Malaysian politics has been plagued with endless cases of political assassination. Most of the top leaders from both sides had been tarnished with sensational personal controversies. Some of them could have provided movie producers with valuable materials to produce blockbusters.
From PM Najib, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Mat Sabu to Dr Ng Yen Yen, these leaders had suffered personal attacks and allegations which are potential hazardous to their career and credibility.
We have to put a stop to senseless character assassination. We have had enough of someone's personal life. Our yardstick to measure the usefulness of a political leader should be his/her ability to deliver good governance and service to the people.
Our fixation over controversies, personal attacks and mere allegations are going to distort our attention on the real issues. We want competing politicians to focus on delivering good policies and solutions to the multifarious issues plaguing Malaysia. We should start with the economy, as Jahabar Sadiq rightly put it in his short view.
Last Thursday, another leader Dr Ng Yen Yen got her redemption and justice. This is not a good season for Barisan leaders. Allegations made against opposition leaders are more difficult to stick while Barisan leaders are often on the receiving end when they were made against them. Perhaps, this should send a signal to those who are apt to employ the same strategy on opposition politicians especially Anwar Ibrahim and Mat Sabu to call an end to their sexual allegations game.
In Ng's case, a top advertising director Austen Zecha, a director of TBWA-ISC Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Integrated Strategic Communications Sdn Bhd (ISC), had during an interview with radio station Business FM89.9 on March 18 this year, had alleged that ISC had refused renewal of an advertising contract because the minister, through her agent, had solicited a bribe in respect of it implied that she was dishonest, corrupt and unfit for public office as well as guilty of abusing her power and position as the tourism minister to make a profit for herself.
Zecha found out later, "The fact of the matter is that I have found out since my BFM interview of 18th March 2011 that the person who claimed to be representing the Minister’s interest in seeking half of the new contract’s income in return for ISC clinching its fifth successive year three year contract is, in fact, not who that person claimed to be. In short, there is no valid connection between that person and the Minister. As such, I therefore apologise for having reacted the way I did when there was no basis to conclude that that person was acting on the Minister’s behalf concerning ISC’s recent tender for Tourism Malaysia’s current three year contract."
"In this regard, I am pleased to announce that Dato’ Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen has conducted herself honourably in so far as this matter is concerned and has graciously accepted my offer to make amends and apologise for my conduct."- (Zecha's apology letter and the Minister statement was sent to Straight Talk by the minister's assistant).
Dr Ng Yen Yen had graciously accepted the apology but had this to say: "Now that the truth has been told, I would like to move forward and not dwell on the irreparable damage that was caused by the defamatory remarks made."
Yes, the damage is irreparable if you are a Barisan leader. Some cynics had claimed that Zecha was paid to make the apology. I personally do not think that this is a fair assumption.
We should treat all allegations and character assassinations fairly and rightly - with a pinch of salt - unless any solid evidence is being tendered.
We must move away from treating politics like a soap opera. It is time to get serious because Malaysia's problems need a political solution. We need matured and smart politicians to make them.