By P. Ramakrishnan
Gone are the days when well-meaning people entered politics to serve and look after the well-being of the people. Now you enter politics to empower and enrich yourself.
And how do you enrich yourself? You loot the coffers of the nation and deny the money from going to the people to ease their burden.
Tunku sold his property –14 shop lots in Penang – to finance Umno. You remember the reluctant politician Tun Dr Ismail bin Abdul Rahman, the millionaire socialist Lim Kean Siew, the fighter for the poor Ahmad Boestaman, the fearless Seenivasagam brothers S.P. and D.R., the indomitable Mr Opposition Dr Tan Chee Khoon, the idealistic Fan Yew Teng, the indefatigable Lim Kit Siang and many more viewed politics as a noble calling to serve.
They devoted their entire lives fighting and struggling for the betterment of the country and its people. In the case of Tun Dr Ismail – the best Prime Minister we never had based on his performance and his broad political outlook – he soldiered on despite his inclement health, ignoring even family advice.
These were the people who soldiered on, always believing in the country and its peoples and kept faith with both the country and people.
Gone are those days of struggle when honest men stood up for principles and ideals. Those were the days when people mattered. Those were the days when you can count on politicians to live up to their ideals.
Compare them to the present-day selfish politicians who only look after themselves. Their welfare was the only goal. Grab as much as you can while the sun shines. Power is all that matters.
All these many months, what have we witnessed? It’s all about out-manoeuvring their political opponents, enticing greedy, selfish, depraved politicians ready-to-be-bought – forgetting the electoral pledges and dumping the manifesto that spelt out their promise to the electorates.
These crooked politicians have never spent their personal wealth to assist the poor but don’t think twice in forking out tens of millions to win over support and topple the duly elected democratic government. It’s all about power and wealth.
Look at the huge cabinet that Muhyiddin Yassin has created, rewarding all his supporters with ministerial posts and appointing them as chairmen of GLCs (Government-Linked Companies) which pay them mind-boggling salaries, along with generous perks and allowances! Support is no longer based on common ideals and principles. It is solely based on the wealth that can be generated with all these positions.
Just before the Sabah State Assembly was dissolved, rumour had it that the political frogs in Sabah were offered RM27 million and that was upped by another RM5 million to RM32 million if one was a minister or assistant minister in the state government.
It is learnt that 13 frogs had jumped ship for this ill-gotten wealth. Can you imagine what would be the total sum offered to these scums to betray the trust emplaced by the voters to look after their interests? The total would have easily come to nearly RM400 million!
The banker who bankrolled this sum must be filthy rich and to him it must be a worthwhile investment as this could be easily recouped once they are back in power. Can you imagine the scope of corruption? It seems, it is no sweat to swindle the state to enrich themselves! It seems so easy.
But this malady is not confined to Sabah only – it is wide-spread throughout Malaysia. That is the reason why the benefits are not able to trickle down to the deserving.
Malaysians must not tolerate this malaise. We must make sure that all these self-serving, corrupt politicians are defeated at GE15 to ensure that morality returns to politics. These crooks and rogues must be punished and brought to book following the change of government. We must help to recover every sen that has been stolen in order to benefit the people and the country.
Let the way forward start with Sabah. Let Sabah lead the way to wipe out corruption. This achievement will be an inspiration for Malaysia to wipe out the corrupt politicians.
We hope and pray that Sabahans will teach the corrupt a lesson that will not be forgotten and hopefully their achievement will serve us as an example to kick out the greedy, corrupt politicians when elections are called.
From now onwards, it should be as was said,“People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
2 August 2020
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)