On The Beat
By WONG CHUN WAI
WE are becoming a basket case as far as politics is concerned. This whole sodomy episode has become one big joke with Malaysians at a loss as to what and who to believe.
Anal sex and sodomy are terms that have become so frequently used that newspapers, seen as a product read by the family, are finding it impossible to keep such terms out of their reports.
The issue has also divided the nation. You either believe that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a compulsive sodomite or he is a frequent victim of a government conspiracy to prevent him from becoming the next prime minister.
After all, politics is all about perception. But in Malaysia, with the credibility of the government, judiciary, police and media in question, facts and evidence no longer matter.
And who can blame Malaysians? You have a private investigator P. Balasubramaniam who made incredulous allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a statutory declaration, which ranged from anal sex to commission for a submarine deal, and then retract them barely 24 hours later.
The man should be arrested and charged in court. The perception of Malaysians now is that a statutory declaration can be written by anyone, in the presence of any lawyer, and sealed for RM6 in front of any commissioner of oath.
It’s like a licence to shoot off allegations against anyone under the protection of the law. The next day, you can change your mind, whether under duress or pleasure, and retract the entire content.
The statutory declaration is in danger of becoming a piece of toilet paper. You can file a document, say the nastiest things, with no evidence except “reliably informed”. What the people choose to believe will depend on their political allegiance.
Malaysia is now on the radar screen, not because we are an attractive place for foreign direct investments, but for our political theatrics.
Investors also perceive our leaders and public servants as corrupt, and therefore assume that doing business in Malaysia is more expensive.
But as the sodomy allegations become juicier and more confusing – and the quest for power getting out of hand – the reputation of the country gets more tarnished.
The real issues have been neglected, even ignored, by those out to grab power and those wresting to stay in power. Investors no longer regard Malaysia as a politically stable country.
The perception is that the federal government will fall any time as the world waits for Sept 16, the deadline by which Anwar has promised he would be prime minister. Such political uncertainties will certainly not help bring in the investors.
Our strong point in Asia has always been our stability, economically and politically, but this has been challenged – and investors’ confidence has been seriously eroded.
Malaysia’s business is suffering; please stop this political drama.
These allegations may be good reading and help sell newspapers but many Malaysians are fed up with our politicians. The general election is over and politicians should focus on running the states and country.
The Pakatan Rakyat should prove that they are able to better govern the five states they control than the Barisan Nasional and take on the BN at the federal level in the next round.
The federal government needs to build the confidence of the people and show that it can steer them out of the troubled waters as the price of crude oil continues to climb. Businesses have slowed down and jobs are being lost all over the world.
Airline companies are going bust as stock market prices plunge; the last thing we need is a political fight which will pull us down deeper.
Press conferences are held daily not to talk about fighting inflation, saving jobs and putting food on our table but about sodomy and more sodomy.
Pak Lah needs to take a firm leadership. It’s not good enough being nice.
He is the Prime Minister and he has to make sense of what is troubling Malaysians, show he is the boss and use all the resources under his control to implement all the reforms in the judiciary, the civil service, the police and all other sectors.
We are not seeing enough of this at present. Use the stick, if you have to, and stop the rot.
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