Of all the current crop of leaders in the country, there is only one from my vantage point as a well-informed citizen I see as having no vested interest. And that is the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. His only vested interest is the good of the nation. Period.
That is not to say that other leaders are not concerned over the good of the nation. They are but many have vested interests and when these come in conflict with the greater good, the human tendency is to protect your interests. But, Tun has none. He has nothing to lose. And that is why he can be trusted.
Like he said, he is a man in a hurry who wants to establish good conventions of governance so that the leaders who follow him abide by the rule of law and have no reason to seek the help of those with vested interests to wheel and deal to stay in power, like the previous Najib government did.
Wheeling and dealing can take place with associates as long as no law is broken. But, if you are a public official there can be no monetary deals involving public funds. Even if commissions are involved in the tender of government projects, the amount must be clearly specified and the full amount should go into the government coffers and not into anyone’s pocket. Better still, there should be no commission for government tenders!
But, the culture that was openly nurtured under the previous Umno government was to “you help me and I help you and we have a win-win situation where we can also help our supporters by throwing some morsels in their direction in the form of BR1M and such” under the guise of in the name of “race, religion and rulers”. When leaders quote the latter cliched slogan, you know that’s what they mean.
Under Tun’s premiership under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government that culture has been put paid. But disgruntled Umno leaders still think they can elicit the help of vested interests to topple a rightfully elected government and Tun is fully aware of what they are up to and identified the culprits in the current Johor-Putrajaya issue by telling them: “You lost, be quiet!”
Neither Tun nor the PH Cabinet has in any way slighted the rulers. But, some people apparently poked fire and started this rift between the Johor royalty and the federal government. Notice, how quiet they are now, hiding somewhere quietly like mice while others suffer from the fallout? They should just get a job, then they won’t have time for making mischief!
Rulers generally don’t interfere with the running of the state unless approached. Ill-advised and irresponsible politicians who do that would then put them in a spot. Tun fully knows what is going on and he has made it very clear that rulers can’t interfere in the administration of the country and the state. There can’t be two rules or a joint rule.
This is the rule of law that must be respected because that is what the Federal Constitution — the supreme law of the land — states. Rulers and politicians and citizens know what the law says. Much has been written on it and it is public knowledge. Constitutional expert Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, who is a professor with University Malaya, has stated again and again that rulers endorse what the executive decides on.
Tun is the elder statesman. He knows what he is saying. More importantly, he is laying the ground rules for future leaders so that no elected leader will be influenced by vested interests. The rule must be by the people for the people.
The issue isn’t ignorance of the law; it is compliance. If everyone without exception follows the rule of law, there will be political stability. That will eventually lead to economic progress for all, and in our case, it may come sooner rather than later — if the rule of law is upheld by all.