Hats off to Mukhriz Mahathir. He has come to the fore and admitted that both his daughter and son-in-law were fined RM1,000 each for flouting the recovery movement control order.
Mukhriz made no attempt to deny what transpired nor did he come up with any flimsy excuses for this breach of rules. Best yet, he did not plead ignorance nor claim he was in the dark about what happened right under his nose.
This is so unlike a minister who claimed to be in the dark about her ministry’s involvement in, not one, but two direct negotiated tenders.
According to the minister, she had “no knowledge” of the RM170 million project despite her visiting the site of the project. How incredible. Surely the minister was not there to see how grapes are grown on a solid waste transfer station!
The issue here is accountability. Why are you afraid of being accountable when the buck stops with you? Why go into a denial mode when you don’t have to? People are no longer as stupid as you would have them be. Not with modern technology at your fingertips anyway. Be courageous. Be accountable for those who work for you and be responsible for your actions.
More often than not, it has been a common practice for our politicians to say “I am not aware of this” or “I was misquoted”. Even worse is a political figure saying he has been made to understand this or that. My question is, who is making you understand what?
In the case of Mukhriz, he made no attempt to switch into a deniable mode. As head of his household, Mukhriz knew the buck stopped with him, and hence his decision to lecture his daughter about being more responsible not only to herself but also to others.
The politician who is prepared to be honest with himself or herself and admits to his or her shortcomings is one that displays integrity. But unfortunately for the general public, more often than not, we have politicians who live by one lie then create another 10 just to cover that one lie.
As if to convince the general public that he or she is telling the truth, some politicians will try to find an escape route for themselves when they are cornered. Such was the case of the minister who returned from Turkey and failed to observe self-quarantine, thereby endangering the lives of many others he may have come into contact with.
Whether or not Mukhriz’s political opponents will try to ride on the issue of his daughter breaking the RMCO regulations by being present in a pub is left to be seen. But before anyone does attempt to politicise the issue, remember one thing: Mukhriz has stood tall and was as honest as it gets.
And that is a far, far better thing to do than to go into a deniable mode just to save your own skin.
Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.