Malaysiakini Letter

The 'warganegara' are not blind


LETTER | I refer to the Malaysiakini article No need to humiliate prince and his family, Zaid rues 'gutter politics'.

Zaid Ibrahim says: “When Najib was having a free run on 1MDB, his ministers kept mum. Pakatan Harapan then poked fun at them for their silence.

“Now the PM is having a free run at the Johor sultanate, and his ministers are no different. Pot calling the kettle black! Sad,” he said."

Surely, the two situations could not be more different?

1MDB was an egregious example of financial malfeasance, one that even earned the scorn of the US Department of Justice as the world's biggest act of kleptocracy.

In the case of the Tunku Mahkota Johor or TMJ, there is zero suggestion of impropriety on TMJ's part. However, the royals are above politics.

Despite this, His Highness TMJ has, more than once, stepped into politics by making pointed comments with a distinctly political flavour.

Of course, there have been famous royals, eg. our first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who threw his energy into leading the drive for independence, becoming our first PM by winning and defending his parliamentary seat at general elections many times. There is Tengku Razaleigh who has been an MP for decades and was once finance minister.

But TMJ has never once stood for an election. He instead seems to prefer making his comments from the privileged circle to which he belongs. Our elected prime minister, in contrast, has to shepherd the nation through a financial scandal which almost drained our national resources spreading the virus of corruption at many levels of society. 

We can see green shoots of progress in terms of billions of ringgit of looted assets returned to our shores, people of impeccable character placed in significant positions and Malaysia earning a respectable place again among the nations of the world.

Mahathir himself has earned the admiration and awe of the world for the energy he brings every day to his job.

The warganegara are not blind. Above all, they welcome honest striving to reduce wasteful use of scarce resources. Waste can come from misapplying resources, from outright corruption, from slothful management, from so many avenues.

In the fullness of time, anything any of us does must be open to consideration. No one really is exempt from such introspection. Unnecessary levels of management, both in government departments, companies and elsewhere, must be cut. Unnecessary pomp and superficial structures must be critically evaluated.

Do we still need this? Are these functions a vestige of the past and no longer needed? Is there a better way, going forward? Just like the human appendix, some things within us did serve a function once, many, many years ago. And then they can become inflamed and even threaten the life of the living body they are attached to.

That appendix must be cut off efficiently under anaesthesia, of course, to protect life. Such vestiges might still be preserved in a jar in a medical museum for students to learn from.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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