With Najib Razak’s sentence commuted, there is a real trust deficiency now between the citizens and our government.
Aren’t you all just so fed up with politics and politicians in Malaysia?
Najib Razak’s sentence was commuted, and his fine drastically slashed. It has upset so many people around the country. Not least the man himself and his family. They expected a full pardon. How about that!
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Some Malaysians were relieved that he was not completely pardoned. But the general feeling is that this is such a total travesty of justice. In a nation where you get thrown into jail for a few years for stealing a can of sardines to feed your starving kids, this decision is unbelievable.
The “intelligentsia” are doing a deep dive into our national Constitution to offer all sorts of interpretations on this act by the Pardons Board. Memes are being circulated extolling the virtues of not standing by while “evil” is being perpetuated. But what’s the point?
The government and our current prime minister have been doing some “tai-chi” exercises. They absolve themselves of any taint as usual, even though their handywork is clear.
Like I said in my last article, we ordinary folks have no say as always, in the crazy horse-trading that’s taking place behind the scenes in commuting our ex-PM’s sentence.
But these injustices are not new to us, Malaysians. We have had the wool pulled over our eyes so frequently in the last few years. Remember the Sheraton Move in 2020? And then once again, in 2022, when we suddenly got a deputy prime minister, who at that time, had a bucket load of corruption charges against him.
So, injustice is a norm in the governance of Malaysia.
But it is business as usual for us, ordinary Malaysians. Our currency continues to plummet, the cost of living is pretty dire, small business owners are struggling, the education system is in shambles, and there’s no local government accountability.
The ear-splitting silence of this government in response to the current saga about our convicted ex-PM speaks volumes, though. Only one former PKR vice-president resigned in protest. And one DAP member of parliament, Ramkarpal Singh, asked for an explanation. He then got rebuked, and was challenged to a nonsensical debate.
DAP’s Tony Pua, who originally broke the 1MDB scandal and dug extensively to uncover much of the corruption was suitably mortified by the reduction of sentence and fine. Understandably frustrated, he issued some statements on social media. But instead of being lauded for his straightforwardness, he was hauled up by the police.
Another former DAP member of parliament, Ong Kian Ming, spoke in defence of Tony Pua, but got a knife stuck in his back by his party’s secretary-general who proudly announced that Ong was “talking rubbish”. The former MP said the DAP had forgotten its stance on the 1MDB scandal.
Listening to the deafening silence from DAP, I think these former MPs are absolutely right. It is not about insulting the institution of the Pardons Board, but surely you can ask questions, and seek an explanation for such a public profile matter.
The bulwark of this government is formed by the Pakatan Harapan coalition, who rode into power in 2018, and again in 2022, on the wings of an anti-corruption crusade.
So, how now? Are we taking this crusade off the national agenda? Or is it a selective process that only the government will decide on? In any case, their credibility is gone.
In my other life as a trainer and management consultant, I remind organisations who want a positive workplace that the formula is deceptively simple. Do your employees trust you? If yes, it will be a great place to work in.
Just telling people to trust you doesn’t work. You have to build a high-trust culture over a period of time. And, there are three key ingredients you will need to focus on to get this culture going.
The first is credibility. Does this government have leaders that are capable, can communicate properly, and are truthful? The next is respect. Do we, as Malaysian citizens, feel respected as the people of this nation, by this government? And, the third is fairness. Do you see Malaysia as a nation where fairness prevails?
I don’t see any of the above. With decisions like the one we witnessed this past week, there is a real trust deficiency between the citizens and our government. I think Malaysia is currently a joke.
So, let me ask you this. Do you trust this government?
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.