Enough talking, time to walk

I write because I want to speak in the public spaces of life. Keeping quiet at my age is no longer an option. Having become a grandfather has added another dimension to life. Now, I have to walk my talk for the sake of my grandson and his future in Malaysia.

Therefore, when the government, after the most recent cabinet clean-out, through small-minded idiocrats is talking and acting silly; it is designed to create fear for the civil society and ordinary citizens. Then we get rumours like, ‘a politician who went to Thailand for dentistry because he was scared to open his mouth in Malaysia’. That is more than a joke; it is fear-mongering.

My 10 reasons to walk with Bersih 4

First and foremost, it is an issue of conscience for me. I think, know, and believe that the federal government of the day is already corrupt to the core, and there is much policy evidence to demonstrate this.

I wrote a column about one of my issues and concerns recently. Furthermore, none is more glaring than the recent reframing of so many of the executive functions with compliant and blind supporters who may not even be fit to be named ministers; in other circumstances. We are truly under abnormal conditions of bad governance.

My second reason is the lack of accountability and transparency of much our governance processes. My other good friend, another professor of law, recently wrote a simple but powerful argument in Malay Mail about perception versus reality. Even if the government believes their own spin stories; why not share the facts of the 1MDB case, which is the only basis by which media and investigators will be convinced that there is nothing to hide.

Thirdly, I remember seeing one photograph which showed our prime minister in a picture with the murdered Mongolian lady, and he seems to have said that he did not know her. I am not sure whom to believe, and, unless the photograph was doctored; that is equal to the other admission; ‘I did not use the money personally’. Who really knows!

Fourthly, the wrongful sacking of the attorney-general (AG) is unacceptable, to me as a public servant who was victim to a similar onslaught, even if mine was a smaller scale. The lack of a due process is an important human rights principle which transcends all religious values. I do not like the man, but that is not the core issue; his was an institutional appointment.

Fifthly, I heard that the current AG was holding the treasurer’s post for a Kelantan Umno division; is that true? Is that why in his first ever statement he declared which side of the bread was buttered and by whom, and surely it was not by the constitution.

Never before, in my memory, is a more senior and aged person appointed to fill a professional public service and institutional appointment. ‘The arithmetic does not seem sound. How can a 59-year old be replaced by a 67 year old?’ Was the Public Services Department even consulted for due processes and quality control? It is time for Parliament to review all such candidatures before appointment; as they do in the US Congress.

Sixthly, I need to figure out who is the mastermind of this agenda for cover-up. I agree with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) director Bahri Mohamad Zain. It is obvious that there exists such an agenda and that not many people were consulted.

For example, why has the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) suddenly gone so very silent? And, is my good friend the chief commissioner for MACC really on leave? Who asked him to go on leave? What is the real game plan here; can this schemer’s agenda really take place? Is Dr Mahathir Mohamad really such a dud, even at the age 90; to allow all these?

Seventhly, I believe the adage, ‘all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing’. I like to believe that I am a good enough citizen who cares for this country and stands for good and better governance. Therefore, walking for me is all about trying to change this evil culture of cronyism and corruption which is ripe in Malaysia today.

Eighthly, I will walk because I am not yet convinced that ‘the other side will be better’. Therefore also, although Selangor is governed by the Pakatan, for the second term and with a new MB; I have not seen good and convincing signs of clear, clean, and improved governance yet.

Consequently, I am forced to stop paying my home assessment for the lack of good governance within my local authority, as they allow green lungs and other public spaces to be stolen for illegitimate private uses.

Ninthly, I cannot allow the Ambigas and Pak Samads (photo) of Malaysian civil society space to fight for this country as if I am only a passenger on a bus to Abilene. We, Malaysian civil society members; who are made up of all ordinary citizens of the nation, need to get off our backsides and start to become counted.

Finally, this column is dedicated to my professor, teacher, and friend, Jerry B Harvey, who went home to be with the Lord in McLean, Virginia. Jerry helped me to define and refine my thinking about ‘dignity in the workplace’ and since then, vide his books and other write-ups, about dignity in the world space. God bless you, Jerry.

Aug 11, 2015 – malaysiakini
By KJ John
Enough talking, time to walk


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?



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