When Petty Politicians Get On My Nerves
Are we not fed up with petty politics and petty politicians in our midst? I don't know about you, but they get on my nerves and so bad at times that I wish I could give some of them the Will Smith slap.
Oh yes, there are many of them around, and their number seems to be growing. Why not, when the seniors among them, including former prime ministers, are also getting childishly petty themselves and indulging in petty politics.
Italian author Ingrid Rossellini wrote: "The violation that the Greeks feared most was hubris: a charged word that described the overblown size that the ego acquired when infected by an excessive amount of pride and ambition."
She also pointed to the reckless expression of egotism and impulsiveness that poses a real threat to the uprightness of reason and common sense.
I can certainly agree with Rossellini when she declared that "ego and impulse have always been a threat to democracy".
Let me start by looking at this month, April, alone, when ego and pride got the better of our politicians.
On April 1 (no, this is not an April Fool's joke), Pejuang chairperson Mahathir Mohamad claimed that Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin had met him to ask for support to become the prime minister again.
This started the tit-for-tat between the two former prime ministers, and it really looks pathetically childish. Quite shameful really, especially when it involves leaders who were once at the top of their game.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir MohamadMahathir called Muhyiddin a "backstabber" and expressed puzzlement as to why the Pagoh MP wanted to meet him when the latter had "backstabbed" him.
Wow, at 97, our grand old man is still as proud as ever. I believe he still thinks that he has the power to decide who should be prime minister today. His ego and his self-importance are still intact.
Not surprisingly, Muhyiddin was not prepared to take the salvos from Mahathir lying down. Of course, he has his ego too.
"What? It was others, including Mahathir, who pursued me. I was not the pursuer; they were," Muhyiddin fired back.
Seriously, do we really care who asked to meet who first? Whether it was Mahathir or Muhyiddin? Is it something of concern to you? What is so important about this Mahathir/Muhyiddin meeting?
This is a classic case of petty politics. The two former premiers think that we care and pay attention to what they were quarrelling about.
Let me tell them this - we don't care, and we pay no attention to your silly back-and-forth attacks. It is paloi (stupid)!
Former prime minister Muhyiddin YassinMore concerned about RM500m project
On April 10, there was an uproar over the RM50,000 wooden jetty project at Kampung Mutap in Miri. I'm not sure how it all started, but I took note of Sarawak Pakatan Harapan's statement on the issue.
I can agree with some of the points raised, but I would still conclude that it was a "petty action" due to the paltry sum involved.
Politicians would argue that every government-funded project, irrespective of the costs, must be above board. Surely, that is the line they would take to bolster their argument. I find that hypocritical.
In a perfect world, that would be ideal, but this world is far from perfect.
A wooden jetty built at a cost of RM500,000 in SarawakI also shared my views on the jetty issue with my groups across social media: "On the controversy surrounding the RM50,000 jetty, this is how I view it. If the contractor is a local Class E dude or a rural sub-contractor, I will allow him to make, say, even half (ie RM25,000).
"RM25,000 will not make him a rich man. I will be happy that he managed to make that little sum to feed his family, probably after a long lockdown without jobs.
"I doubt I will raise a hue-and-cry, rightly or wrongly. I'm not bothered if a small-time contractor is able to earn a measly RM25,000. (That is only an assumption.)
"I am more concerned about a RM500 million project with RM250 million being siphoned off. That is what we should all worry about.
"So, on certain issues, let us not join the bandwagon blindly. We have to be more discerning. Do not take what the politicians on either side are saying at face value. We have to assess the situation and form our own opinion," I added.
I wish that those holding public office would look at themselves in the mirror. How many of them, including those in the opposition, are getting multiple pensions? This will drain our public coffers more than the little minor rural projects.
So, to the elected representatives, please stop wasting your time and mine trying to score brownie points by harping on petty issues. You are getting on my nerves, and I resent such paloi acts.
Trying to score political points
On April 24, PKR secretary-general and deputy president contender Saifuddin Nasution Ismail clarified that he never permanently left Malaysia to work in Jakarta when he was "jobless" after the 2013 general election.
In a Facebook post, he said his secretary-general position also has nothing to do with supposed "assistance" from Rafizi Ramli, his opponent for the PKR number two position.
PKR secretary-general (left) Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and PKR vice-president Rafizi RamliHere we go again. Two key leaders from the same party taking potshots at each other. Why? They are, again, trying to score political points and win the support of party members.
Well, let me say this. If I were a PKR member, I don't think I would vote for either candidate. I expect more from people who are keen to partake in politics at the highest level.
Okay, Rafizi had explained that he spoke on the matter when responding to a question at a forum. But he should know it would hurt his opponent. So, Rafizi started the silly mudslinging first. That action does not speak well of him.
Of course, Saifuddin would retaliate. Hey, his ego has been bruised, and he has to respond.
Actually, no one cares about this silly "assistance" issue. Only the two of them. So why the need to quarrel about such a petty issue in public. I have to call both Rafizi and Saifuddin paloi too.
Here we are, the three instances this month where petty politics and petty politicians got on my nerves.
I can only conclude with this - if this is the way our so-called key leaders behave, do not blame Malaysians if they have very little or no respect for the current crop of politicians. Most of them should be voted out when the next general election comes. - Mkini
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH is a veteran Sarawak editor and heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS). He can be reached at [email protected]
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.
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