Mustafa K Anuar takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the recent rumours of cabinet ministers supposedly planning to resign and defect.
Malaysians appear to lack excitement in their lives, especially after being cooped up at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
They, particularly the conspiracy theorists, went into overdrive with the rumour recently that two ministers of Perikatan Nasional (PN) would leave the government to join Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s faction of the beleaguered Bersatu party.
According to the grapevine, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof and Deputy Works Minister Shahruddin Md Salleh were expected to call for a press conference to announce their resignations from the government.
To be sure, Redzuan categorically denied calling for a press conference, saying that he was under self-quarantine after coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient. That should have assured sceptical Malaysians that he couldn’t possibly move about carelessly.
That was slander by those with vested interests who wanted to tarnish his name, he rightly snapped.
In a land where some politicians are known to have the capacity to leap further than the proverbial frog under the coconut shell, people tend to cast aspersions on politicians indiscreetly. Indeed, people must stop being unfairly judgemental.
Malaysians should give credit where credit is due, particularly when the likes of Redzuan have stood their ground, indicating that they have what it takes to be ethical politicians.
The quarantine regime notwithstanding, the urge of a fellow Muslim to make a Hari Raya visit must have been so uncontrollable that Redzuan had to seek the permission of the National Security Council to enable him to say hello to old friend and former cabinet boss Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his Perdana Leadership Foundation.
It was meant to be a Hari Raya Aidilfitri visit, he insisted, and therefore they did not discuss politics. Strictly a social visit.
Except that Redzuan did try to coax the former prime minister to work together with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for a good cause, ie to rebuild the country because of the Covid-19 onslaught.
Contrary to what was peddled by the swirling rumours, this episode suggests a politician such as Redzuan can be consistent in his or her desire to work for the common good of the people.
Such a politician should be given more time to prove to the rakyat that he or she not only has the calibre but also the moral fibre to lead the country to greater heights.
And if the likes of Redzuan do want to resign from the government, we would expect that it would be executed based on sound principles – and not on the mere whims and fancies of self-serving politicians.
In this regard, recent political developments in Britain comes to mind. Douglas Ross resigned as a Scotland Office minister over the Dominic Cummings row. A senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Cummings was reported to have breached the government’s lockdown order when he drove 260 miles (nearly 420km) from his London home to his parents’ farm with his child and unwell wife recently. Despite a public uproar, Cummings has so far been let off the hook, prompting cries of double standards in the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown.
Such a ministerial resignation is commendable as it was done on certain principles despite losing a plum position in the government.
This is a sterling example that we hope the likes of Redzuan will follow when circumstances demand nothing less than that.
The above piece is satire, written tongue in cheek