MPs whether Pakatan Harapan or Barisan Nasional should learnt should learn the two important lessons from Robert Kuok – regain the moral compass and restore the rule of law
For the first time in my decades in Parliament since 1969 (with a break in the Tenth Parliament from 1969 to 2004), I would be missing the official opening of Parliament by the Yang di Pertuan Agong because of my fall in my Gelang Patah house and the blue-black swelling around my right eye have not fully cleared.
This is the official opening of sixth meeting of the 13th Parliament, which is expected to be dissolved soon after for the 14th General Election to bd held within 70 days before mid-May.
There is no better way for MPs, whether Pakatan Harapan or Barisan Nasional, to prepare for the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for the Royal Address at the official opening of Parliament than to read the memoir of tycoon, Robert Kuok, who was recently demonized and subject to a four-day gratuitous, baseless, malicious and savage UMNO attack over the false accusation that Robert Kuok had funded the DAP against the Barisan Nasional.
Robert Kuok cannily pinpointed in his memoir the reasons why Malaysia had lost its way in the last six decades degenerating from a country respected and admired by the world into one which is scorned and held in increasing contempt because we have become a shameless global kleptocracy.
In fact, former Minister, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz dealt with these same important points in her recent FaceBook postings.
Firstly, Rafidah asked why the Malaysian authorities had not been able to find 1MDB mastermind Jho Low’s billion-ringgit luxury superyacht when she herself could spot it while on a diving trip in Thailand.
She mocked the “equanimity” of “impotent” Malaysian enforcement agencies and rubbished claims from BN leaders that there was no proof that the superyacht belonged to Jho Low.
Rafidah said the episode was shameful to Malaysia, particularly when other countries involved are taking action against 1MDB-linked scandals.
She posted: “Please… Let us not make the world see us as a basket case... We don’t deserve to be shamed as we have been.
“With all the Malaysian kleptocracy scandals which are being addressed, very expeditiously and effectively, in the US, Australia, Middle East, Switzerland, Singapore, just to name a few countries...
“People have been jailed, companies fined and barred from operating, properties and assets impounded, even ill-gotten gifts have been returned by those who do not want to be linked to this infamous yacht owner.”
Rafidah said the silence over the scandal from those in power reminded her of Hans Christian Andersen’s short tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, where “No one dared to admit they actually could not see the ‘clothes’ the emperor was supposed to be wearing, and that the emperor was without any clothes on” as “They did not want to be regarded as being stupid and unfit for their positions”.
Secondly, Rafidah’s revelation that she had asked tycoon Robert Kuok to talk to her children about ethics as Kuok was such a respectable figure.
“Kuok, who I have known personally since the early 1980s, (is) a person with whom I often discussed integrity, honesty and ethics.
“I never saw him in any light other than as a person whose principles and values the young generation should try to emulate.
"I even got Kuok to talk to my kids when they were younger about ethics”.
She lamented the UMNO attacks on Robert Kuok for the false accusation that he had been funding DAP, lamenting:
"Please, this nation is already mired in enough muck arising from the many horrors of the kleptocracy issue.
"There is no need to divert attention from them through disgusting and destructive distraction."
If only the present Ministers, whether from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, have a quarter of Rafidah’s guts, gumption and forthrightness, Malaysia would be not in such a parlous state today of being shamed as a global kleptocracy.
It will be serve Members of Parliament and even the Najib Cabinet well if they all read Robert Kuok’s Memoir, in particular Chapter 22 on “Strength of Culture” in final Part VII on “In Closing”, where he pinpointed two factors deciding the rise and fall of nations:
- A nation with moral compass; and
- Rule of Law.
Robert Kuok said: “The leaders must be politician-statesmen willing to put the good of their nations and the people above their individual self-interest. I recoil from politicians who are there for fame and glory, or to line their pockets. True leaders are those who come out of the community and govern to raise the people to greater heights.”
Robert Kuok’s memoir also said:
“A moral society cannot be attained through policing. You must begin at the beginning, and infuse the young with a strong sense of morality from a young age, both at home and at school.”
“It is a basic principle of the rule of law that everyone is equal before the law. In China today we have rule by man. Under the rule of law, even the General Secretary of the Communist Party is not above the law.”
If Malaysia has not lost its moral compass and the rule of law had not deteriorated because of the creeping loss of the independence, impartiality and professionalism of the key national institutions, the Malaysian Dream which had motivated all Malaysians six decades ago would not have been dimmed or seemed to have been lost for good unless and until Malaysia could be saved in the 14th General Election.