INTEGRATION VERSUS INTEGRITY
It looks like Malaysians are not yet ready to walk the talk with integrity and morality! At least not those who participate actively in politics at the grassroots level!
It seems that on the political chess board, integration and unity win the day and crown their kings. Integrity is relegated to the back seat or dumped totally as Malaysians choose their leaders. Chua Soi Lek’s promise of uniting the feuding MCA factions and integrating the dishevelled members of the Chinese component party is far more urgent in BN’s development than questions about his immorality.
The victory of the morally-tainted Chua Soil Lek and the rejection of the upright Ong Tee Kiat provide an inkling of what the Malaysian political psyche is all about. At least the Chinese psyche! They are prepared to forgive and forget past private misdeeds for the sake of the current public good! Political expediency at its best one can say!
In the Astro Awani interview immediately after the results were announced on Sunday, the two young Chinese guests (an MCA Youth leader and a political analyst) concluded that the young voters especially are not judgemental about moral issues but rate the performance and pro-activeness of the Chinese leaders in looking after the interest of their community. Soi Lek’s sexual jaunts on camera and the act of adultery it represents are of no consequence to a section of the MCA delegates as the man gives his word that he will deliver MCA to greater heights.
Not so long ago, a similar phenomenon occurred in UMNO when Isa Samad, found guilty of money politics and suspended from the party, made a triumphant return when he won the Teluk Kemang seat hands down. Then, Isa’s promise of restoring the grassroots support for UMNO and the balance in the Negeri Sembilan EXCO convinced the UMNO leadership that he was the right candidate. To his grassroots supporters Isa was indeed their man as he attended to their demands and fulfilled their needs!
Isn’t this what political leadership is all about! Listen to the people! Give them what they want! Fulfil their needs!
Aren’t these the national goals? Transform the economy! Build the infrastructure! Eradicate poverty! Integrate the people! Reform the education system! Reduce the crime rate! Fight corruption! Restore integrity!
It looks like meeting the challenges of physical development hands-on is far easier than grappling with the ills of moral depravation. Telling the people that we are going to be a great nation is easier than telling them that they are not such a great people where their moral values are concerned.
The high tolerance that Malaysians have for corruption – monetary, sexual, criminal, political etc – will ensure that the country’s development will be to no avail if we are perceived as a nation and as a people with low morals and even lower integrity!
It looks like being innovative is far simpler than being introspective!