I was surprised when the educational credentials of my fellow Senator Datuk Marzuki Yahya, the Deputy Foreign Minister, were exposed as fake.
I quite like this gentle giant of a guy. He’s affable and friendly. Instantly, I dismissed the social media brouhaha and was sympathetic to an “enemy” on the other side.
In a way, I was biased towards an acquaintance that I had a good impression of. At least he doesn’t carry the arrogance, anger and hatred seen among other Pakatan Harapan members, evident in their mannerisms and speeches after assuming power.
My heart and mind said “Give him a break!” I wanted to skip and ignore his indiscretion even though I may be less forgiving of other ministers, be they from Barisan Nasional (BN) or otherwise.
Days passed and presto, suddenly there are more ministers from the Pakatan government who are in the same ‘dubious qualifications’ boat.
They include a dropout who did not think he was under obligation to correct government official news agency Bernama when he was reported to have graduated with a degree in culinary arts from ITM (Mara Institute of Technology).
It’s understandable that our Defence Minister would be too embarrassed to tell the world he did not complete his studies, more so when the nation’s security and intelligence are under his control and his contemporaries in Asean are all highly qualified.
The fact is, an individual who was expelled from ITM is now the Defence Minister in Malaysia Baru. And in Malaysia Baru, everyone suddenly turns deaf, blind and dumb as no one wants to take the Prime Minister to task for making an obviously flawed appointment.
We are making the same mistakes of yonder when we allowed Mahathirism to thrive. The man’s omnipresence in our Malaysian political scene for decades and his recent success in bringing down the incumbent Malaysian government have rendered him politically powerful and invincible.
Therefore, all Pakatan politicians and sympathisers gave him a free hand in his appointment of his Cabinet members. Gone were the passion and calls for good governance, meritocracy and integrity!
Suddenly there is a silence as his former critics are now in awe (and also fear) of this 93-year-old man who in the past was demonised and insulted by the same individuals. Some had at one time even gone to the extent of undertaking that they will put Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad behind bars if there was a change of government.
We must remember that Dr Mahathir, although a successful politician, is also a serial failure in his trust, delegation and appointment of subordinates whether it’s in politics or economics. He has admitted that his handpicked successors of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak were a mistake. His many Deputy Prime Ministers from Tun Musa Hitam to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were also “mistakes”.
Let’s not forget the flawed appointments of Perwaja Steel’s (the late) Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock and MAS’ Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli, among others.
His appointees are often flawed. It is only right that the Pakatan component parties exercise due diligence and assert a check and balance on appointments made by the prime minister and not “kow-tow” to him all the way in fear of drawing his ire.
Then we have a minister who was reported to be a science graduate from National University of Singapore. Our neighbours’ intelligence must be laughing all the way when the government official news agency released her credentials. No wonder their government does not show the respect of before, a side of them which we have never seen before.
As Dr Mahathir once said: “Melayu mudah lupa”. Time to walk the old familiar path and reminisce the good old days of peace, tranquility by authority.
I love the days of Malaysia Boleh!