The sense of morality among politicians and many Malaysians needs rebooting if we are to move forward as a progressive society, says Mustafa K Anuar.
Pas leader Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz dropped a bombshell when he confessed that he lied to the public last April, when he denied the voice in a controversial recording was his, so as to save the party’s reputation.
In the recording, Nik Abduh said Pas received a large sum of money from Umno prior to the 2018 general election. On 13 February, he said the truth had to be concealed from the party’s detractors.
Equally stunning was the Bachok MP’s declaration that he decided to stick with the lie after getting the “blessing” of Pas president Abdul Hadi Awang. Furthermore, he assured, such a lie was “Sharia-compliant”.
Don’t the principles of transparency and integrity come into the equation at all, so as to qualify for so-called “Sharia-compliant” status? At the very least, to help verify whether the money received is as halal as the beef on Malaysia Airlines’ in-flight menu.
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Nonetheless, Nik Abduh decided to come clean on the matter. Not that, mind you, the Devil made him do it.
It is said the main reason why the Umno “donation” was kept out of the public eye was because the Pas leadership wanted to thwart slanderous remarks from political foes in the run-up to the 2018 general election.
But the thing is, it is not even slander, defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation”.
The operative word here is “false” – in contrast to Pas having received Umno money, which is factual, according to Nik Abduh himself.
Also, does lying justify the intense endeavour to win an electoral contest? It can be quite a stretch to imagine that.
It is also surprising, to say the least, that there has been deafening silence (so far) from those who, all this while, have been the self-appointed champions of “bangsa, agama dan negara” (race, religion and country). Silence, in this regard, is obviously not golden.
Could it be that some of us have become immune to the lies peddled by politicians in recent times that they have become numb to such impropriety?
But then, surely one’s conscience would have been pricked to learn that the leader of a party whose raison d’etre is to defend Islam and eventually set up an Islamic state could give his “blessing” to a big lie about receiving money from the generous Umno, as said by Nik Abduh.
Not to be shaken by such revelation says a lot about some Malaysians: that they are also not bothered, and much less troubled, by the question of integrity in people.
Perhaps, shame has sadly become a rare commodity in our beloved society, the value of which has dipped ever since the nation’s debt spiked largely as a result of the humongous 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Or has the line between right and wrong become so blurred in the face of political expediency and the indecent haste to clinch power at all costs? Ironically, this question was not lost on Hadi when he talked about politicians resorting to dubious paper qualifications in their pursuit of positions of power.
As for Nik Abduh, is he answerable only to his party president when it comes to doing things honourable and otherwise, and not to his Maker? Does his conscience take a snooze?
Wouldn’t such despicable actions cast aspersions on Islam, which his party often claims needs protection, particularly from the purported threats of unbelievers?
The sense of morality among politicians and many Malaysians needs rebooting if we are to move forward as a society that is progressive and ethical.