Should every Umno politician be investigated?

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

"Look man, I do what I can do to help y'all. But the game is out there, and it's either play or get played."

- Omar (The Wire)

COMMENT | A reader wrote to me and she proclaimed that every Umno politician should be investigated for corruption. To be accurate, she said that every single Umno, MCA and MIC politician in the Najib regime. Apparently, former premier Najib Razak is the starting point. The source from which all of malfeasance flows. What brought this on? The headline that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi may be arrested, of course.

I am not surprised. People wait and see which Umno political operative is summoned by the MACC but I think for most people, like this Malaysiakini subscriber who regularly emails me, there is this desire to see these band of brigands brought to justice. For years, the corrupt system which sustained Umno political operatives were untouched by the laws of the land, and what was worse is that they revelled in this "untouchable" status.

When still serving Umno political operatives whine to me about the witch hunts they claim to be subjected to, all I hear is the world’s smallest violin playing in the background. The reality is that even as I want to ensure that Pakatan Harapan keeps its election promises and remind Malaysians that we cannot afford a BN Redux, I am simpatico with people who want every Umno politician investigated by the state security apparatus. I am talking about a specific class of people and not the Harapan base, who are baying for blood.

The people who complain the most that things are not moving fast enough or worry that there are some political backroom deals carried out by Malay power structures, are still serving or retired civil servants. Unlike the average citizen who has not been in service to this country, these people have a profound hate for the system they had to endure, sometimes for decades, and for the younger set, a few years that seemed like decades.

And for them, the system is Umno. I do not subscribe to this definition of the "system" but nearly everyone I talk to seems to think that the whole of Umno is corrupt and the only way this country can move forward is for the crimes of Umno to be exposed for all to see.

I ask them why doesn’t it matter to them that even in the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi regime there was corruption and governmental malfeasance and previous administrations which often times were worst? The usual answer is that we can only go so far.

This meme that Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to save Malaysia to repent for his sins is strong in the Harapan base and for most people I speak to. Mind you, while he has talked about saving Malaysia and the systemic corruption that plagues this country, the old maverick has never truly acknowledged that he is one of the main architects of this system.

And why should he? These days he has more than enough apologists, who would justify anything he says or does on the grounds of not spooking the Malays. However, this should not detract from the fact that I cannot find any reasons why there should not be these "witch hunts"...

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