Mariam Mokhtar: The Power of One…

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Malaysiakini

COMMENT | The power of one

Published 12 Jun 2020, 9:49 am

COMMENT | Muhyiddin Yassin has blown it! He had one chance to prove to the world that Malaysia could reform and reverse its image as a kleptocratic nation, where corruption and extremism were an accepted way of life; but he failed.

Remember the expression, one bad apple spoils the bushel? That describes Muhyiddin’s Malaysia.

Many Malays had high hopes, that a Malay majority government, led by the one true-blue Malay, Muhyiddin, would show that the Malays were indeed ‘superior’.

They imagined that he would show the best traits of good governance, such as transparency, fairness and accountability; but sadly, the opposite is true. The events of the past 100 days of Muhyiddin’s administration have destroyed the reputation of the Malays and torn Malaysia apart.

Muhyiddin may be ill, but he must still uphold the interests of the nation, not his personal agenda. Haste means waste. His political appointments have reversed the reforms started by the former Pakatan Harapan administration.

In one fell swoop, Muhyiddin removed the stability and continuity, which are crucial for efficiency and productivity. He has only one interest: himself. He wants only one thing: absolute loyalty. He has only one desire: absolute power.

Once, the Malays were seen as a most tolerant, mild-mannered and easy-going race, but now the opposite is true. Poor leadership has created many intolerant and arrogant Malays.

We are now, Malay versus non-Malay, Islam versus others, semenanjung (peninsula) versus East Malaysians, conservative versus liberal, rich versus poor and male versus female.

Muhyiddin understands the damaging effects of the power of one. Many prominent Malays are awaiting trial for money laundering, corruption, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and abuse of power.

If even one high-profile case was to result in a conviction, the ripple effect will be devastating. The rakyat will feel empowered and their morale boosted because the government has delivered on its promise to combat corruption.

The corrupt and guilty will realise that being charged and imprisoned is a fate worse than death. They will lose their freedom, and their families will suffer too.

Muhyiddin knows that convicting even one corrupt politician will spell the end of Umno-Baru, and racial politics.

That is why he cannot allow it to happen. That is why Riza Aziz (above), disgraced former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson, was awarded a ‘Discharge not amounting to an acquittal’ (DNAA) and former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman was acquitted.

Muhyiddin is aware that the power of one conviction will release the floodgates, and other corrupt Umno-Baru/BN/PAS leaders will also fall.

The power of one conviction will open other cans of worms. People will be willing to talk, and if given immunity, may become witnesses for the prosecution.

Muhyiddin understands that the power of one conviction will be devastating.

Malaysians, especially the Malays, will be freed from their mental bondage of the five Rs – race, religion, royalty, rural divide and rasuah (corruption). It may also cause the downfall of the despised Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

The power of one conviction will also heal. Where we were once divided, we will start to rebuild community relations.

Where there was once suspicion, we can start to have faith in others.

Where we once mistrusted the institutions, we will, at last, be able to start to believe that the system does protect law-abiding citizens.

What a pity that Muhyiddin failed to show Malaysians that he was the one Malay who could have made a difference. He had the power, but failed to stamp his mark on history.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). BlogTwitter.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/529876

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