It’s all about money – illicit, fraudulent, unethically secured, deployed and even stashed away money that is rocking this stricken nation.
As you scan the news reports about the millions of ringgit in cash paid out to so many individuals within the political circles (or circus), it is easy to understand why the people are suffering so much today.
Look at how senior civil servants have been found to have gold bars, currencies, jewellery and branded bags stashed away in their homes. Now imagine how many more such individuals have happily retired and remain unrevealed.
What is mind-boggling and shameful is that in Malaysia, you can return the stolen money and be absolved!
“Yes, I took the money but have returned it” or “I have already resigned from my chairmanship lah so I cannot be held accountable” or “Come check my bank account lah” or the infamous, common claim “No, I did not get such millions, it is a lie!”
These are the counter-claims we read about in the corruption cases involving politicians and politically harnessed civil servants, who try to bleach their wrongdoings.
Simply put, both the givers and takers have betrayed the people, including so many migrant workers who get fleeced as well.
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How long more will we be dragged through the mud and slime of corrupt conduct?
How long more will we be able to cushion all the robberies, bearing in mind it is the people’s money that is being taken?
Come to think of it, the billions of ringgit now needed but unavailable to subsidise essential goods and fuel and to create meaningful jobs for the people in these times of hyper-inflation and a looming recession have been stolen by corrupt politicians, political appointees, their kith and kin, and civil servants.
Yes, stolen. You can call it political funding, share allocations, ‘investments’, kickbacks or whatever – it is still money belonging to the people that they are now deprived of.
As MP Mat Sabu recently hollered in Parliament, Malaysia is on the same trajectory of Sri Lanka, if the people here do not pull the brakes now.
We are talking of decades of stolen money, not just those cases languishing within the Palace of Justice or at the attorney general’s office or being investigated by the authorities, as is often claimed.
We are talking of the many decades-old culture of ‘What’s is in it for me?’ that has robbed this nation of a glorious past and future.
We are a rich, blessed nation that is impoverished today.
But we continue to allow ourselves to fall prey to the mantras of religious divisiveness and intolerance, along with deepening racial animosity, that have proven to be the most effective political weapons of power.
If we want to survive on daun ubi kayu (cassava leaves) and sambal belacan in the not-too-distant future, then let us, in our self-inflicted blindness, happily live with such blatant theft at all levels.
Look at social media – we are still laughing, joking and merely shaking our heads when we bump into others and talk about the state of corruption in the country.
Even civil society leaders are on edge, trying to figure out why even the 1MDB scandal has become a fashion statement of sorts. How else do you explain the ‘Malu apa, bossku’ (what’s there to be ashamed of, boss) phenomenon?
How long more, oh Malaysia? How long more can we allow our beloved nation, its resources and its people to be exploited like this?