Pedaling backwards in a country moving forward: A contradictory opposition

If Malaysia deserves better, it really could do without the political mess we had seen in the past few days. The Pandora Papers, the Melaka political crisis, and the tragic death of a CEO in Penang – cases which, in this day and age, should not have happened. We are a country emerging from probably the worst crisis in living memory. We don’t need backpedaling politicians.

In opposition fashion, once-in-government MPs waived the Pandora Papers on Oct 3, playing the role of supposed watchdog again. Correct, they exposed how some of the world’s rich and powerful hide their assets. True, some Malaysians implicated have links to the government. However, the opposition’s cherry-picking approach had conveniently left out the fact that among those implicated were a former treasurer of the PKR, and the chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons in-charge of advising Pakatan Harapan’s new ‘government of reform’ in 2018. If one is held accountable, all should be held accountable.

Party-hopping, which DAP has been condemning since 1978, suddenly become justified when former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, went rogue, disobeyed Barisan Nasional (BN), and helped Pakatan Melaka gain a majority in the Melaka state assembly by exploiting the infighting in the Umno-led Melaka state government. It is unthinkable that not only has Pakatan accepted the four Melakan frogs (one which was instrumental for the downfall of, not one, but two governments) after spending years condemning political frogs, but Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim too? I thought he was the sanest of the bunch, yet he personally went to Melaka to have a sit-down with the frogs. The only consistency we are seeing here is the hypocrisy.

On Oct 5, Datuk Ewe See Kheng — the CEO, founder and managing director of Ewein Bhd in Penang — mysteriously fell to his death from the 17th floor of a luxury apartment at 2am. Despite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirming that Ewe was a prosecution witness in the investigation into Lim Guan Eng’s undersea tunnel project corruption case, DAP supporters were quick to dismiss this link, insisting that the witness was depressed and committed suicide. When deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais was found murdered in 2015, the very same people jumped at the first opportunity to draw connections to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, politicising and exploiting a terrible tragedy with little concern for the feelings of the victim’s family members.

This was especially personal to me. Back when I was still a young, inexperienced Federal counsel, Morais took me under his wing in the Attorney-General's Chambers and showed me the ropes. My mentor died a violent death, and it torments me to learn that, even in death, he was not left in peace. In order to discredit the premiership of Najib, his opponents came up with a wide range of wild theories about his involvement in the murder; theories which were all later disproven. In Ewe’s case, I urge the opponents of Lim to not repeat the same mistakes and sink down to that level. Allow the police to do their work, refrain from speculating, and give his family space to grieve.

These three jaw-dropping acts of hypocrisy that came within days of each other is an eye-opener to all Malaysians on how NOT to do politics. Both sides have done things they should not be proud of; both have sinned; and both no longer deserve blind, unconditional support from the people.


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