‘Perhaps, the time is right for both the BN leadership and the opposition to be signatories to a code of political behavior where all universal values, ethics and dignity of public office are preserved!
Among them to limit some political offices to two terms and to implement stricter conditions on the selection process of those aspiring to be state assemblymen, members of Parliament or senators?’
GE14 – WE NEED A CODE OF POLITICAL INTEGRITY & PRACTICE!
In 2002, my then, eight-year-old son, reading an English-language newspaper asked me, what ‘sexual immorality’ was, referring to the ongoing verbal salvo and ‘washing of dirty linen’ between then, suspended Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) deputy president Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and PBRS president Joseph Kurup.
For a standard three student then, his second statement caught me by surprise when he remarked, “Papa, leaders should work hard for Malaysia, whether in the government or opposition not fight against each other.
They are all in the same team, to help the community, are they not?”
His third statement, settled the issue when he said:
“It is time Grandpa Mahathir sack those who are not doing their duty properly!”
Sixteen years after, he is now finishing his Master of Laws in the UK but that same question lingers on!
I cannot understand why for some strange reason one cannot but wonder why those in positions of power cannot resist the temptation to ‘wash dirty linen in public, smear the image of the nation when abroad or worst, utter rude and despicable statements as a leader that encourages violence, race and religious baiting, every time they decide to fight each other for power, control of political parties or positions or in national elections!
Two statements, one from Selangor and the other from Negeri Sembilan were truly offensive which belittles the dignity and decorum of political office, of late!
When we keep boasting to the world at large in Europe, West Asia, APEC and ASEAN should we not walk that talk?
The situation becomes more sinister as we approach another national election!
Where blood and family ties broken down because of political leanings, rhetoric and persuasions?
We even had public prayers for our political opponents to be destroyed!
Simply embarrassing and an abomination to all great religious teachings and statutes, no doubt!
Should we not all be agents of holistic change, of engaging in pro-active discussions with respected community leaders and party elders, who in some cases, may facilitate reconciliation, despite one’s political affiliations, while in others, may initiate a trouble free transfer of power, which is truly a reflection of political maturity and Parliamentary democracy post elections?
It is sad that we are beginning to have a culture of political assassinations, smear campaigns, thuggish and vulgar behavior that ultimately smears and tarnishes the integrity and image of our beloved country Malaysia!
Those involved in various groups and camps in political conflict seem to forget that one must always leave the doors to reconciliation open and not burn one’s bridges!
When corned these political shenanigans blame the media for misquoting or say those offensive remarks were indeed jokes?
This belittles the intelligence of political observers and the Malaysian community!
Interestingly enough, most allegations revolve around incompetency, corruption, immoral behavior, womanizing, carnal knowledge, and of course, ‘repeated official and unofficial marriages’ by those who have made individual decisions to serve the nation and public office.
For the record, we cannot deny the fact that we have had such cases in the past and present.
Perhaps, the time is right for both the BN leadership and the opposition to be signatories to a code of political behavior where all universal values, ethics and dignity of public office are preserved!
Among them to limit some political offices to two terms and to implement stricter conditions on the selection process of those aspiring to be state assemblymen, members of Parliament or senators?
And certainly, disciplinary action taken against any politicians, engaging in omissions or activities that tarnish the image of the public office.
It is also important that a inter party disciplinary committee be set up to address any such allegations.
The disciplinary committee suggested consisting individuals of standing and good conduct from member parties which includes NGOs, to address and make decisions, instead of the present mudslinging, legal suits and challenges.
It is indeed sad, that some who have decided to lead have failed to lead by example.
They have failed to live up to a code of ethics that will truly make us proud that they are our leaders.
It is sincerely hoped that our prime minister and other senior practitioners in the Malaysian political landscape will, as part of their contribution to the Malaysian political process, initiate and entrench such a code of practice that will ensure that above one’s academic background, ability and political track record, one’s moral uprightness will be the deciding factor in selection to political office and that the decision of the Malaysian electorate will always be respected!