Smokescreen ACA

It is your typical late evening, and you drive past a policeman discussing with the motorist he forced off the road.

Are you thinking a) the policeman has noticed a valid and necessary infraction by the driver or the vehicle and he is trying to advice the motorist before giving him a summon or b) oh my oh my, the police are out to make money from yet another unfortunate citizen?

Try the question with friends and family, and then you have a better gauge of whether you think corruption in the country is high or low. The present flavour of celebrating the Anti-Corruption Agency because they are arresting people left and right threatens to mislead people on the purpose of effective government.

Corruption negates good government, so government must seek ways to disincentivise bribes and other forms of payments that alter good process. We don’t make our system better by random arrests. Neither would we by selective arrests.

Arrests have to be made, but they must be part of a strategy to tackle corruption.

The law must have the look of sternness and also the look of compassion. Without reason and purpose, it becomes a mindless tool of those who hold it – the government.

No shocker, just chokers

Malaysians are not raising an eyebrow with the arrests. The editors in the New Straits Times – and some of their senior writers – are delusional, to say the least.

Trust luckily is something defined by the many, since the many are not rich – they are very sceptical of moves to change things in the country by the present government. The tipping point has arrived and the Barisan Nasional can only slow down the inevitable.

I can’t believe this prime minister has the gall to allow branch chairmen of his party to be charged by the ACA for corruption for transactions amounting to a few odd thousands – and let the man face criminal prosecution while someone like Isa Samad only serves a three year suspension for buying his way to a Vice-president seat in Umno. How does the math work?

That the prime minister finds smaller crimes distasteful? If the disciplinary committee of Umno – and let us assume them as capable men and women – found Isa guilty of paying people off to become arguable the fourth highest political leader in the country (based on his second place in the Vice President contest), how was it not an act for prosecution by the ACA? He would have paid the type of money, the rest of us can only write on a piece of paper.

That was 2004, and his suspension in 2005 was all the punishment he received.

And now the prime minister wants to parade these simpletons – and make the case for clean government?

Or can we talk about the MRR2 flyover in Kepong. The saga has gone on long enough. And the rakyat continue to pay for its shoddiness. Long traffic jams and all.

No one has been prosecuted and no one is going to jail for that. There is a whole trail of evidence for the ACA. They won’t need to prepare any stakeouts. Someone robbed a country of millions, and all we ever do is pay for the damn flyover to be fixed again and again.

Dishonest intent

The examples go on and on. Time after time, the real scandals of our period are not addressed in a meaningful way that Malaysians are convinced everything that can be done, is being done. Your BMF-Carrier, the privatisation processes that just shore up the select, or even the Trengganu government Mercedes saga.

The bigger the scandal, the likelier you are to get away with it. Because big means the inclusion of big people too in the matter. And when that is the case – in feudal Malaysia, you can’t do anything.

They won’t get caught, as long as these people are in power.

The prime minister is dishonest about the whole thing. He is. I tried a different way of saying it, but the truth is, he is.

Show a real resolve to deal with corruption, then let’s talk about this agency.

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