There are some things in the world that do not change, and amongst the things that stay constant are the dreams of children. They tend to view the world with sparkling eyes, seeing the good in many, and possessing of both supreme confidence and big dreams.
This can be seen by the question that so many people who have had the privilege of a peaceful country and education from a kindergarten level onwards would have been asked at least once: what do you want to do when you grow up? It is safe to say that in spite of the more unusual selections, the choices would usually include doctors, firefighters, and the police force.
Hardly surprisingly, very few would actually consciously choose to be politicians – or at least, not for the greater good of the society, at any rate. Even most adults would hesitate to choose such a path, even though our authority figures – from the politicians, civil service, the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM), the Election Commission, amongst them – actually do have important functions to fulfil.
In fact, it has become quite common nowadays for people to automatically view any utterance from the top officials with a healthy dose of scepticism. When one top official mentioned that the government wants to manage Malaysia’s financial position in a responsible and prudent manner, people would be forgiven for snorting, considering that every single budget in virtually the past decade is in deficit – necessitating large supplementary budgets within the financial year itself.
Now that in itself would be forgivable, were it not for the fact that the Auditor-General has consistently reported anomalies and wasteful spending over the past few years – and nothing seems to be done about curbing such excesses and wastefulness.
In yet another instance, certain officials from main political party Umno distanced themselves from the loutish red shirt brigade that has been stirring trouble at the pre-Bersih peaceful protest gatherings, claiming that they were not involved.
Unfortunately for the official, there are numerous photos and videos of him attending and participating in the very shenanigans that he claims to have nothing to do with him. How else do you reconcile the fact that the head lout is an inflammatory, titled individual who is clearly a prominent member of the party?
The recent sting operation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) also lacks plausibility. You mean to say that a mere few months after a new management reshuffle, you have managed to solve a case that was never even saw the merest hint of news before – which is frankly impossible, given Malaysia’s penchant addiction to gossip and scandal?
And that you counted money physically, even though you clearly have a multi-million ringgit budget that can afford to buy bank-note counting machines that cost less than RM500?
That isn’t even counting the number of Malaysians who victims of robbery. The PDRM’s claims that the number of crime reports have gone down is less an effect of crime reduction, and more a result of people getting fed up of writing reports that yield no results.
And if the opposition parties think that they are free from being tarred by this same brush, I’ve got news for you – you too have your share of rude racist rabble rousers, as well a distinct lack of vim when your proposed policies and suggestions are turned back upon yourselves.
People now are more educated and less timid than before. They know that respect has to be earned – and arrogance is not the coin that should be bartered, regardless which side of the political divide you are on.
Look, it’s very simple: walk the talk. Treat everyone the same, in a professional, courteous, and unbiased manner – meaning you throw the book at whoever did wrong, regardless of their status. Then, people will sing you praises in glorious harmony. As it is, all that results from the status quo behaviour is harping all around – a very sour note.