Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Why Do We Support Thievery?

Written by johnleemk on 2:38:34 pm Jan 10, 2008.

Sex and politics make for an interesting controversy. As we all probably know by now, Dr Chua Soi Lek was recently forced to resign all his public offices after it was revealed he had been caught on tape having an affair.

Many immediately took the chance to ask why, if Chua could be forced out for this, we haven't seen more resignations. It's a question worth looking into.

Chua's case reveals a particularly concerning double standard in Malaysian politics — we don't care as much about issues of direct concern to us (people stealing from the public coffers, for instance) as we do about things that are none of our business.

Chua had an affair, and (so many claim, though the courts have not been able to find sufficient proof of it) Anwar had sex with a guy. So what? Does this have anything to do with how well they can do their jobs? I suppose you could say that it reflects badly on their character. Fair enough.

But the fact is, Malaysian voters, and the officials they elect, care more about these petty things than about issues of substance. Mahathir flung allegations of corruption at Anwar — they stuck, but not enough to dissuade people from supporting him. He eventually strung Anwar up on a charge of corruption, but the fact is, we remember the case more for a semen-stained bed than undue usage of influence (just as Bill Clinton is remembered more for a semen-stained skirt than for perjury, the actual charge leveled against him).

If Chua ought to go, at the very least, so should Chan Kong Choy for either his blatant corruption or blatant incompetence in handling the Port Klang Free Zone. The government's complicity here is beyond question, and even if Chan had nothing to do with it, he should quit simply for being such a complete incompetent fool as to not have realised the problem.

When costs balloon into the billions for one project, something is amiss; when the government rejects its own lawyers' advice and intentionally pays a high price it didn't have to, something is amiss. That Chan did nothing speaks to either complete corruption or complete buffoonery on his part.

Close on Chan's heels should be Rafidah Aziz, who at the very least deserves an investigation into her possible involvement in influence-riddled peddling of Approved Permits. That evidence of her complicity could be aired so publicly, without a finger being lifted — not a single Parliamentary inquiry, no Royal Commission — while simply producing similarly damning evidence of immorality has been enough to force a Minister from office is proof enough that we are not asking the right questions or demanding the right treatment from the people we elected to serve us.

Really, guys — do we want to vote for a government that would practically fire an otherwise perfectly competent Minister without a peep simply because he was unfaithful to his wife, while maintaining in power people who have been proven in public to be corrupt as hell? Why do we persist in maintaining this illusion that a government which steals from its own people is somehow good for our country and our economy? Why do we fire a man for engaging in consensual relations with someone else, but continue to support thieves and robbers?

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Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.

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