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When diligent, competent officers are victimised or overlooked

Jealousy usually emanates from people who have low self-worth; people who have deep issues in their own lives


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Many people subscribe to the cliché that money is the root of all evil. If I am asked what the root of all evil is, my response would be jealousy.

Jealously usually takes the form of undesirable resentment, which fuels manipulation, deceit and the ruin of others for no justified reason. It is a common emotion that can produce hatred of another, especially if the person harbouring it falls victim to such people.

Different stories surface from several organisations about how capable staff were victimised because of a few loathsome characters.  

This is a story of what happened in one organisation.

Out of sheer jealousy, a boss’ henchman wronged capable officers for simply not being part of the group.

Another of the boss’ cronies was unashamedly promoted after buying presents for the boss. Never mind if this crony was computer illiterate while his colleagues learned to use the PC on their own.

Another crony even used to ‘punch in’ for the boss in the days when the staff were required to use punch cards upon entry and exit from the office. A colleague caught him red-handed!

During their drinking sessions, one would fill the boss’ glass with an exclusive brand of whiskey, while another would put a Cuban cigar in his mouth and light it up for him. The boss relished such adulation, which was always rewarded at the expense of other deserving officers.

Besides their repugnant behaviour, they entertained the boss by playing the guitar, singing, dancing, cracking jokes and passing nasty remarks about decent people during their sessions. Chums of this boss would for no reason disparage respectable officers during their merriment. They enjoyed themselves immensely and had fun laughing and ridiculing these officers. Unfortunately, they won and the decent guys lost – just because the latter preferred to preserve their dignity, self-respect and integrity and not submit to such decadent behaviour.

Even among the boss’ coterie, they competed and sometimes indulged in backstabbing others. After one of them was outfoxed by the rest, he left the organisation upon realising he could not make any headway in attaining his objectives. This clique mortgaged their self-respect by being the boss’ errand boys. Brazenly and unashamedly, they succumbed to such low levels for pecuniary gains. They were not embarrassed by their demeaning conduct, as they only prayed to the ‘money god’. The word shame did not exist in their vocabulary. It was always about ‘me’ and nobody else.

One would have thought that doing an honest day’s work to the best of one’s abilities would be duly recognised – but not by this boss.

Then, there was the boss who promoted underperforming junior officers over more efficient senior officers. Why? because the latter did not play the ballgame.

Worse, some blue-eyed boys who committed misdemeanours were promoted by this boss, who himself had a tarnished reputation. This boss even had the audacity to tell one capable officer, “Even outsiders think you should not be promoted.”

Several such effective officers not only worked diligently, but besides their normal duties, they actively contributed to the organisation in so many ways. But reprehensible bosses continued to victimise these deserving officers.

Ironically, all this victimisation did not deter these officers from delivering their best for their organisation. Thanks to God’s grace, which many needed by the bucketful, they were not demoralised despite the such blatant injustice.

Bosses in many other places favoured the ‘apple-polishers’ over dedicated and sincere employees. The excuses given were that these officers were non-drinkers or non-golfers or worse, they had an “attitude problem!” Never mind if these assiduous officers outperformed their colleagues at work.

I hope bosses everywhere who have victimised competent officers will make amends before they meet their maker. If human beings have a moral conscience, then there will come a point in their lives when their conscience weighs heavily over past wrongs and misdeeds.

And when that happens, they will try to find solace through restitution. But restitution is sometimes not possible, and hence the only option available is to offer an apology. And often, even an apology is not possible or even if rendered is meaningless.

Jealousy usually emanates from people who have low self-worth; people who have deep issues in their own lives and complexes within them which are not average or normal. They do not like seeing others doing better than them or having what they wanted but just could not achieve. Sometimes, they are just jealous of others’ God-given talents.

One person I know exhibits traits of inadequacies compared with other members in a group. Continually refusing to acknowledge the fact that he is among peers, he often brags about his so-called expertise in fine cuisine and restaurants, as if the rest were novices.

Lacking any form of moral rectitude, he had the audacity to talk on this subject, knowing very well members in the group had eaten various types of food through their extensive travels. When he is under the influence of alcohol, his nefarious character is on public display. Regrettably, no one in the group even attempts to plug his revolting conduct.

Shredding people is his favourite pastime. Putting others down makes him feel good about himself, thinking others would feel bad about themselves. He thinks by running down others he can feel superior to them when in reality it is he who has a chip on his shoulder.

Honesty is the hallmark of self-respect in any human being. Only those without this virtuous trait pander to low self-esteem. The politics of envy gets nobody anywhere because justice will eventually prevail. It may be delayed but seldom denied. And remember, you can never put a good person down.

History bears testimony to this.

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Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. A pragmatic optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
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