Malaysiakini Opinion

The ‘we all get what we deserve’ by-elections

S Thayaparan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

“The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.”

- Thomas Sowell

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua wants voters in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections to give Prime Minister Najib Razak a black eye. "Do we want a corrupted leader like this?" he asked. Well, Yang Berhormat, maybe the voters of Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar may not have that much of a problem with corruption.

For instance, the fisher folk in Sungai Besar have no problem with the ‘kao tim’ culture and indeed the problem as related by one irate fisherman was that apparently the current Indonesian regime did not practise the ‘kao tim’ culture or at least those he interacted with.

Of course, it is easy to be judgemental when one is not exposed to the realities of the lives of these people. As a former sailor and somebody who has done his fair share of travelling, I understand why this culture exists, but more importantly understand why the vote buying of someone like Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to Sungai Besar fishermen would be appealing to a certain demographic and repellent to a privileged voting class. I know member of parliament Tony Pua knows this.

So if Umno delivers everything it says it will deliver, the cycle of complicity will continue. Disenfranchised people will continue voting for a regime which puts rice in their bowls. I am not talking about the urban class but rather those people who have depended on real power, federal power exercised corruptly for their benefit. That is the culture some people forget that we are dealing with. We nurtured this culture.

 

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