Politicians exploiting national emergency to promote themselves

The shameful behaviour of some of our politicians never ceases to amaze me. We are in a crisis, arguably the worst crisis this nation has ever seen. Life has become tough and the future is uncertain but the people are pulling together as best they can.  Our doctors and healthcare workers are behaving with a level of professionalism and commitment that does our nation proud. 

And what do our politicians do? They look for every opportunity to promote themselves, often with public funds.

Take the Minister of Housing and Local Government who donned protective gear, held a hose in her hands and pretended that she was somehow on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. And just so that everyone would know it was her, she had the words “menteri” emblazoned on her headgear. 

If she thinks that Malaysians are going to be impressed by her juvenile antics, she is sadly mistaken.

And then there’re all those politicians who are handing out food, face masks and other items to badly affected areas with each item adorned with their photographs and/or party logos. If that is not shameless politicking, what is? Many are using public funds and making it look like they are giving out of their own generosity and kindness. There are even reports that some of the items being distributed with political messaging are items donated by China or the public. 

And they are all doing it – PPBM, UMNO, PAS, PKR, DAP and MCA – as a recent report by Bersih indicates. Apparently, a national crisis like the coronavirus pandemic is just another political opportunity for some of these MPs. 

Is the idea of genuine public service gone for good? Is everything now tainted by self-serving and self-promoting politicians? How poorly our nation is served by this bunch of shameless, unethical and unscrupulous politicians. Shame on them all for trying to exploit a national crisis for political gain. 

[Dennis Ignatius |Kuala Lumpur |4th April 2020]

Published by Dennis Ignatius

Passionate Malaysian | Former Ambassador and career diplomat | Political affairs columnist | Human rights and international affairs commentator

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