Azam’s position as MACC chief no longer tenable

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Time that we make sure the Government actually listens to the voices of the people.

To be fair to Tan Sri Azam Baki, the MACC chief commissioner currently embroiled in a controversy surrounding the questionable purchase of shares, he has not been found guilty in any court of law.

But in the court of public opinion, Azam’s position as the top man in the country’s top anti-graft agency is no longer tenable. The least he should do is to step aside as investigations into his alleged wrongdoings get underway.

But in Malaysia, a public or elected official voluntarily stepping aside until one is cleared of any wrongdoings is as rare as the sightings of the endangered Malayan Tiger in the wild.

How is it that we have cultivated a culture where the powers-that-be can so shamelessly turn a deaf ear towards cries for transparency and good governance? What went wrong?

The reality is that the Government has become tone-deaf to the aspirations of the people. The desire of Government leaders to accede to the wishes of the rakyat ends when the former’s self-interests begin.

And we allow this impunity to go on for decades, at the expense of the rakyat’s well-being. Scandal after scandal involving billions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money goes missing over the years with no one brought to the book. In rare cases, perpetrators only received a slap on the wrist.

This happens in every stratum of the Government from the Cabinet, right down to village security and development committees. It didn’t help that Malaysians have short memories.

How many of us still recall the allegations of sexual misconduct involving a Minister which took place in Sandakan in 2019? The fact that there was a sworn video confession by the victim and footage of the supposed act, appeared to have little slipped the memories of many Malaysians.

The authorities have also gone quiet on this case, where only either the VIP or the victim could be telling the truth, not both. But so far, neither the Minister was charged for misconduct nor the victim charged for providing false statements.

This lacuna is deeply unsettling as it chips away our faith in the independence of our government apparatus. And the VIP in question is now openly running for higher office.

But we must not forget that the likes of this Senior Minister and Azam are just a microcosm of the systemic problems in the country. Most of us played a role in allowing this to fester in our society, whether through our action or inertia.

It is time we turn this around and make sure that this Government actually listens to the voices of the people. We cannot allow our children and grandchildren to look back at how we gloss over the misdeeds of those who put the future of this nation at risk.

The views expressed here are strictly those of The True Net reader Jonathan Fang from Ipoh.