The God Syndrome

When a group of people attains a parliamentary position, their collective approval would be automatically translated as law and will be applied accordingly. This gives them the mandate to act as Leaders, not God, but their actions and positions can be considered almost God-like. Can the constant exposure to such lofty statuses be detrimental to the inclinations of these politicians that they start considering themselves as God-personified?

By Hakim Joe

A parliamentarian, if elected to the highest office in the country, is responsible for the denizens of the country in which he or she governs. Similarly, a governor (or in Malaysia’s case, the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister) is responsible for the welfare of the people of the state in which he or she governs together with the executive committee.

One cannot help wondering how many, if not all, elected representative of the people likes playing God. It is easy, and in some instances, almost predictable for an elected civil servant to approach the point in which they begin to play God.

Is this what is actually happening to the Pakatan team governing Selangor and almost all its elected representatives? I believe so. 

No colleague from the same party would go to such lengths as to report to the media unless there is something very wrong (except for the “Moron of the day”) that cannot be settled amicably. Unless it is a case of sheer treachery, I would like to believe that a lot of disagreements are settled internally without the media ever getting to know about it.  

The other reason why a colleague might disclose his or her dissatisfaction to the media might stem from the fact that they could have been intentionally (or unintentionally) ignored (or disregarded) by their leaders and henceforth sees fit to expose it to the media. Is this the case with Azmin Ali and Wee Choo Keong? Once again, I believe so. 

Until the day the readers and commentators have the opportunity to deal with the Pakatan State representatives, many believe the common notion that these elected politicians are ordinary people that are easily accessible. Yes, they might have been before getting elected or after getting elected as an opposition politician but once their party assumes the state government, it is entirely another thing. Now you have to get through the bureaucracy before getting to them and it is not an easy chore. All of these reps have their own offices within their constituencies but half the time they are not there. On the rare occasions when they are in attendance, it might have been for an hour or less (depending on their schedule) and the long queue would send a determined man home for good. 

For those lucky enough to get to meet their elected representative, there is absolutely no certainty that the person sitting across from you is actually listening to you as the phone rings for him or her and the assistants keep popping in and out. Whatever you might be asking, whether it is a petition or request or merely a question, it had better be typewritten on an A4 paper (to be passed to the assistant) with the likely response that he or she will look into it. That’s it. Out you go and “next please!” 

Many Pakatan supporters subscribe to the idea that these state reps are out there fighting for the rights of the common people. Possibly true but the pertinent question remains whether they are serving their constituency or not. I sincerely believe that both the state representatives and the parliamentarians have their respective sphere of responsibilities. State reps should make it their prime objective to serve their constituency whilst parliamentarians have the responsibility to look into the national issues. What is the use of forming a federal government if all states are opposition held? Not likely? Well, it is my impression that Pakatan in Selangor is heading in that direction – too much national issues, not enough of state affairs. Every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane is looking for national coverage to boost their image. Every state rep aspires to be a parliamentarian. Very God-like indeed! 

Not entirely a bad thing though if these state reps do a good balancing act but are they capable? As far as I am concerned, they are not and that is why we have two Pakatan reps voicing out their concerns. Corruption is corruption and mismanagement is mismanagement no matter what their political inclinations are. 

When a state rep thinks that they should automatically command respect from the people, they have inherited the God Syndrome where they can do no wrong. What’s with this “senior exco” title? Are exco members segregated by seniority? What if one is not even in the executive committee? Will they even be considered as equals? What if one is not even a representative but merely a common peasant. Will these people be considered as human?  

Aren’t we all humans or are these Pakatan state reps too “elevated” that we are considered mere chattels that can be influenced, used and discarded (until the next elections)? Have they assumed the role of God that mere mortals are deemed un-chaste and therefore nowhere fit to be within their holy presence? 

Until the day the Selangor Pakatan state reps adopt a different attitude and until the day when these people stop thinking of themselves as God-personified, only then can Pakatan Rakyat be considered an alternative to BN (no matter how corrupted they are). That’s the reality of things. 

What’s the use of putting one group of despots in power after overthrowing the other?