LETTER | A message that went viral lately came from a veteran journalist, which made it especially interesting to read.
The irony of the message is that it started with a comparison between two wives – one who I would describe as elegant and motherly, even at a time when I had developed a strong dislike for former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The second is, in my opinion, hardly of any substance at all. She can appear in the most expensive dress and hairdo, yet, as an ordinary Malaysian, I would be embarrassed to tell my friends overseas who she is.
Why is there such a big contrast between the two? As I told Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali’s daughter, Marina, her mother is the person I would most like to have a photograph opportunity with (apart from Mohamed Sabu, that is).
Like the former TNB chairman, the late Ani Arope, this impeccable Malaysian woman is someone I would like my children, especially my daughter, to meet in person.
Siti Hasmah has always been a well-respected woman. Like the late wife of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Endon Mahmood, both were towering figures we looked up to.
However, I am not sure I can honestly say that of Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the current prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, unless I feign it.
In hindsight, we owe it to the 1MDB scandal and, of course, Jho Low and the hitherto unknown stepson of Najib, Riza Aziz, to have earned the label as a nation of kleptocracy, and adding the word that not many of us had heard before to our vocabulary.
Besides, not until the US Department of Justice exposed the extent of the loot last year, hardly any of us knew Low as a big time businessperson or Riza as a talented film producer.
The viral message also mentioned the names of a few cabinet ministers. I do have some respect for Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz for being outspoken and friendly towards the Penang state government in building the country’s tourism industry, but even he appears to be shooting his own foot at times.
Others, like Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Salleh Said Keruak need no further mention. All of us have read their statements for the past few years, and wished that they would at least consult their grey matter before speaking.
Yes, most of us laugh over the things that these people say, but seriously, these are the highly respected cabinet ministers.
Once upon a time, I respected Shahrizat Mohd Jalil, but after watching her pulling up her sleeves to “fight” with PKR’s Rafizi Ramli over the “cows in the condo” episode, I lost all respect for her.
Scrolling even further down the message, one question that I believe we should ask ourselves is, haven’t we tangoed with this lot for too long?
To those who kick-started the #UndiRosak campaign, I have another question. “Is it better to have the lesser of two evils?” If you cannot accept a person who has made a 180 degree change in direction after abandoning Umno, are you able to accept the people behind numerous scandals that have come out in the open?
We need to give the nonagenarian a chance, and if Mahathir proves to not be genuine, then he truly is the most despicable. But until that point, give Dr Mahathir a chance to prove himself to be a reformer, transformer – and Terminator.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.