Politicians are adept at seizing opportunities for political mileage, be it during good, or bad times.
They will claim credit when things are rosy, and are not shy about self-promotion, saying how their efforts had brought untold benefits to the people.
On the other hand, during times of disaster, stemming directly or indirectly from their incompetence or dereliction of duty, they will try to pass the buck onto others.
A classic example is Environment and Water Minister, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who went missing at the peak of the floods, and returned only after the water had receded.
Not only was he conspicuously absent during the disaster, he blamed the people for their suffering because they did not take the weather reports seriously, conveniently forgetting that it was he, who had declared at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change (COP26) summit, that Malaysia was not affected by the effects of climate change.
Most of the other ministers, politicians and government officials were also unavailable as they were abroad, completely oblivious to the floods.
When the ire of the people boiled over and erupted on social media, they tried to mitigate the damage. Spin doctors worked overtime.
They reappeared a few days after the floods, not so much to render aid, but to stage photo ops.
For example, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz cruised along flooded areas with a boat full of photographers, officials and hangers-on.
He was there not to do an assessment of the situation, or to render aid, but to stage a photo op. It was sheer hypocrisy.
Then, there was Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Rina Harun, using a water jet to clean an already clean pavement and drain, accompanied by a retinue of photographers to record her acting debut as a glorified cleaner.
Not to be outdone was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who together with his convoy of cars, 4WD vehicles and police escorts, raced through the single lane road towards Hulu Langat, Selangor, without giving way to an ambulance.
He and his entourage also descended onto Taman Sri Nading to clean a surau, which had earlier been cleaned by the residents.
The Ismail Sabri convoy, and the Rina Harun water jet cleaning episodes even made it to, and were ridiculed on Thai television!
These politicians were trying to outdo one another by ”helping” the flood victims. It was all a show.
The people expect politicians to visit disaster areas at the most critical of times to render help, as that is their responsibility; not to stage photo ops for political mileage after the situation had stabilised.
The breakdown of institutional governance due to the absence of credible leadership had downgraded Malaysia to the level of a Third World country that is unable to adequately respond to environmental and economic challenges.
Their only concern is to empower themselves.
The challenges facing the country have shown that this non-mandated government has thoroughly failed the people.
It is pointless to expect the current administration to transform itself into a credible government overnight, because our so-called leaders are bereft of any intellectual acumen, or moral, and ethical responsibility.
Inept self-serving politicians must be replaced by a new government of youthful, professional, and altruistic politicians.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.