Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crossovers motivated by personal gains - The Malaysian Insider

By Sudheesh Basi

MAY 19 — I refer to your letter “In defence of the rules of the game in Perak”. First of all let me congratulate you on a nicely written rebuttal to an article in the new media, an initiative which I hope more BN politicians would emulate. This well-thought out response is a welcome change from the ranting and raving of the mainstream media that many of us are used to, which does not add any substance to the debate at hand. So at the outset, well done.

However, I think an important matter was left out in your assessment. Why would three assembly men/woman crossover and support BN at the risk of intense ridicule from their constituencies and the media and possibly the death of their political careers apart from some kind of personal gain (whether monetary or assurance of safety from the corruption charges hanging over their head)?

Is it an ideological incompatibility as in the case of a shift from being Republican to a Democrat which led to the legislative crossovers? If so, there were no such indications given by the three individuals involved; instead a particular individual pointed out that she wasn’t treated well-enough and did not get a “Toyota Camry” like some of her colleagues. Which makes you wonder what exactly was offered to make her feel “well-treated”!

And one also wonders whether the receiving party ever question the kind of people they would want to be associated with the party. When a prime minister of a nation proudly stands and welcomes the support of two assemblymen who are facing corruption charges, it just hits you how badly stuck we are in a quagmire of corruption that it is deemed “ok” to form an association with two possibly corrupt individuals.

I think it will be tough for any one of us to put our hand to the chest and the other hand on the holy book and say that I believe fully and without any doubt that there was no money offered or personal deals struck in these crossovers which brought the Perak government down to its knees. And if that is the case, the issue is a much larger one. Of corruption and criminal behaviour, something which have become so endemic to our nation that it cannot and should not be endorsed any longer, whatever guise it might take.

As head of the Umno Youth wing, you have a moral obligation to stand up within the party and denounce all corruption and corrupt practices from the inside, so that change can happen from within. It is through a substantial change in the outlook of our younger generation of politicians that Malaysia can chart a new pathway towards a collective future.

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