Our local politicians never fail to amaze us with their antics. The brouhaha about the state assemblyman in Klang who built a palatial palace without getting approval of the municipal councils makes one wonder if our legislature members are above the law. It makes one think how come a second-term assemblyman can afford to build a four-storey bungalow. If he can build such a big house, people will assume that most people who hold political posts can be rich.
This comes on the heel of another senator whose private company is alleged to be involved in an AP cloning scandal. Previously, another parliamentarian was involved in a war of words with the Customs and Excise Department with regards to the 'closing of one eye' on the misdeeds of his private company where the import of logs from neighbouring country were concerned.
Our legislature members who makes the law in the august house should be above-board and lead by example. It makes a mockery of their standing in society if they break the law at their own whim and fancy while holding powerful positions in politics. How does one expect the public to respect the law if leaders who hold the fort themselves break it?
Our enforcement officers and judiciary should be proactive in prosecuting and sending to prison those high officials who abuse their power for personal gain. It seems that currently only the small fry are charged in court for their crime. Powerful litigants like ex-heads of GLCs and ex-cabinet members somehow manage to delay their day of judgment in court by using delaying tactics. Other powerful personalities seems to be immune from prosecution and still hold high office although they are guilty of corrupt practices.
To paraphrase the words of prominent lawyer Param Cumarawasmy, the people of Malaysia should not be made to feel that in our society today the severity of the law is meant only for the poor, the meek and the unfortunate whereas the rich, powerful and influential can somehow seek to avoid the same severity.
The next general election is around the corner and the misdeeds of politicians and the powerful who doesn't respect the law and abuse their power for personal gain will not win the hearts and minds of the electorate.