Opinion

I know, you can’t help yourself, it’s too easy

Praba Ganesan

Praba Ganesan is Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Social Media Strategist. He wants to engage with you, and learn from your viewpoints. You can contact him at prabaganesan@hotmail.comor follow him on Twitter @prabaganesan

FEB 16 — The Gandhi line, of a world — in this case Malaysia — not having enough for everyone’s greed rings truer by the day, as growing numbers discard their blinkers within these shores only to be appalled by the landscape.

Those with much, want more, and those with less are derided for not wanting to pay their own way. Nothing is free they keep repeating, yet it appears a class of people have never seen a bill, let alone pay for it.

It appears the privileged class are getting a better education so that they can ridicule the rest for not understanding very complex and equally perplexing things.

It’s a rojak (spicy mixed-fruit concoction) bowl of omission, inclusion, retraction, extraction, distraction, redirection and implication, powered by expensive consultants backed by unrelenting mainstream media.

But perhaps I misspeak, the issues are quite straight-forward, but they do remain perplexing to a vertigo-inducing point.

NFCorp, 1 Care, ETP, Iskandar, missing corridors in the north, east and Borneo, defence procurements and maintenance, GTP, FELDA, MAS-AirAsia share swap, PKFZ, highway concessionaires, pick your random Auditor-General’s Report, rare-earth refinery, EPF investments and returns, Khazanah, name-that-mansion-owner game, Petronas, TNB, IPPs, KL Financial District, Old Sungei Besi air base, KLIA2, Proton, DRB, Bakun Dam... can you keep count?

It is just the volume, non-closure and prolonged drama that tires interested eyes and confirms the suspicions of the disinterested.

The central inquiry: why does it seem there are individuals, families and groups in Malaysia with insatiable cravings, moving in with zero stealth and naked intent?

A time to take, you can keep the change

I’ll concede, it’s two questions. That there are those who want to gobble up as much as possible and, more importantly, appear to be the least bit apologetic about taking indiscriminately.

I’ll also concede human nature before venturing answers.

As human beings we covet things. It is hard to live without wanting, and you struggle to want what you have. You covet the unattainable.

Society gives structure, either paths to the difficult or reasons why the impossible is not possible. Between them, balance is expected.

Societies are not about truths, they are about stable perpetuation — to be and to continue to be.  

Religion resides in society to provide the glue where structures fail.

There is absolute morality, what is right — and almost all speak of it constantly. But countries are dictated by prevailing morality, what seems to be right by comparison and convention. This is where human nature plays its hands mercilessly.

Every time someone is lifted to a position of power in my circle, many will ask for something. It is not suggesting that someone shows some influence or opens doors, no. They want the person to give them what he can.

It has gone on for some time in this country, and most condone it, those squeamish about it are laughed at and the minority opposed to it are lambasted for not being in tune with local culture.

This is just magnified when it affects larger undertakings.

The quality of our discussions on corruption is lacking. This is not to assail language, educational or values of those discussing, but about courage. The courage to examine our own actions and thoughts in the whirlpool of corruption which happens in streets near all of us, all of the time.

A new state healthcare programme extorting money from every salaried person would have tier after tier of participants and beneficiaries. It is not just those who show up on the “About us” column in the website.

The passive role many have played for many years in this country of plenty has emboldened parties to act with impunity. 

No one is calling the ambulance, no one is going to jail

Second, less conceptual but no less compelling is that no one ever goes to jail.

There is a joke going around. Steal a car, and you go to jail. Buy a car factory for a steal, using taxpayers’ money you never intended to repay, then you get your Datukship.

Shoplifters in 7-Eleven face higher risk than the regular names mentioned by the irregulars.

There can be discussions, police interviews, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission visits, tax department queries, royal commission inquiries, political promises, court trials, parliamentary oversights, Cabinet-level examinations, inter-departmental fact-finding, border-crossing prosecutorial briefs, religious sermons and group prayers, but as things stand — no one of a certain standing in this country from the right-side of the divide will go to jail.

The what, how and when drown in a staged quagmire. Remember all the controversial topics I highlighted at the start. Recollect the key players and then developments in their appropriate timelines? Willing to sieve through the body of releases made on it to locate reliable facts?

Government is supposed to do this for us, mainstream media is supposed to be the main component of the fourth estate. Together, meaningful, basic information is passed to the many to adjudicate. The cases will be expedited, resolved and eyes can turn to the next situation without needing to have the concentration levels of an expert Sudoku player. 

Between the information blitz and inaction, the common man loses the plot.

This then explains why the frustration levels are rising in the country. Those who see it can see an end to it.

Those who are grabbing can’t help themselves. The prevailing moralities condone their actions, and the institutions are not shadowing them but rather watching out for them.

When these things are placed in perspective then it is completely foreseeable that those grabbing wealth in this country are just living up to the country’s dominant ethos.

Honesty, fair play and charity are Facebook pages you can add. Gandhi is a guy with no shopping allowance. And these uber-rich can always fly their children to Porbandar, Gujarat to see the half-naked kafir’s birthplace and comprehend what he meant by the world — by this I mean Malaysia — having enough for everyone’s need.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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