Moral Decay

The moral rot in Malaysian politics started the day Dr. Mahathir took power. It is ironic that it takes a half Indian to drum up the frenzy of the Malays’ clamour for supremacy.

By Johan Brendon

It is getting rather tedious to hear the relentless and pathetic complaining from the Malay supremacists that their special rights are being eroded. Indeed these zealots are getting desperate, vicious and personal.

The latest salvo from the youth wing of Perkasa Chief – Arman Azha Abu Hanifah accusing the PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail of being a “political prostitute” is a case in point. The fact that he has no qualms in making such a demeaning remark against a decent woman like Wan Azizah Wan Ismail just goes to show the depth of moral decay amongst the Malay extremists in Perkasa and UMNO.

With such an unkind and nasty attack on a fellow human, one can only hope that they do not claim to be Muslims too.

Muslims are known for their generous spirit and magnanimity. And besides, this bunch of extremists has lost their self respect. Their hatred and vitriol against those who oppose them has gone beyond the norm of what is acceptable in politics. Just like the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis, they seem to equate racial superiority to patriotism and it is precisely this kind of ‘emotive’ politics which led to genocide in some countries such as Rwanda and former Yugoslavia. The question is – why has Malaysia lost its moral compass? 

One does not have to look too far to find the answer. The moral rot in Malaysian politics started the day Dr. Mahathir took power. It is ironic that it takes a half Indian to drum up the frenzy of the Malays’ clamour for supremacy. As a consequence, they believe to have a god given right not only to be more equal but also more superior than the non Malays. One is entitled to ask – where is the ‘ethics’ in Dr. Mahathir’s politics? Excuse moi? What ethics? It seems a stray dog has more principles than this pseudo Malay. As far as Dr. Mahathir is concerned, all that matters is that the end justifies the means. So what has ethics got to do with anything? Dr. Mahathir’s black art in politics would put Machiavelli to shame.   

This brings us back to the subject of moral decay. After more than two decades of Dr. Mahathir’s rule which indulged in nepotism, cronyism, corruptions, judicial interference, ISA detentions, bigotry and racism, is it any wonder his legacy has created a template for governance of which corruption, deceit and underhanded practices are part of the norm. All the sleaze that had gone on before carries over seamlessly and the current conspiracy to murder concerning a Mongolian national and subsequent cover up by the highest echelon of government is an extra bonus. Compromising the judiciary’s independence is one of the most insidious acts that will not only affect the rule of law but also creates an impression that anything goes in Malaysia. Is that what the slogan, ‘Malaysia Boleh’ really stands for? There is a real danger that the country is heading the same way as Zimbabwe – whose ruler, Robert Mugabe, is good a mate of Dr. Mahathir. As the saying goes, “birds of the same feathers flock together”. The reader can draw his or her own conclusion about Dr. Mahathir.

Sadly, there are very few good Malay role models in the country. The Prime Minister is certainly not the best person to show moral leadership since he is alleged to be involved in the corruption and murder surrounding the purchase of the infamous French submarines.

With the combined toxic legacy of Dr. Mahathir and a lack of moral leadership of the present government which consists of a Cabinet member who is also a ‘porn star’, it is not surprising to see a new generation of ‘politicians’ who lack moral fibers, decency and self-respect.

The issue is not about ‘ethics’ per se as we know in politics, ethics is often about expediency and consequently ‘ethics’ is sometimes expandable. On the other hand, human decency and morality is certainly not.

The fact that Arman Azha Abu Hanifah, a so-called ‘chief’ (or hoodlum?) of the youth wing of Perkasa is unable to differentiate between good manners and foul-mouthed behaviour, clearly proves the point that the damage is done after years of moral decay. And one has to assume that the role model of this Young Turk is none other than Dr. Mahathir himself. It is indeed sad and one does fear for the future of Malaysia.