Of Corruption Or Of Hope?

There is corruption in Malaysia, though it was still at the first stage during my time, that is, the corrupt officers still hid their acceptance because they feared being apprehended or they did not like doing wrong openly,”  Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, January 27, 2009 (Bernama)

Now the officers do it openly and it is the way of life for us today. As you know, I have my own grievances with corruption. According to the Grand Old Man of Malaysia Politics, corruption is actually a social disease and it exists everywhere around the world.

Now if a Statesman (though a terribly flawed one) like of his caliber can say this, then what is the meaning of life now? Should we or should we not succumb to the pressures of corruption?

Last month we observed the political crisis that was (and still) brewing over first the cross-over of an UMNO Perak assemblyman to PKR. Later we witnessed the sudden disappearances of 2 PKR assemblymen who were suspected of jumping over to UMNO. The last few days ago, the Prime Minister hints on announcing the PKR duo crossover only to be sullied by the resignation letters that PKR held since the March 8 elections. PKR apparently made their candidates pre-signed their resignations as conditions in order to qualify as party candidates. The MB of Perak today met with the Sultan of Perak for 25 minutes to discuss the recent events. RPK has got these to say:

“The Perak Menteri Besar is currently in an audience with the Sultan of Perak to brief Tuanku on the current political crisis in Perak. Will the MB seek Tuanku’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly so that fresh state elections can be held? I hope so. I think that fresh state elections should be held instead of just two by-elections in Behrang and Changkat Jering. Then, once and for all, Pakatan Rakyat can embark on a ‘house-cleaning’ exercise. All those unstable and suspect Wakil Rakyat can be dropped and replaced with more qualified candidates. As is stands now, some of the Pakatan Rakyat Wakil Rakyat sucks and I would not even trust them to walk my dog.”  Raja Petra Kamaruddin, February 2, 2009, Corridors of Power

“It may already be a foregone conclusion that the two PKR State Assemblymen from Perak would rather not go to jail. Never mind if they face fabricated charges and were set up. You still go to jail. Would you rather go to jail or accept power and plenty of money? Many would rather choose power and money over jail, unfortunately.”       Raja Petra Kamaruddin, February 1, 2009, No Holds Barred

I believe what RPK is saying. Hence his quotes above. Right now I find him to be Malaysia’s democratic conscience. How can one dispute the words of the man who risked his own personal freedom by holding steadfast to his principles? And how can one not help admire his audacity to dream and hope for a better Malaysia? 

Anyway, the leadership method in Malaysia has got to change. We should encourage politicians that aren’t  ready made millionaires and that they’re there for the people. The saddest thing about politics is that many of the leaders are in it for the power and money. Only a handful I find are there for the people.

Here’s a good excerpt from an interesting book:

” Absent great personal wealth, there is basically one way of raising the kind of money involved in the U.S. Senate race. You have to ask rich people for it. In the first three months of my campaign, I would shut myself in a room with my fund-raising assistant and cold-call previous Democratic donors. It was not fun. Sometimes people would hang up on me. More often their secretary would take a message and I wouldn’t get a return call, and I would call back two or three times until either I gave up or the person I was calling finally answered and gave me the courtesy of a person-to-person rejection. I started engaging in elaborate games of avoidance during call time-frequent bathroom breaks, extended coffee runs, suggestions to my policy staff that we fine-tune that education speech for the third and fourth time. At times during these sessions I thought of my grandfather, who in middle age had sold life insurance but wasn’t good at it. I recalled his anguish whenever he tried to schedule appointments with people who would rather have had a root canal than talk to an insurance agent, as well as the disapproving glances he received from my grandmother, who for most of their marriage made more money than he did.” Barrack Obama, The Audacity Of Hope (pages 110-111, Canongate Books,paperback 2008) 

In the end, the US Senator for Illinois became the 44th President of the United States of America. Pick up the book and read it, if you got time. President Obama is everyone’s inspiration right now especially at this trying times. For more on President Barrack Obama click here.

To conclude I understand that in life we are challenged everyday with the choices we make whether it is for good or bad. Whichever one we decide, we’ll always have to face the consequences and those decisions will help shape our destiny. With this, I will always choose hope over corruption.


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