The country leadership and institutions are going through a credibility crisis and Tunku Abdul Aziz’s statement does not help to resolve the situation, says Ronald Benjamin.
Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim’s description of the Bersih 4 rally as a manifestation of Chinese disdain for the Malays as reported in the media is not only simplistic, but also raises a pertinent question as to whether he is fit to be an MACC adviser.
How can issues of substance such as corruption and accountability that were brought up by the protesters be construed as something against the Malays? Is this not the narrative of the top Umno leadership, which continues to deceive the Malays by creating an ethnic divide on issues of corruption to stay in power at all costs?
Tunku Aziz seems to be emotional and this, in my opinion, makes him unfit to be MACC adviser. The 1MDB issue is still under investigation, and will Tunku Aziz’s statement influence the investigation as the outcome may now be construed as a challenge to the Malays?
One has to understand the true meaning of independence. The nation was built after independence with the help of all communities. Issues such as corruption and abuse of power are the concern of every human being who has a conscience. These issues should not be manipulated through ethno-centric manoeuvring that would hold the nation continuously hostage to ethno-centric elites who want to stay in power at all costs.
The absence of substantial number of Malays during Bersih 4 does not mean that they do not support efforts for a clean government. The turmoil in Umno proves there are Malays who are not happy with blind loyalty and would like Umno to be line with high standards of governance.
Is this not what the Bersih gathering was about? The true meaning of Merdeka is not merely about sentiments; it is about building institutions of high moral and ethical standards, capable of taking the nation upstream with shared values.
A common culture that abhors corruption is what that individuals like Tunku Aziz should care about. If he had spoken about the importance of empathy towards the other during a significant celebration such as Merdeka, his message could have been accepted. Instead he chose an ethnic response to Bersih 4, which he personally had not been in favour of, using a political expression that would resonate with the agenda of those in power.
Tunku Aziz’s line of thinking does not augur well for multiethnic unity in the country. It is time he reflects on his role as MACC adviser. The country’s leadership and institutions are going through a credibility crisis, and his statement does not help to resolve the situation.