For an observer of Malaysian politics, perhaps not sufficiently tutored in the intricate logic of certain moral standpoints, the thundering condemnations against others made by some of the country’s least worthy political characters can be somewhat jaw-dropping.
From UMNO, many of whose top leaders are rightly facing countless charges of criminality, hardly a day goes by when one of these exposed politicians does not criticise others for moral failings they blatantly share themselves.
For example, just this weekend their present leader Zahid, whose party has bought and sold ‘frog’ politicians for decades as a standard solution to losing elections, furiously denounced his fellow “hopping reptiles” for doing just that (he meant amphibians, but best to leave qualification for office to a separate commentary).
Ex-PM Najib, meanwhile, entertains daily with his ludicrous attacks on the competence and probity of the present government, which is still struggling to get the entire economy back on track following years of plunder and destruction caused by his own brazen billion dollar thefts.
Then turn to PKR, where an insanely ambitious number two has spent the last year and a half torpedoing the reform agenda – and indeed any talk of actual policy to benefit the people – in favour of a boring and relentless campaign to substitute himself for the party leadership that was signed up to by the entire coalition (including himself and his acolytes) and sanctioned by the electorate at the last election.
Despite this betrayal of his own commitment, the fellow and his gang choose to harp on daily about the apparently unacceptable ambition of the party president for seeking to fulfil what was agreed by all, which was to lead this largest party into government and carry out the reform agenda laid out in its manifesto.
Plagued by financial and other questionmarks over his own character (that ought to preclude any aspirations for high office altogether) this number two likes nothing better than to whisper into any ear he gets near to about the allegedly nefarious and evil doings of his boss. He can’t talk about these awful things out loud, say his sorrowful followers, he can only hint his poison to privileged confidants in order to explain his own treachery, which is how the likes of Sarawak Report get to hear about the rumours second and third hand.
Why can’t he spell his allegations out loud? If there are dreadful things we ought to know about the President of PKR (worse than what we already know about the person who wants to take his place) then why is he failing to alert the public? Why does he keep these shocking matters to himself and constantly fail to bring proof of his hair raising allegations to those key party players he is seeking to turn and influence, merely relying on rumour spreading and ‘insider’ innuendo?
Why does he not bring his proof of misdeeds (worse than his own?) to Sarawak Report or better still the authorities?
The moral platform for such politicians is the same. It is OK for me to be corrupt, to cheat or to be personally ambitious to the neglect of all my public duties, but everyone else can be condemned by me for sharing the same traits. For simple observers with less complicated morals it is most confusing.
Likewise, PAS politicians preach religious peity, humility and simple living and yet at the same time drive around (and occasionally drive aground) the smartest most expensive cars available, whilst refusing, as if it were an insult, to declare their wealth in accordance with reforming legislation designed to curb corrupt politicians.
PAS say they have found the reasons for their objections against declaring assets in their holy book. The rest of the world is still looking for the chapter they could possibly be referring to.
At the top of this strange moral connundrum resides an elderly gentleman, who on the one hand adopts the role of national treasure but on the other plays politics like poker, which is a game of ruthless deception.
Malaysians deserve better than a bunch of self-serving hypocrites on the make for their leadership and they have made clear they know it in the recent by-election, by even voting back a representative of the dirtiest most corrupted kleptocratic union in the world of politics – its poster-boy being Najib – to make their point.
These fake moralist politicians from all sides have been rumbled by the voters who have learned from their own leaders how to be ruthless. So, it is time for this lot to stand aside for those who have shown they are willing to put their country and the people before themselves, their positions, aspirations for wealth, projects, patronage and all the rest.
People are bored and sick of it and will make them pay if they do not.