Keeping the transition plan on track

Opinion  |  Phar Kim Beng
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | It was CNN’s Fareed Zakaria who in August 2016 openly called Donald Trump's US presidential campaign, "BS." Quoting Princeton University ethics philosopher Harry Frankfurt, Zakaria added that there was a huge difference between a "lie" and "BS".

Where the liar does not believe in the lie himself, the “BS artist” goes to the other extreme: he is “neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all… except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says.”

Zakaria wasn't wantonly dishing out an insult against an unpopular presidential candidate. He was making a strong philosophical and political point. US politics was dominated by BS, as evidence by Trump winning the presidency later that year.

The litmus test to see if the politicians are honest or real is – sadly, in every sense of the word – conviction.

Max Weber, the father of modern sociology, distinguished between those who live off politics, choosing politics as a matter of career, and those who live for politics, and believe in their vocation or cause. The best politicians invariably come from the latter group

As things stand, PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim has passed the "conviction" test several times over. One can also say that about a number of politicians in his party, as well as in DAP and Amanah.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is something of a ‘conviction politician’ too. Because had he not led Pakatan Harapan to victory on May 9, he would be looking at the dire prospect of being put in jail as well....

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