Reshuffling the same dog-eared pack of cards — Tunku Abdul Aziz

Malaysian Insider
JUNE 5 — I am told on good authority that you cannot make good china with poor clay, and it is so obvious that we should know it instinctively. By the same token, I expect you cannot form an effective Cabinet with general election rejects.
Appointing them to Cabinet posts in such large numbers through the Senate is not illegal, but is it ethical? Jesse Jackson in a speech to the 1992 National Democratic Convention reminded his audience that what was morally wrong would never be politically right.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as our prime minister, would do well to ponder and reflect on the wisdom of this self-evident truth so that he would feel encouraged and inspired to bring moral and ethical principles to bear on the governance of this nation. I naturally hope that in the process, and with God’s help, he will find some time to dwell upon his many grave lapses that have brought his fitness for the highest political office in the land into serious question.
Some months ago I had occasion to allude to the fact that no prime minister in our country’s history had come into office, bent over not with the burden of leadership which would have been understandable, but in Najib’s case, it was his oversize baggage comprising a mix of potent allegations of impropriety ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.
While some may be nothing more than coffee morning tittle-tattle among the leisure classes, and, therefore, to be treated with the contempt they deserve, one worrying aspect of Najib the man that refuses to evaporate into thin air is corruption.
People still point to the arms purchases made during his long stints as minister of defence, and what he got out of them through his redoubtable defence/political analyst, Razak Baginda.
Would the MACC care to take a look at the wealth behind the man so as to give our 1 Malaysia prime minister a chance to clear his name? And while they are looking at Najib, I think it only fair that they take a look at the wealth of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his family. To show that they are not being selective, they might like to check out Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his family. I am sure these great leaders of ours are dying to clear their names for the sake of their reputation, however defined.
To return to the blatant abuse of the function and role of the Senate in the constitutional life of our country, it is clear that Najib does not put great store by basic rules of the game. He obviously plays by his own rules that postulate the inevitability of immoral behaviour in politics and that scruples are not for the prime minister of Malaysia.
This is a sad commentary on 50 years of Barisan Nasional rule that has seen this once proud country now on its unstoppable decline in social, political and economic terms. Is this the promised just reward for the people of this country for putting their blind faith in the Umno leadership?
It is also a sad reflection of the bankruptcy of ethical values that those whom the people of this country, exercising their rights to choose, cast aside in a democratic process, have now been brought back into the Cabinet.
Who are these recycled seconds supposed to represent? Even if they were a galaxy of Nobel laureates, it would still be totally indefensible for Najib to show such utter contempt and disregard for public opinion by appointing them to the Cabinet. And these are by no means the crème de la crème of Malaysian brains-those that have not disappeared overseas.
Najib plays by his own rules. For him, offering inducements to voters as played out in the Hulu Selangor by-election with a repeat performance in Sibu was par for the course. He obviously could see no contradiction in urging the people to fight corruption while he himself breaks the law with complete impunity, as always aided and abetted by the ever independent Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, so it proclaims, and the equally fearless Elections Commission.
When will Najib learn that there is no substitute for integrity in national life? It is within his power to clean up his act so as to lessen the burden of the negative views and innuendos that he carries on his back to the detriment of his effectiveness as PM.
He must learn quickly that the ultimate decision whether he remains in office, and his party in power, will be made by the very people for whom he has shown such blatant contempt. He may, at this rate, be the last Umno prime minister. —