… For the first time, someone in position and authority owned up for his mistake or folly (whichever way you want to look at it) and took responsibility for it, and quit. For the first time, a minister resigned alluding to public reaction that his position is no longer tenable.
He openly admitted his wrongdoing and openly sought forgiveness before deciding to do the right thing – quit all positions in the party and the government. Chua’s resignation must send a strong message not only to our politicians but others holding public office that indiscretion of such nature is not acceptable in our society.
What about the Selangor Economic Development Corporation (PKNS) which admitted in open court that it cut hills and destroyed greenery with impunity? It paid a fine of RM330,000 but what about the directors and the general manager? They are all sitting on their high horses pretending that nothing had ever happened. Its chairman, despite all the complaints and the rebuke by the Prime Minister, had the audacity to tell Malaysians: “Semuanya Ok!”
What about Datuk Zakaria Md Deros? Let’s not fault the Datin for applying for the land to build the palace in Port Klang. Anyone can apply for state land, but what about the members of the State Executive Council who approved the alienation of the land way below market prices? What about the president of the Klang Municipal Council who did nothing as the structure came up without approval? Did anyone have any honour or morals or for that matter, decency, to stand up and say: Yes, I erred. I apologise and I resign?
No. They all played the game of passing the buck, which has become the national pastime of our politicians. To them, it is not their fault but someone else’s fault. What about Zakaria himself? His answer: The people still support me. How did he come to that conclusion? Did he enlist the services of Gallup or AC Nielsen? No. He happens to be the uncrowned king of Klang and he’s untouchable as far as Mr Semuanya Ok is concerned. No shame. No morals, no ethics. Period.
Going by Chua’s standards, the General Manager of the Port Klang Authority would have been an ex-civil servant six months ago. From Day One, the plan to build a free trade zone a’la Jebel Ali in Dubai was a disaster. Even the purchase of the land was nothing less than scandalous. Today, Malaysian taxpayers have to pay for the cost of the inefficiency, lack of foresight and the manner in which contracts were entered into. It’s not small change or rojak money as one former finance minister described his foray into the stock market. We are talking big bucks – RM4.6 billion and yet, no one has come forward to explain, let alone take responsibility for this colossal loss and do the most honourable thing. Instead, they are all running helter-skelter looking for spin doctors to do damage control.
Similarly, those responsible for the diversion of Telekom Malaysia shares meant for Maika Holdings to private companies are still around, pretending nothing has happened. One is happily domiciled in Australia, popping into Malaysia on and off. At least two others are sitting in Parliament and another is a municipal councillor. But where’s their conscience and can they sleep soundly? No one talked about resignation, no one talked about accountability. They will continue to rule the roost while the rakyat – some clueless and apathetic – continue to suffer.
The list of spineless and unethical people in public office is endless. They don’t care. They are not bothered by public opinion. Neither are they bothered by their own conscience. All they are interested in is themselves.
But Chua’s actions should jolt them and drive some common sense into them. If you fail the people’s trust, you should no longer hold office.
…I do know that he is a man with conviction, a rare trait in our political ranks. In this hour of need, his family is with him, and if he needs, there will be thousands of strangers whom he can count on as friends for the bold and noble thing he did.