POLITICAL parties are likely to have a few individuals who will cause embarrassment or humiliation to the rest. Politicians are public officials, who at all times will be scrutinized for what they say. While some share their views or opinions on a certain subject matter, there are those that end up making absurd comments leading to public criticisms or ridicule. It will be up to the party leadership to ensure that such individuals toe the party line as their actions or comments is a reflection of the party.
There are politicians who should refrain from making any more comments but then again several are known to just continue shooting off their mouths completely oblivious to the public sentiment. In Malaysia there are a number of politicians that are either just plain ignorant or could not be bothered by the public opinion of them.
The latest incident involves UMNO Member of Parliament for Langkawi Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, who had posted on his Facebook page that the constitution states the government is made of three arms – the judiciary, executive, and legislature. He concluded that with all three bodies being answerable to the Agong therefore “the Agong is MO1” (Malaysian Official 1), a term used by the United States (US) Department of Justice (DOJ) to describe a top official of the Malaysian government who received millions of funds in his personal accounts.
Nawawi has of course quickly sought to clarify his statement. Nonetheless the public has taken to social media to express their utter displeasure. Ironically this is not the first time that Nawawi made headlines for his controversial statements. He was previously chastised by the public for claiming that his salary was not paid by the people, but was from the government and that public funds did not belong to the people. Thus, it is obvious that Nawawi has not learnt his lesson and has failed to understand that nowadays in Malaysia the public has a greater say and faster way to share their opinions of a political mishap. There are a number of other UMNO officials that have made silly remarks and have been publicly rebuked.
The opposition DAP has itself faced its own fair share of embarrassing moments. The most recent was when former DAP man Hew Kuan Yau or better known as ‘Superman’ suggested that Malaysia cannot win medals without the Chinese following the Malaysian badminton mixed doubles pair’s entry into the Rio Olympics finals. It is disheartening that he had made such comments given the unifying power of sports. Although Hew has left the party, he is seen as synonymous with DAP, which is already perceived as a Chinese chauvinist party. Back in May, he created controversy over his “screw the Malays” remark during the Sarawak state elections.
As evident politicians making asinine comments is nothing new but should be reined in especially by the party. Politicians are supposed to be highly educated, intellectual individuals representing their respective party and constituents. But it leaves little to be desired if the elected politician has a poor personal conduct. Politicians who neglect to think before they speak run the risk of saying something they will surely regret.
Eddy Liow is an independent analyst and Malaysian Access reader. Article written is strictly his personal view. Malaysian Access does not necessarily endorse the opinions given by any third party content provider.