Is Malaysia’s politics all about leadership or self-wealth creation?

If you asked the former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir he would in all probability go to town with his success stories of the number of millionaires and billionaires he helped create. Never mind about the fact that these very billionaires are cashing out at the expense of the voiceless citizens.

If you asked the many ministers they would in all likelihood say what is wrong if my son, daughter, husband or wife made it good through government contracts?

And if that does not satisfy the querying mind, they would not hesitate to add that at least the rakyat now have better roads from JB to Alor Star.

If you took an inventory of the many politicians who have walked through the power-tunnels of BN, you would be looking for a needle in a haystack if you want to pin one man or woman who lived a modest lifestyle commensurate with the wages she or he receives. The one acceptation would be the Bapa Merdeka and of course the many unsung heroes within the hallways of the opposition parties.

Almost all the top guns at the helm of political power are big time self-wealth creators today. Almost all the top notch power-politicians have left silver spoons in the mouths of their offspring with handsome contracts and ventures to the tune of multi-billion ringgit, not to count the properties and shares. Some even had their novice children turned billionaires in their early twenties.

It leaves you with that feverish sense of understanding that in order to make it big time in life, you must ride a ticket under BN and your spouse or parent better be a BN politician at the helm.

But then again the Tun will rebut (as he did before), his children never got a finger of help from him but they are where they are through their own acumen.

Politicians keep forgetting that the humble rakyat are not living on tress and jumping from branch to branch.

This also gives you that frightening nightmare feeling that there are no men and women of acumen whose roots are of ordinary rakyat parentage. But what about all those ordinary folks’ bright and gifted children – where have they gone or ended up as? Oh, no; they cannot be the owners of wealth but remain as the coolies of wealth, Sir!

Yes the problem is wealth has become the driving force of political game-fare.

What it translates to is that politicians have long forgotten the magic of leadership. Leadership is no more equated with values, noble thoughts, self-sacrifice; neither is it one of walk the talk nor leadership by example.

Today leadership has been outlawed within the Malaysian politics especially that which is subscribed within BN. Wealth creation and wealth isolation has become the sole driving force and is seen as the only legitimate force to yield power and control.

The argument that probably will also be put forward is that if you do not have the money you cannot buy loyalty and patronage. And, when patronage is weak you will lose your power base.  

Malaysia’s abandoning of the welfare management of society and insatiable propensity to turn every service into a business miracle of sorts has only eroded the true value, meaning and purpose of leadership.

And without leadership, a country can only slide backwards on the slope of progress and nation building.   

The question that begs an honest answer is: Why do politicians eventually on being voted in get glued with business interests whereas they went to the polls screaming “I will do this for you” and “I promise to make your life better” to fish for votes?

In essence they sold promises of leadership but end up as champions of wealth creation. Therein lies the fatal failure of politics.


J. D. Lovrenciear

Kuala Lumpur