Recently, many strange things are happening in our country which are not amenable to simple explanations.
The most recent strange happening in the country is the disappearance of prominent deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais since Friday.
Kevin, who was previously seconded to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) until more than a year ago, was last seen leaving for work from his apartment at Menara Duta, Kuala Lumpur, Friday morning.
I am gravely concerned about the whereabout of DPP Kevin Morais who is well-known as a principled, righteous and God-fearing man who brooks no nonsense for any hanky-panky and discharges his duties without fear or favour.
The discovery of a burnt car in Kampung Sungai Samak, Hilir Perak has cast a pall over Kevin’s case.
I am concerned as among other things, Kevin was my constituent when I was Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor before I contested in Gelang Patah in the last general election.
Another strange thing is the two-week disappearance of seven orang Asli students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tohoi in the interiors of Gua Musang, Kelantan, and even stranger, the letter by the principal of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tohoi to parents of the missing children to bring them back to the school within 31 days or risk having them expelled.
One of the parents, Midah Angah said: “This is an outrage. Our children went missing from the school and now we get this?
“How can we bring back our children when they got lost on school grounds and we don’t know where they are.
“Everyone knows the kids are missing. How can the school authorities send such a letter to us knowing fully well that there is a search party out there looking for them.”
The children, missing since Aug 23, are believed to have left the school after being scolded by a teacher for going swimming without permission.
This is indeed ridiculous and nonsensical and I call on the Education Minister, Datuk Madzir Khalid to give his personal attention to this problem and to help resolve it with common sense and sensitivity, and not to use any bureaucratic red-tape and haughtiness to handle the problem.
A third strange thing in recent days is the three-day 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya, which was hosted by the Malaysian Government to use the 16th IACC to show the world that Malaysia is a nation whose anti-corruption record deserves international respect and recognition.
The outcome was the exact opposite, as the 1,000 delegates from over 130 countries have dispersed from the 16th IACC with the worst-possible impression of Malaysia’s anti-corruption record, especially as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself pulled out of the official ceremony in the last minute as he could not explain simple questions about the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal – who gave the donation, how much was donated and what has happened to the money!
The fourth strange thing in Malaysia is the recent gyrations of Ministers over a “no confidence” motion against the Prime Minister in Parliament, which is an accepted as an ordinary and integral part of parliamentary democracy all over the world but not in Malaysia.
At first, any association with a “no confidence motion” against the Prime Minister was tarred with the brush of being disloyal, anti-national and even an act of treason; but although such a ridiculous attitude was not persisted with, there are still Ministers who still regard a “no confidence motion” against the Prime Minister as a coup to “topple” the Prime Minister and therefore undemocratic and not permissible.
The fifth strange thing is the government’s attitude towards the Bersih 4 overnight rally, where Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, sex, gender or even politics gathered together for a common cause for good governance and free, fair elections – issues which transcend race.
Several Ministers have persisted in regarding Bersih 4 as a Chinese show of force against Malay political power, when there is no tinge of racialism at all in the Bersih 4 rally. It would appear that in insisting to see the Bersih 4 in Malay-Chinese terms, the presence of over 20,000 Indians as well as Ibans and Kadazans in Bersih 4 were just ignored or regarded as “non-persons”.
These and other strange things happening in Malaysia are not conducive to the healthy development of a mature and united Malaysian nation.
It is time that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Ministers set a good example to all Malaysians instead of being bad examples in both word and deed aggravating the national crisis of confidence in the country.
(Speech at the DAP forum “Future of Indian Community” at Good Hope Hotel, Gelang Patah on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 at 5 pm)