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COMMENT | Lies, damned lies and fairy tales

COMMENT | A study, carried out by a team at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, declares: A common stereotype across countries and time is: “All politicians are liars”. Politicians, it adds, often face incentives to lie rather than tell the truth, for instance, when damaging information can be hidden or undeserved credit can be claimed.

I do not know the methodology used nor the science behind it but the facts presented bear resemblance to some of the events closer to home and dear to our hearts.

The evidence (in the study) suggests that women are equally as likely to lie as men, but mayors of large parties lie more often. The findings suggest that “undiscovered lying” helps aid electoral success, “perhaps because it allows politicians to gain an advantage over their opponents”.

Coincidentally, details of the study were published on Aug 24, the day Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz told Parliament that 101 government contracts amounting to RM6.6 billion were awarded by the Pakatan Harapan administration without open tenders.

The on-going spat which has erupted into accusations and counter-accusations attest to the veracity of the Spanish university’s findings. We have heard genuine mistakes, omission of facts, misinterpretation of clauses but in the extreme, we heard ... 

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