If the self-styled “First Lady” of Malaysia (FLOM) Rosmah Mansor had known my friend, a German expatriate, who worked in Ipoh many moons ago, she would have begged him to stop calling her “Datin Seri”.
Through the course of his work in the public sphere, the German had been introduced to the Datin Seri, the patron of many charities, as is the wont of many political wives.
Initially, Datin Seri greeted him warmly, but after the fourth occasion, and the sniggers increased, both in intensity and loudness, Datin Seri had to instruct her aide, to tell the German to refer to her, by her first name; not because she wanted to dispense with formalities.
The reason was simple. The German had a speech impediment called rhotacism. He mispronounces “r” and each time he said “Datin Seri”, it came out as “Datin Silly”. It did not help that the German had a deep booming voice which was audible across any hall.
For the first time, the formal events which she attended, were popular. They were no longer dull affairs, especially if the German was to introduce their special guest.
People flocked to hear the German introduce the “Datin Silly”, to give her acceptance speech.
The German has now retired and returned home, whilst Datin Silly, and her husband, have faded into obscurity, as is common with many Malaysian politicians. Whilst they were at the top, they milked the system and received full patronage, because of the power they wielded. They were oblivious to what was said behind their backs.
FLOM upset by Nurul
Last week, the self-styled FLOM said that she was upset with Nurul Izzah Anwar, for failing to call her Datin Seri, Auntie or Mak Cik. She was horrified by the thought, that the nation’s youth, might emulate Nurul Izzah.
She also claimed that she had set up the Permata programme to teach children “respect” and said, “…We need to go back to the basics, because this moral value has been lost”.
Many of us disagree.
Charity and manners begin at home. If Permata was formed to teach children to respect their elders, parents and teachers, then something is clearly wrong with our society and family unit.
We learn respect and moral values from our parents. Discipline starts at home. No “ifs” or “buts”.
We should not hoist the responsibility of good manners, on teachers. They merely reinforce what is taught at home.
To claim that the money guzzling Permata was set up to teach children to be respectful of others, is an astounding admission. This can only mean one thing. We have a broken society, where moral values are absent. Why is that, we may wonder.
A materialistic money-grabbing society
We have descended into a materialistic money-grabbing society. We crave designer goods. We possess an insatiable desire for absolute power and instant recognition. We want to be like celebrities. We have an addiction for instant wealth and instant gratification.
Hard work, self-respect and honour count for nothing.
Nurul Izzah had no reason to apologise. On the other hand, an apology should be demanded from our leaders, and their spouses, who misuse the rakyat’s money for their own entertainment.
Remember the chief minister who used the hardware of the state to hold a grand wedding for his son? A man on a measly RM18,000 a month or thereabouts would be unable to fund, at least, two wedding feasts with several thousand guests.
Would you have believed him if he claimed that he started saving, when he was a teenager?
What if the spouse of the British PM abused the taxpayers’ money?
If Mr May, the wife of Theresa, the British PM, were to fly off on yet another golfing holiday, on the government jet, the British public would mutiny, and MPs from both sides of the political divide would demand Theresa’s resignation post-haste.
Criticism of rudeness should not start and end with political opponents, especially when spouses are on a defensive rampage and desperate to be heard.
When youths rioted in Low Yat Plaza over a stolen handphone, political spouses did not voice their disgust. When the two sons of the Pasir Salak MP, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, caused a riot in Parliament, political spouses remained silent. Parliament is sacred. It is the seat of democracy.
A destitute mother was arrested and jailed for shoplifting baby milk worth around RM26. A prime minister allegedly steals RM2.6 billion of the rakyat’s money, but Umno-Baru members do not bat an eyelid.
Those who expressed an opinion were charged with sedition, but those who steal from the country, escape with impunity. According to Islam, everyone is born equal, but in reality, some are more equal than others.
Charity and discipline begin at home. If a child steals money, how does its mother react? When a husband steals, how should the wife respond?
Many Datuks and Datins, both in private sector and in government service, have in recent months been charged with corruption, or jailed for beating people. These decorated people should set an example to society, but have failed. The rakyat is not stupid. They have lost respect for Datuks and Datins.
One social observer said, “Why did Rosmah demand an apology only now? Is she fishing for sympathy for her beleaguered hubby?”
Politicians must have thick skin to enter the political arena. They know this. Their spouses cannot selectively call people rude, when some leaders have failed to lead by example and poured shame on Malaysia.
When a leader is alleged to have stolen the taxpayer’s money, and abused his powers, then the rakyat deserves more than an apology.
(Note: The allegations made in this video are substantiated by the American Department of Justice (DOJ) and have been reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Sarawak Report (SR) and various publications.)