(Politicians and soiled diapers need to be changed often and for the same reason – image source: http://davies.lohudblogs.com)
We elect politicians into office so that they can be our servants and not be our masters. We elect politicians so that they can make the best deal for the rakyat, not to make the best deal for themselves.
What is needed from the elected politicians at end of the day is accountability and transparency – it is simple as that. We admit that in the course of performing their duties to serve the people, politicians are entitled to certain perks and allowances, depending on the quality of work, of course.
The Prime Minister for example can enjoy the escort of the police outriders when he needs to run through the traffic during peak hours (although we wish that he could take the public transport once in a while and see how fucked up the system is).
We are not complaining about the politicians if things are done by the book.
And talking about doing things by the book, there have been interesting developments in the area of accountability and transparency by the politicians – one is on the leaked Cabinet papers and the other on the very purpose of SELCAT and its direction
On the cabinet papers, they are now going after the one who leaked the information:-
Police investigations into the posting of classified Cabinet papers on the Internet will focus more on where the leak occurred rather than who was responsible for making them public, said Home Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
The Cabinet paper is looking at the PKFZ scandal and we have been waiting for the many investigations by many parties (MACC, police, cabinet, PAC, etc) to come to an end and get the ‘sons-of-bitches (words inspired by General George S Patton) who have squandered the millions to be caught and punished severely.
The last thing we need is for the PKFZ scandal to come to closure without anyone brought out into the open and be accountable. We do not need the loss of millions simply swept under the carpet in the usual Malaysia Boleh spirit.
The latest spat over Selangor’s Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) shows that there is a power tussle between the Mentri Besar and state assembly Speaker, says Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.
Once again Khir Toyo is playing the racial card to overshadow the ‘good’ work that SELCAT have done to date to uncover the blatant corruption and misuse of public funds during Khir Toyo’s helm at the administration of the state. One must admit that if not for a change of state government, the blatant use of public funds by politicians would have gone unnoticed.
Hasan Ali said:-
“Investigations which involved degrading methods that affect the dignity of the people being questioned and elements of pressure did not reflect the philosophy of SELCAT,” he said in a statement yesterday.
As a result of such tactics, he said many senior civil servants had lost their sense of self-worth and their morale was low.
Hasan Ali may have good points in his argument to improve SELCAT but the problem is if many senior civil servants have done their job well and without the inclination to still work for or being pressured by the previous government, we will not be hearing blatant and gross recklessness like this:-
A district officer today revealed that Barisan National (BN) assemblymen under his jurisdiction had misused their state allocations ahead of the March 8 general elections last year.
Earlier Petaling District Officer Datuk Zulkepli Ahmad was at a loss to explain how approval for state allocations for BN lawmakers was given even after the state assembly was dissolved and even after the new PR state government was sworn-in.
There was a clear case of misuse of public funds in both cases – the PKFZ scandal and in the findings of SELCAT. What is yet to be finalised is the extent and the implications.
In recent developments in both cases, what is being feared is whether the truth will be lost and the guilty ones will get away unpunished, once again. In Malaysia, despite being a more developed country and have developed arms of government and having specialised enforcement agencies like the MACC (previously ACA), we are not much better than some 3rd world countries where corruption rules and no one ends up being accountable or answerable.
It is akin to the politician’s mission to Mars – there is a lot of work to be done and a change of attitude before we can say we are a corruption-free country. Otherwise, it will be the loss of millions every year in, year out.