A fraudulent culture?

Posted on 12 May 2013 – 08:36pm

Halimah Mohd Said


THEY say it takes a thief to catch a thief! By the same token, does it not also take a fraud to catch a fraud? Going by the number of people in the social media and elsewhere who believe there was fraud, pre and post elections, it appears as though Malaysians are all too familiar with fraudulent practices and are able to confirm them without proper investigation. A very disturbing development if indeed we are developing a fraudulent culture.

A couple of stories about the indelible ink on some fingers being immediately washable were enough for Facebookers to shout “fraud”; a few pictures of people in the queue who looked like foreign nationals were sufficient for them to conclude “fraudulent voters”; one or two uninvestigated blackouts made them scream “electrical fraudulence”. As quickly as the stories were posted came a barrage of comments all accusing the authorities of electoral fraud – a very serious offence if found to be true. The most disturbing thing was that the netizens spread the rumour and slander with impunity, not with the responsibility of citizens who would report any perceived illegality for it to be properly investigated.

There’s no doubt that as an electorate, we are maturing as we become better informed. Thanks to the accessibility of information on the internet there has been an awakening as we are more educated about our rights as individuals and as citizens. As a result, Malaysians can’t wait to exercise their right to become fully participatory in the democratic process. However, instead of equipping themselves with real knowledge as they pause to verify information and gather conclusive evidence, they have fallen into the trap of bitsy news gathering and quick dissemination.

The onslaught of cyber information that comes with such rapidity and frequency on news portals, blogs, Facebook and Twitter has made many netizens incapable of real-time reasoning as they tick “Like” or post a quick comment. Staring into their laptops, iPads and smart phones has made the cyber troopers hasty as they are encouraged to skim and scan information rather than read and mull over things in depth. Without their realising it, people who are net savvy are being trained to glean information that they subjectively deem relevant and to discard the rest. A lop-sided cognitive development indeed!

Just as they have hastily allowed themselves to be exploited on the net through the countless YouTubes and videos, netizens are happily skirting around logic to apply thread-bare analogies and far-fetched syllogisms to determine the credibility of information. The trend now is to believe those who cry loudest for change. The oft-repeated phrase is “a picture tells a thousand words”. But few seem to care if the pictures are indeed authentic and not many are prepared to investigate if they could have been deliberately created by the “other” side. Nobody will admit that like the crime of corruption, fraud works both ways and can be committed by either side.

As Malaysians stand poised to herald in a new government, those of us who still have our old-world conscience are imbued with a melancholic sadness to see our beloved nation torn apart by the clamouring for change and transformation, even if it means being fraudulent. For those who have contributed/are contributing their blood and sweat to ensure the nation’s evolution into a mature democracy, the groundswell of people demanding quick change is frightening.

More so when they are tearing down the fabric of civil society through a combination of rabble-rousing and street demonstrations. A true democracy and an enlightened civilization cannot be attained overnight or perpetuated by a culture that builds hate in the minds and hearts of the people. Sowing resentment against the government that has pledged to transform the nation and its people for the better defies logic. It destroys rather than builds the peace and harmony essential for Malaysia’s greater development.

It is my fervent hope that the prime minister in his wisdom will choose the right men and women to helm the new cabinet and government. To ensure the credibility of his team and the rakyat’s continuing support, it is of the utmost important that he chooses people with a clean slate. To answer the clarion call for a cleaner, uncorrupted and incorruptible government, Najib’s cabinet line-up must be able to withstand the greatest public scrutiny.

If indeed we are serious about transforming the nation, it must be reflected in the people that lead the way.

If fraudulence and corruption is what we want to rid the nation of, we must ensure our leaders do not exhibit or uphold such lowly traits. When Malaysians say they are against fraud and corruption, it must be reflected in the leaders that they choose. We must search deep in our souls to ask what is it we really want.


4 Responses to “FRAUD”

  1. 1 suabdullah
    May 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Excellent !

  2. 2 hak55
    May 13, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    So, it’s the leaders, especially those in the government, at all levels, who must ensure that there’s no fraudulent practices whatsoever when governing the country!

  3. 3 jay
    May 13, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    prime minister has wisdom…..didn’t exhibit it in choice of certain candidates
    or in attributing reasons for the showing to tsunamis…

  4. 4 ninitalk
    May 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Yes hak55 and jay! Leaders set the tone by way of national policies and philosophies; they implement plans and programmes to realise the national vision, mission and objectives; they promote national values and principles by way of their action, conduct and behaviour. Their every move is open to public scrutiny because they are the people tasked with leading the nation and its people. It is right that the people ask and expect the greatest commitment and responsibility from them.

    The people themselves are not exempt from all these requirements. We are equally responsible for the well-being, development and progress of the nation; we must uphold the values and principles that make the nation strong; our own personal integrity contributes to the sum total of the integrity of our nation. If we want an enlightened civilisation we must ourselves be enlightened.

    If we have fraudulent and corrupted Malaysians who support fraudulent and unprincipled leaders, we will have a fraudulent and corrupted nation. If we support rabble-rousers and street demonstrators, it shows we are not prepared to think carefully.

    So, while we wait for the PM and his Cabinet to chart the country’s development for the next 5 years we ourselves must persevere in guiding the way forward by giving helpful/constructive ideas. Yes – be as critical and as scrutinising as all citizens must be. Don’t shirk our rights and responsibilities by passing the buck each time an issue or a crisis arises.

    Give me some good ideas!

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