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Be accountable at home first

 | August 14, 2012

It is hard to believe that our politicians are so caught up with serving the rakyat that they fail to keep up with developments back home.

COMMENT

Are the politicians of this country too busy leading charmed lives that they cannot care less what felonies their spouses and children commit? Is it asking too much for these politicians to practise what they preach to the people instead of becoming experts at spewing rhetoric?

From the look of things, it is certain that most politicians, if not all, have no respect for the rakyat, the very people who form their political backbone and determine their political destiny.

When Mohamad Nedim Mohd Nazri Aziz, the son of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz conveniently hit a security supervisor of the plush Mont Kiara condominum in March this year, what came out of that episode?

The perpetrator got away scot- free all because he is an “anak menteri” (minster’s son), leaving the management of the condominium to bear the brunt should it dare take Nazri’s son to task for physically assaulting its staff.

Disregarding authority is not the only speciality of the offspring of politicians, more so if the politician holds a ministerial post. In Mohamad Nedim’s case, he drove a Porsche and was in possession of his father Nazri’s business cards. Why would Nazri allow his son access to his official name cards, which clearly were being used for the wrong reason?

Or does Nazri and his family lead “independent lives”, as does former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and her family?

Having held the Women, Family and Community Development portfolio for years, Shahrizat, while busy advising the rakyat on what is good for them, forgot that “charity begins at home”.

Perhaps politician-turned-ministers like Nazri and Shahrizat are so engrossed with leading a charmed life that they have lost all interest in keeping track of their family’s development.

The “family independence”, however, cost Shahrizat her ministerial seat after she was implicated in the alleged corruption linked to the National Feedlot Corporation led by her husband Mohamad Salleh Ismail as executive chairman, while the couple’s son Wan Shahinur Izran and two other children served as directors.

It was this “independent lives” lifestyle that resulted in this minister not knowing where her son drove to work every day or what he worked as.

Shahrizat is also suing PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli and PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin for RM100 million over comments that allegedly implicated her in the NFCorp debacle.

The 2010 Auditor-General’s Report revealed that the RM250 million government-funded cattle-breeding project called the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) had failed to meet its objectives, which are to boost the production of beef and reduce beef imports.

Be accountable at home first

It is hard to believe that our politicians are so caught up with serving the rakyat that they fail to keep up with developments back home.

Nazri’s son drove a Porsche and his bodyguard a luxury MPV. Was Nazri not perturbed that the rakyat would question his son’s ability to own such luxury at such a young age?

Did it also not cause Nazri to lose sleep knowing that his son had no fear taking the law into his hands?

Likewise, did it not bother Shahrizat when her husband purchased a Mercedes Benz CLS 350 CGI (worth RM535,000), the RM13.8 million One Menerong condominium in Bangsar and two other condominums in Singapore’s upscale Marina Bay Suites, Central Boulevard and two plots of land in Putrajaya?

How will Shahrizat explain the family’s high-end restaurant Brawn Steakhouse located in Singapore?

More importantly, how did it miss Shahrizat’s attention that her family was making so many “expensive” purchases?

Clearly, the excuse that she and her family lead “independent lives” as Shahrizat told the High Court in her RM100 million defamation suit against Rafizi and Zuraida is not going to work.

Instead, this revelation has opened up a can of worms, foretelling just how irresponsible our politicians are when it comes to being accountable and transparent.

Stop mixing business with pleasure

Shahrizat, who still remains the Wanita Umno chief, has disappointed the rakyat whom she, during her decade-old ministerial days, kept advising to always be in the know about their family’s whereabouts.

How did Shahrizat forget to practise what she preaches? Or was it all about being a politician first, not a people’s leader?

Likwise, has Nazri also forgotten that a good upbringing leads to good conscience?

Nazri and Shahrizat are not the only ones who have failed and betrayed the rakyat when they chose to close an eye to the wrongdoings done by their family members.

There is Taib Mahmud, who seems to have taken it for granted that the Sarawak chief minister’s seat “belongs” to him, having held the post since 1981, making him the longest-serving chief minister in Malaysia.

In his 30-year lording over Sarawak, Taib “generously” allowed family, relatives and cronies to plunder the state wealth, confirming that the 76-year-old Taib’s “leadership” has always been about emptying the state’s coffers to fill up his family’s fortune.

The list of corrupted politicians disguising themselves as “wakil rakyat” or people’s representatives is endless. To allow the list to grow is going to be the biggest mistake the rakyat can make; the people have every right to take such corrupted “leaders” to task, be it through the “Bersih” style or other means deemed worthwhile.

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.


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