WE seem to be heading towards a dangerous edge. There is now an emerging culture of shamelessness.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak may have been slapped with countless charges of corruption and money laundering, but his campaign, Malu apa, bossku (“Why the shame, boss?” in Bahasa Malaysia), has surprisingly attracted millions of likes on social media.
The scandal-smeared former prime minister has traded in his tailored suits, impeccable English and political elite-aristocratic crowd for the Mat Rempit and Malay working class.
As part of his makeover, he is now decked in black parka, black jeans and black sneakers.
He is even hanging out with the young Mat Rempit and posting wefies with them. He is also happily showing off a black-and-red Yamaha Y15ZR 150cc moped that is all the rage with the youths of today.
And the registration plate on his bike is 8055KU, which insinuates “BOSSKU”, and to these newfound supporters, Najib is called Boss kita! (Our Boss.)
The key phrase here is Malu apa bossku, and while many learned Malaysians are cringing over this new culture, it barely seems wrong for our embattled former PM, who is basking in it and promoting the malaise.
But a similar show is also surfacing on the other side of the political divide.
One Pakatan Harapan leader after another is having his or her dubious education credentials exposed after Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya was questioned over his.
Johor Mentri Besar Osman Sapian’s education history has come under the spotlight with the allegation that he didn’t obtain a degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), as claimed.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s social science degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS), as reported when she became a minister, has also come into question. Now, she’s washed her hands of ever having had one.
DAP Assemblyman from Tronoh Paul Yong Choo Kiong claimed to have a masters in business administration from Akamai University – an alleged degree mill in Hawaii – among his academic qualifications.
None of these politicians have apologised for not correcting these errors when they were revealed, but now, they have conveniently shrugged off the news reports, claiming no knowledge of such revelations.
Worse, Marzuki passed the buck to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying it is now up to his boss to decide. The Johor MB chose to remain silent, hoping that the storm would blow over.
The central issue here isn’t whether an elected representative should have a tertiary education – the point here is, should we put our trust in anyone who lies to themselves?
If some of these individuals buy dubious online diplomas, they are only cheating themselves. Worse, the electorate has also fallen for this charade hook, line and sinker.
Instead of working hard, like most university students, these individuals apparently chose the easy way out. Are we expected to believe them when they talk about accountability and integrity from now on?
What’s worse is, most Pakatan leaders have chosen to look the other way or have lamely justified these dishonest transgressions.
If they were in the private sector, the sack would be a foregone conclusion, but then they are “Yang Berhormat”, despite these dishonourable acts.
Apa nak malu, YB! Aku ada SPM aje, bro!
And of course, that’s not the end. PAS leaders have found themselves in unfamiliar waters.
With their turbans and goatees, they like to appear pious and holier than thou. However, they are now seeing their names flying on social media, associated with a taste for sports cars and bikes, and not just under their names, but those of their children and spouses.
A report filed with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over allegations of PAS leaders getting RM90mil from Umno under the previous administration involved “a list of expensive cars”, properties, high-powered motorcycles and “the purchase of number plates at exorbitant prices”, it has been widely reported.
According to the report, several PAS leaders were accused of using these funds to acquire the cars and properties.
The cars include BMW, Mini Cooper, Toyota Vellfire, Range Rover, Porsche Cayman, Audi Q7, Audi A6, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Volkswagen Passat, Mercedes Benz, and a BMW motorcycle, according to a report.
“As for the properties, this includes a bungalow in Bangi worth RM3mil,” says a report. The only item missing is camel ownership.
PAS Mursyidul Am (spiritual leader) Datuk Hashim Jasin has admitted to owning a Porsche Cayman, but said his son was the real owner, who was entitled to an Approved Permit (AP) when he served as the Arau MP between 1998 and 1999.
Every one of them has branded these accusations as part of some grand political conspiracy, pleading innocence and insisting they are virginal and pure instead.
But we are sure they will be okay, and they will continue to preach accountability and transparency, and possibly continue to look – invoking race, religion and God – to their faithful followers, who will readily give away their savings and, brave the rain and scorching sun to support them.
Malu Apa Bossku? Tatap Sokong Boss (as the Sabahans will say).