Malaysiakini Opinion

Princes, lawyers, doctors and Datuk Seris

Mariam Mokhtar  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | When former disgraced prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak, claimed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s policies were tantamount to robbing the poor to give to the rich, many people must have thought, “Hang on! Didn’t Najib rob both the rich and the poor, to keep it all for himself and his spouse?”

Najib has posted on his Facebook account that the abolition of the goods and services tax (GST) meant that businessmen and other wealthy people, would be able to evade taxes, whilst the loss of revenue (from the GST) would mean that the salaries of civil servants and the B40 group could not be increased.

At the same time, Najib blasted Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for taking three months to notice that RM18 billion in GST refunds under the previous administration was missing.

The man has no shame! How much has he misappropriated, without our knowledge? How much will we be able to recover? And how many billions of ringgits would have gone missing, and been kept secret, if Pakatan Harapan had not won GE14?

1MDB is one such financial mess. If the truth be known, there are other scandals, which when thoroughly investigated will probably amount to far more than the losses incurred in 1MDB.

Recently, I spoke to a person, who still believes that Najib has done no wrong. She said that Najib is from royal stock, that he is a Datuk Seri, that he is a “menteri”, and a “perdana menteri”, lives in a big mansion and is rich. He would not dare trick us, or lie to us.

She failed to mention integrity, honesty, transparency and moral values. Have we become a nation of people who are so shallow that we are swayed by outward displays of materialism? Do we view possessions, such as mansions, SUVs, designer watches, shoes and spectacles, wads of cash and three wives as the barometer for an upright and stellar character? If so, we are no better than the gang members who infest London, which has long been known as “the sink-hole of The Empire”.

Malaysians fall for titles, titled people and professionals. Stick a Tengku, or Raja, in front of a name, and we trip over ourselves, trying to please the titled person...

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