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!


3 Responses to “”

  1. 1 ninitalk
    March 31, 2010 at 7:46 pm


    The reality is that many Malaysian leaders both men and women in Malaysia commit adultry. The less descrete ones get caught. Are not the many who are not caught equally to guilty?
    . It is the same world over. Just look at Tiger Woods.

    What right do we have to condemn anyone including our Prime Minister for their past deeds.
    People change and sometime for the better. Look at Christianity and Islam which preaches that once you have accepted God as your saviour all your past deeds are forgiven. … See More
    Even Bhuddism that declares that you have to pay for your bad karma(actions) but you can reduce the moral retribution by doing good needs and keeping away from evil action.
    Let us not be the judge and jury when even the gods can forgive

    Great obervations on your part. Good.

    i think we should not lose our focus on what leadership is all about. i could not care less about tiger woods bedroom exploits because he’s not the pope and his golf is all that matters. political leaders should be looked at their past service records or for the new ones, at the promise of service. what goes on in private is their business. for the… See More same reason men of the cloth (pas?) have no business being in politics because that would make them the biggest liars. moral politics? what an oxymoron!

    Malaysian voters whether they are Malays, Chinese, Indians or other ethnic groups do not really care what misdeeds their leaders had done but what their leaders can do for them. Religion plays second fiddle to politics in most cases. To them a ‘good’ leader is someone who cares and get things done for them though he maybe corrupted, engulfed in sex… See More scandals or other moral issues. I remember years ago a certain charismatic politician was jailed for corruption and while serving his term in prison was still elected by the delegates at the AGM as one of the Vice-Presidents! You are spot on when you said Malaysians are ready to forgive and forget not only for private (but to me) public misdeeds for the sake ofthe current public good! By the way if we really evaluate each and every leaders we have for their misdeeds probably very few will pass the evaluation tests……very sad situation eh?

    KA My thoughts exactly. Lets leave our sex lives in the bedroom and do things that will benefit the greatest number of people

    Is it really that difficult to lead a moral life?

    I’m not talking about being religious here but being good and doing good according to acceptable socio-cultural norms and practices. Adultery and corruption are unacceptable in most religions and societies. The fact that many people are doing it does not make it right or acceptable. Thay are still forms of abuse albeit committed privately.

    If you want to stretch the argument, then stealing, cheating, telling lies, beating up your wife etc which are done in private are also OK…. See More

    When you are in a leadership position, especially of government you are obliged to observe a code of morality, ethics, conduct and behaviour so that you can lead effectively and instil the necessary moral order in society. You must at least aspire to some acceptable standard! This is the essence of a credible leadership!

    Otherwise why bother to have law and order at all! Let us just wine, dine, sing, dance and be merry.And record them on DVDs!

  2. 2 Gopal Raj Kumar
    April 2, 2010 at 6:57 am

    In a secular society which Malaysia is, there is little room for morality to rule over law. The argument is an old though simplistic one and fraught with problems when one considers the origins of legislation and our laws. Our laws after all like England’s from where it came, can be traced back to the ‘ten commandments’ and its various interpretations in the Judaen Christian context. Islam in all of its branches like Christianity and Judaism is part of that group. Enough said on that score.

    Criticisms leveled at UMNO, the Barisan and at successive Malaysian governments of the Barisan coalition would lead an independent outsider to conclude that Malaysia is and has only been ruled by a bunch of Malays since independence. And there could be nothing further from the truth than that assumption. But it is convenient to repeat that lie. Convenient for some.

    The inconvenient truth and selective amnesia suffered by critics of Malays tend to forget the incredible treachery and perfidy of certain non Malay communities in and out of government in sabotaging the politics and economy through promoting racial disharmony to the point Malays and Malaysia had to give up their most prized possession all those years ago in the world’s most strategic natural harbour port to satisfy the demands of a racial minority who continue to undermine racial stability of peninsula and merged (Borneo) Malaysia to this day.

    The argument about the NEP distorting and corrupting the Malaysian economy continues unabated without balance in the alternative media in Malaysia and in Malaysia alone. The alternative media and the Malaysian Bar tend to exaggerate this position in their anti Malay attacks by quoting unnamed sources in places like the US and Britain who purportedly express their displeasure at Malaysia’s ‘unequal treatment of its minorities’ to justify their otherwise ridiculous assumptions about racial inequality.

    What’s never been questioned within Malaysia and disappointingly so by its many educated Malays, the brunt of these thinly veiled acts of racial vilification against them, is the individual morality and the cultural differences between Malays and the other two races who when convenient call themselves Malaysians.

    The dichotomy of the Chinese/ Malaysian morality as expressed in the examples you have raised in your article is more than mere food for thought. It is provocative and strikes at the core of the issues that tears at the heart of the country’s political and now socio economic fabric.

    Yes there is room for forgiveness and inclusiveness amongst the Malays much to their detriment I might add. And every time something goes wrong or awry in the country it is the Malays not the Barisan as a coalition of the three groups who are targeted.

    What’s not questioned and at least not till now is the mercenary the devil may care morality of this most vocal crowd of Malaysian Chinese and their attitudes towards the Malays in their criticisms demanding a different standard and morality when any criticism or failure is attributed to the Malay. It is not UMNO, it is not the Barisan it is the Malay. It is a race issue and it is about time someone put it into context.

    For some reason it is virtuous for a Chinese to steal and to pillage and pilfer (if thats what Eric Cheah is meant to have done), yet and at the risk of being cliched its “Lembu punya susu….” Dr. Mahathir got the blame for it. The same with respect to Vincent’s alleged sins, Dr. Mahathir was supposedly the culprit and the list goes on.

    As always the evidence in all of these allegations tend to point to racial vilification rather than fair political commentary in the alternative media in Malaysia.

    An outstanding case in point is that Behemoth of ignorance one NH Chan a retired High Court judge. His judgements and oration leave a lot to be decided. The man’s legal commentary and his public oration available on You Tube in my view is testimony to his very poor understanding of the law and his total lack of knowledge or skills in its interpretation and application.

    Yet he is held to be “that great legal mind, that great judge” and every other clichéd hackneyed phrase one could find to make him look virtuous and smart simply because he is a non Malay sniping at Malays. This whole issue of corruption is one of racial vilification. Not there are no corrupt Malays or Indians. But as the old saying goes, “People in glass houses……”

    As always it is refreshing to find an article on the subject so tactfully written, the evidence so cogently assembled and expressed and the overall tone rather than an attack on the Chinese and everything Chinese placed so carefully in its context for a reasonable person reading it to understand the issues in context.


    Gopal Raj Kumar

  3. 3 ninitalk
    April 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Awesome points you’ve made GRK to counter all the Malay/ Muslim bashing that has become the order of the day!

    People forget and dismiss the strides that have been by Malaysia in the first 50 years of its post-Independnce development. Now they take development for granted and “cry murder” if there’s any slowing down.

    The government can do no right even when the people’s rice bowls spill over in greed and waste.They cry for more and more! And what do they give in return – SPITE!

    For as long as the government, its civil service and enforcement agencies comprise one majority race and the business community the other, there’ll always be suspicion and jealousy and doubt and accusation about their biases and prejudices.

    There has to major transformations in integration efforts!

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