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Corrupt leaders pushing nation to the brink
Kudos to Akhbar Satar, the former president of Transparency International Malaysia, for once again calling out our politicians for their corrupt behaviour [Leaders must have intellectual honesty and sincerity.] It is not hard to understand his concerns given that corruption of all kinds is now blatant, persistent and pervasive. Political corruption, in particular, has become especially ruinous.

Indeed, every time we think we’ve seen it all, dishonourable politicians find a way to take unethical behaviour to new heights, find new ways to give expression to their greed and lust for power and profit. In the process, they have tainted our national institutions and made a mockery of our democracy.

A deadly pandemic stalks the land; thousands have lost their jobs; people are experiencing real pain and hardship and our politicians can only think of themselves, their ambitions, their agendas, their perks. 

They have rewarded themselves with more cabinet positions than any other government in history. They’ve appointed themselves to more high-paying sinecures in GLCs than any previous administration. They have salaries that most hard-working Malaysians cannot even dream of in addition to duty-free cars and expense accounts. Many of them enjoy lives of unimaginable luxury with holiday homes abroad and garages full of expensive vehicles. Their bank accounts are so bloated that RM2 million is but “loose change” to them. If a law was passed today forbidding anyone with more than RM50 million from holding political office, many seats in parliament would no doubt have to be vacated.

But even all that is not enough to persuade them to put aside their ambitions for once and start serving the people. Their lust for power is pushing the nation closer and closer to the abyss. They are not fighting over ideology or policy nor for principle or some noble cause; it’s just a mad scramble for power.

Of course, they go on and on about “saving” the nation and “ serving” the people and wax eloquent about “bangsa, agama dan negara” but who are they kidding? They are so disconnected from the lives of ordinary Malaysians that they are incapable of hearing the cries of distressed citizens or empathising with their plight. The politicians have become the problem; the question many are asking these days is who will save us from them? If only we could do what Italian voters did recently — sack half the members of parliament and demand greater accountability from the rest of them.

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