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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 8 August 2008

Good Men in Government- the DPM's version


I find it distressing that our DPM has a skewed perception of what constitutes a good person. His measure, which I have said repeatedly is grounded on the premise that a good person is one subservient and always remain below his(Najib’s) station. Thus he sums up his measure of a good person being he or she who attends kenduris and funerals regularly.

That perception stems of course from a cultural upbringing of a feudal lord accustomed to having all life’s needs sent to his feet. He inhales a masochistic contentment when people grovel at his feet with hands outstretched playing the expectant supplicant.

The world owes him a living such that he must be treated as a political deity. Thus his world is filled with a social structure where one elite group (his) have its needs supplied by the toiling masses. In such a social structure, he does not need the mavericks, the intelligent, the people who shakes the system, to serve society. The higher affairs of life are the preserve of him and his ilk.

We must shatter this illusion. From now onwards, we must fortify ourselves with the conviction that no one owes a living and on the corollary , it will be also be true that we do not owe the world a living. We, the people, certainly do not owe Najib a living.

That explains Najib’s obsession with preserving the UMNO tradition. A tradition that intends to keep members muted and pliant and who are brow-beaten to accept a masochistic neo-feudal structure like the one we briefly described above.

This is a very serious matter. Behind that obsession is an equally obsessive attempt to prevent the emergence of an alternative leadership. Why? Because if there are alternative leaderships, then it will become less worthwhile retaining Najib. He then becomes less relevant and this is his primordial fear. Thus he rushes to the fore, defending a tradition that has never existed, chasing his windmills of an imaginary dragon. The tradition which he so fearfully defends is actually a plea to prevent the emergence of alternative leaderships. Whereas the true democrat would find himself to be uncomfortable to have only him as a possible choice.

We, must never subscribe to this notion of tradition because then, all aspects of our life will be determined by the edicts of a Caesar. That would be an horrible choice.

If that is his idea of what constitutes good men, then Malaysia is doomed. Running this country is not like attending gala dinners or musical soirees at Putrajaya, or choosing a diamond tiara. We are not being kind to people by keeping them enthralled and entertained. If we want to be kind to people that we must be firm and sometimes stern to those who have a duty to perform to see that the duty is performed well.

Part of this whole business of being kind to our people is to have the best people managing this country. Are we not tired of seeing second raters defending this country or managing it?

Dato Najib is certainly not tired of this. He is contented to seeing all the first raters leave the government leaving what behind? It’s something like this- and Lee Kuan Yew has put it bluntly ( I can’t remember reading from where)- the 2nd class honours man goes to court to prosecute a case and the man defending is a 1st class honours man. If the law of evidence is loaded against the prosecution plus brains of the defendant loaded against the prosecution, then thieves, rogues and vagabonds get away. That is certainly not the idea of good government.

The leaders of this country must send signals that they want good men in the service of government. We wouldn’t want a situation where we are inundated with second and third raters and out there all those first raters with rapier sharp intelligence fighting us. That would be a stupid way of running a country, unless of course your idea of good men is the number of times you attend kenduris and funerals.

If I am not mistaken the SG leading the prosecuting team was a classmate of the AG when they were studying in UM. And the Judge at the sessions court when Anwar was allowed a personal bond was a junior to the SG when she was studying at UM. By allowing Anwar a personal bond, she has shown herself to be a judge of fortitude.

Here then is the danger for the government. You have first class men defending Anwar, a good judge or when the case is transferred to the high court with an equally good judge presiding, what are the odds against the government? We are not certain of the calibre of the SG but we can infer that those officers preparing the IPs have botched their work. They did, if some vital documents from Pusrawi were not included as material in their investigation. The combination of all these, will result in the government securing a conviction very difficult. All because, the government is full of second and third raters.

At the end of the day, it will be a Johny Cochrane line- if the shoes don’t fit, you acquit. Provided of course, the judge is good.


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