– The Malaysian Insider
September 11, 2013
Raise your hand if you expected Dr Mahathir Mohamad to have a conscience attack and blame himself and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for Project IC – that not-so-secret initiative to hand identity cards to thousands of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Well, if you didn’t raise your hand, you are in good company because the former prime minister does not do well before a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
He had an acute case of amnesia when he appeared before the commission looking into the V. K. Lingam video clip in 2007 and there was every chance that he was going to hit the didn’t-do-it can’t remember-it mode today.
Why? Because the former prime minister does not lose sleep just because millions think he is being charitable with the truth. In his own perverse way, he must always come out on top.
So, going before the RCI in Kota Kinabalu and sticking to his own story, no matter how ridiculous it is, is a win in his eyes.
So let us play along with the Dr Mahathir storyline. He said the government was not responsible for immigrants being given ICs illegally.
And his explanation: “These illegal immigrants may have been issued the identity cards erroneously or it may have been the wrongdoing of certain low-ranking civil servants.”
So, according to Dr Mahathir, thousands upon thousands of ICs were accidentally given to Suluks and other illegal immigrants from The Philippines. And this was either through the negligence or crooked ways of some clerk in a government department.
And while this was happening, should we also assume that the bigwigs at the National Registration Department and police were comatose?
Using Dr Mahathir’s logic, no blame should accrue to the BN government for anything. Because it is either an accident or the fault of a low-level civil servant.
There is no duty of care for a minister, deputy minister, parliamentary secretary or senator to ensure that a ministry or government agency runs efficiently and is not a nest of corruption. None whatsoever.
So using Dr Mahathir’s logic, we can also say NO ONE should blame the government for:
* the spike in crime. The failure of the police to do their job rests solely with the cops, not with the Home Minister or Prime Minister.
* inflated contracts and one-sided privatisation projects. The failure rests with the civil servants at the Economic Planning Unit, and not with the ministers who endorsed and lobbied for the project to be pushed through. Or for the Umno politician who was awarded the contract for loyalty to the party.
* for appointing an unqualified person to be the ambassador to Indonesia. Blame the foreign service official who acted beyond his pay grade and picked the least likeliest candidate in Malaysia for the prestigious job.
With Dr Mahathir and his ilk, it is always the same story: it is someone else’s fault. Even with a mountain of evidence, it is always someone else’s fault. – September 11, 2013.