COMMENT | On Anthony Loke’s first day of work as transport minister in May 2018, all the staff lined up to welcome him. But he told them that such protocol was an “unhealthy culture” and a “complete waste of time” when they should instead be focusing on their work.
This ampu bodek (fawning and flattering) culture to massage the egos of leaders has, I believe, led to the disastrous handling of the twin Covid-economic crisis.
This feudal culture declares: we know best, we don’t want to consult others, we won’t share data on Covid because we don’t need any advice. We, your ever Wise Leaders, shall decide everything. Just listen to us at our pompous press briefings.
Perhaps this is why the prime minister described himself as ‘abah’ or father. It reflects a paternalistic attitude which proclaims: we, and we alone, shall save you, and you “children” shall honour (and vote for) us. You must obey us (even if we wear ridiculous shirts that look like colourful kuih), or we shall rotan (whack) you with RM10,000 fines.
This is our F-word, our modern form of...