Of crossing overs and cultural cancer

A simple life is a virtuous life. Love others and commit yourself to good. Corruption of the soul is the beginning of all corruption. Sages such as Socrates spoke against this.


Azly Rahman

Should I cross over for those millions of ringgits?

That is a two million ringgit question.

How much does one get for ‘crossing over’ these days? I do not know. But if there are millions of ringgit involved, this nation will continue to rot as corrupt politicians continue switching allegiances, getting appointments to good positions, and making horrifying decisions for you and your children.

We must destroy this culture and heal anew.

We were convinced things will be better after the elections. We were sure that the revolution was going to benefit the masses and no party hopping would occur.

We are wrong. Things are getting more complex, in a complex time of rising prices.

This is my template letter to anyone on the verge of party hopping for money, based on an advise I gave to a politician who wrote to me — his/her dilemma over switching party allegiance:

Dear sir/madam,

Don’t make this mistake.

Don’t do it if it’s for two million ringgit. Or for any amount of money you do not earn ethically. Stay to be free, and speak up against internal party corruption.

You will die satisfied that you have not sold your soul to any other party in whose ideology you actually do not subscribe to. These ‘party jumpers’ have no clear intention, just clear benefits for themselves.

Principles not resource

If resource is the issue, think of how you can take your party to newer heights without more money. Make your party appeal to the younger generation. Know your party’s roots and make it dynamic.

You may not have the money, machinery, and the media at your disposal as means to influence the masses, however you have the will. Focus on helping people and problem solving at the grassroots level. ‘Small is beautiful’

Think about the ‘class’ struggle we are in. Prevent a generation of our children from the dehumanisation of a new class system. Worker rights need championing in this globalised economy and you can win them their minimum wage for starters.

Figure out how to deliver what you promised and will promise, and find your place in the party’s equation. Phenomenological questions can help you understand your existence and purpose. Without it you are just part of a game of hypocrisy.

Don’t flatter yourself with state honours presented to you in fine and archaic language meant to elevate you beyond what you are. You are not meant to be a ‘yes man/woman’ for powerful people and make others beg for your favour. Politics is about doing societal good not Machiavellian scheming.

A simple life is a virtuous life. Love others and commit yourself to good. Corruption of the soul is the beginning of all corruption. Sages such as Socrates spoke against this. Those sacred scriptures warned us against entertaining our greed more than meeting our needs. How much more do should we become agents of social destruction with the power we have as leaders?

On the question of limited financial resources in pushing our political agenda, here are some thoughts.

Leverage the Internet as a cheap and powerful tool of your campaign, while leaning on traditional methods of appeasing your constituency. Also the SMS system to mirror ‘multilevel marketing’ for effective campaigning.

Brainstorm with the young. Be creative. The greatest tool of human progress is the two pound universe one carries around – the human brain. The greatest enemy of knowledge is of course, ignorance, said Socrates. Tell the young that it is wrong to be engaged in corrupt practices and to take more than you need. The things we take from society belongs to the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the orphans or all races. Everything that we do is interconnected in this cycle of life. We live a life of complexity, or chaos, and constant change. We must understand too that we are makers of our own history and masters of our own destiny. If we do not live an unexamined life, it will not be a life worth living. 

Past wisdom

The great soul MK Gandhi did not have much at his disposal yet he brought down the British empire. He was armed with a deep sense of spirituality and the principle of satyagraha.

Ahmad Boestaman, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr Ismail, Onn Jaafar, Nik Aziz, Lim Kit Siang, V Rajaratnam, and many others have shown us what dignity and ethics mean. Learn from them but enrich these concepts of ethics to meet the needs of changing times without losing sight and vision of political realism. Learn from the many around you who are not servants of money.

However if you are logically convinced that your party is on the road to destruction due to massive corruption amongst its leaders, then by all means leave! You have one life to live – make it the best life, for yourself and for others. At a time when we have entered the world of multiculturalism, do not revert to blind ideology of racism.

Ultimately if you take those millions offered, sit in Parliament making decisions for our children, you will be a major crook who continues to rationalise his or her crookedness. You too will sink with the Bahtera Merdeka. The rakyat will help you sink with your two million, bahtera and all.

Like a saying goes, taken from an American Indian tribe: we do not inherit the Earth, we borrow it from our children. To add to this. we do not want to leave a dirty and corrupted world behind — from the Creator we come, unto the Creator we return.

May the Universal God bless Malaysia. And save her from total destruction.

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While the opinion in the article is mine, the comments are yours; present them rationally and ethically.