To escape action, the culprits are responding with arrogance instead of remorse, claiming that the whistleblowers are committing treason or “derhaka” against the Malay rulers, says WH Cheng.
If a leading politician or senior official from the Barisan Nasional (BN) government was caught or exposed for his corrupt practices, the people would make hell of a noise demanding that the person resign, be probed and charged for the crimes committed.
But today, the leading BN politician or senior official will fire back by claiming that those calling for action to be taken against him are threatening the existence of the Malay race in this nation. He will add that without Umno, there will be no more Malays in this land.
Again, when people saw a leading figure from the BN government abusing his powers to award government contracts to members of his family, close relatives or cronies, calls for the person to be probed and demanding his resignation will be met with his response that it is unIslamic to do so or it is not the way of Islam to call for action to be taken against the leader or official.
In short, where punitive action and remorse were expected by the people, the culprits would instead respond with arrogance, claiming that the whistleblowers were committing treason or “derhaka” against the Malay rulers who appointed them to their positions of authority.
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It seems when any wrongs or crimes were committed by BN leaders or any senior officials in the government, these crooks would certainly use Race, Religion and the Rulers, popularly known as the 3Rs, to shield themselves from criticism, condemnation and legal action.
So, the 3Rs has become BN’s ultimate weapon against the people who are watching the government’s every move. Apart from the 3Rs, the BN government is also using oppressive laws such as the Sedition Act and Security Offences and Special Measures Act (Sosma) to rein in critics, civil society activists and opposition leaders by charging them in court for exposing corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement in the administration.
Recently, the attorney general pledged to come up with some harsh measures to strengthen the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to deter people from exposing or leaking any government documents related to corrupt activities or transactions.
It will certainly make it more difficult for civil servants and members of the public who are in possession of such information to expose wrongdoings. The BN government may also take the opportunity to classify as many documents as possible under the OSA in order to shield themselves from public scrutiny.
1MDB and Tabung Haji
It is clear how critics of the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) were probed, arrested and charged in court when they were just doing their civic duty. Instead of going after the culprits who misused public or company funds for personal gain, the authorities systematically punished those who exposed and criticised 1MDB over the mismanagement of funds.
And when news broke of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issuing a warning notice to Tabung Haji over its alleged mismanagement of funds, the pilgrimage fund’s chairman was quick to respond that the news reports and various calls for an investigation to be initiated had insulted the religion. He even called on the authorities to investigate those who leaked the information about BNM’s warning.
Where is the investigative authorities’ focus in tackling crimes or wrongdoings? Do not tell us that the source of the information will be probed, arrested and charged. They should be going after the elements of the crime to single out the real culprits.
The government’s action in going after complainants of crimes is sending out the wrong message to the people. The ‘victim’ of the crime has become the victim of the authorities? This is utterly senseless.
The BN appears to be flexing its muscle by using oppressive laws to kill the principle of checks and balances and to cover up its dirt.