Opposition politicians the perfect species?!
The trial proper hasn’t even started, which means that outside of those with the prosecution and possibly the defence, none of us knows what evidence they have against Lim. The evidence could turn out to be so unshakeable that no jury or judge could afford to set Lim free.
Aziz Hassan, The Mole
By their own reckoning, that is………….
MALAYSIAN politics is seldom without its titillating and amusing moments and there’ve been quite a few of those in the last few weeks.
Senior Umno politicians holding on to the end until they were eventually sacked instead of resigning based on a simple principle when they could not agree with what the party and its leader were doing. Another then quit, probably in anticipation of a sacking anyway.
The most recent big news was about the DAP’s Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng being charged on two counts of corruption.
The reactions within the opposition camp were loud and clear, though not entirely unexpected.
“Baseless charges and politically motivated” was the rallying cry, which to the DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara means that Lim can continue in his capacity as CM, unlike those Barisan Nasional politicians under investigation or charged in court that the opposition insisted should take leave of absence from office until the closure of those allegations against them.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah had her own smart reasoning as to why Lim need not go on leave until his case is disposed of — Lim is a leader of a state while those BN blokes served at the federal level and were in a position to influence the trial.
Go back some years and you’d recall that among the BN politicians the opposition wanted to take leave when allegations against them were being investigated included Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik (then Malacca chief minister), Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (at that time the Selangor mentri besar and now with the opposition) and another former Selangor mentri besar, Tan Sri Abu Hassan Omar. State leaders all, who had to go on leave but not because the opposition asked them to. They had to do that because their party boss decided so.
The point about a court case or a trial is that the prosecution must produce witnesses and evidence to prove guilt by the accused.
In Lim’s case, the trial proper hasn’t even started, which means that outside of those with the prosecution and possibly the defence, none of us knows what evidence they have against Lim. The evidence could turn out to be so unshakeable that no jury or judge could afford to set Lim free.
If that’s what it’ll be like at the end of the prosecution’s case, how can anyone say that the charges are baseless and politically motivated?
The problem with people — us – is that we hold the moral high ground only when it doesn’t implicate us. This being the case, it sounds perfectly alright to ask that someone be sacked or suspended from duty. But the same cannot apply when we are implicated or the subject of an allegation.
Which is why Malaysian politics and its cast have a long, long way to go before they can claim to have the maturity, fairness and level-headedness of fellow Commonwealth politicians in countries like Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
And this doesn’t give much hope to some of us who would like to see a viable option being made available for us to choose from, if indeed there are so many things that are not right with those people who now decide the route we are taking.
It should not only be a situation of replacing the government in power. It should be a case of being able to replace it with something better.
A political commentator with a daily newspaper recently quoted a Lim supporter who subsequently decided that he could no longer do that because he thought that Lim was no longer the simple, down-to-earth politician with a low-key lifestyle that he was before he became chief minister after the 2008 general election.
Which reminds me of a lunch arranged by a public relations friend with a client of his who was very familiar with the political goings-on in this country.
That was in the mid-80s and our conversation inevitably turned to a man who everyone said was a rising star in Umno and a favourite of the boss who would eventually be the boss himself.
Before we went any further, the man seated right in front of me added an afterthought: “But we can never be sure, I guess…… they say ‘power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely’”.