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When the Pakistan prime minister announced his government’s decision to go after the Talibans in the Swat Valley, he said it was to restore the “honour of the Motherland!”

Honour, in one form or another, is one of the highest and most universal virtues held dear by many cultures.

We may not condone the sort of “honour killing” practised by some tribesmen in Pakistan. The ritual suicide of Japanese samurai warriors called ‘sepuku’ in defence of their personal honour may also sound extreme. But we still say, “There is honour even among thieves.”

We call our elected representative ‘The Right Honourable’, or ‘Yang Berhormat’, precisely because politics ought to be an honourable profession. Unfortunately, throughout the whole world, many politicians have prostituted their honour for personal gain and power - they are worse than thieves.

On May 7, honour in Malaysian politics was assassinated and buried by a bunch of people worse than thieves.

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