do you expect? Here are a few reasons:-
(1) Standards will drop because you allow certain people to choose the MBs. So, if the person who chooses, has a vested interest, then finish-lah!
(2) Standards will drop because in some cases, the nominees presented false/dodgy degrees so that they will get the job. You thought you were getting a Rolls Royce, a Harvard graduate, instead you got a clapped out Proton, or a graduate from the University of Haprak.
Some MBs keep quiet about their dodgy degree, then when the ordure hits the fan, the exposed MB will say, “I did not put my dodgy degree on my CV. It was my aide. He did not check with me.”
(3) Another excuse is, “My account was hacked. Someone wanted to make me look bad.”
(4) Or yet another excuse is, “I already told the reporters in a radio interview. This is old news. I did not lie. I have come clean.” This last point actually happened to an MB from a west coast state. I asked around, and no one has been able to produce a link to this supposed interview.
I have not heard of a Malaysian reporter who dares to ask a senior official, “Did you really graduate? Come clean.”
(5) Standards drop because the ampu-bodek culture is strong. Anything for a Datuk-ship. Loyalty indeed!
The MB wants loyalty; but Malaysians demand higher quality MBs
A person in charge of selecting the MB can be ampu-ed and bodek-ed, and become so flattered that he selects the most dunggu, or the most incompetent dolt.
That is why meritocracy should be practiced, not just in schools, but also in public office.
Malaysians must demand higher standards in their men or women for MB. Why not women? Why not a non-Malay?
What matters is that the MB is able, competent and fair.