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Friday, June 29, 2018

There are limits to baloney


Some years back, I read a story of an African dictator who amassed personal wealth equivalent to 70 percent of his nation’s debt. Sadly this fact was revealed only after he was kicked out of office after 32 years in power.
Today we can draw the same parallel in our country. In terms of governance and checks and balances, I think we are no different from those in Africa in the past.
How much was enough really? Were those in power before GE14 mentally unsound? Can we ever imagine what will happen to us if they had continued to govern this country?
Raids from sundry “leftovers” in homes and apartments alone gathered us more than a billion ringgit! Can we ever imagine how much more they could have stacked away in secret banks and faraway places?
For an average family, how much petty cash in hand do we keep in each house? Maybe a thousand or two? This leader and his family kept more than RM100 million ringgit!
Mind you, this family did not have to go to a private clinic, petrol station or pay rent or do marketing every few days.
What about gifts? How many can we expect to receive in our lifetime? Granted that as the prime minister, more people would want to butter him with gifts. But if we look at the numbers from jewellery, handbags and watches to sunglasses, it was like he was getting gifts every other day.
For goodness sake, is every day his birthday? As the PM, I think he must be spending more time receiving gifts than doing work.
Besides, if a national leader from another country gave a gift worth more than three million ringgit to our PM, what really was the message?
You are at liberty to take a guess – that the foreign leader loved our PM very much; that he was trying to bribe our PM; that our PM could be bought over; that our national interest is up for sale.
We then talked about over-valuation of the items seized by the police. My view is that even if the police-sanctioned valuers had “overvalued” the seized items by 100 percent, the amount is still mind-boggling.
Seriously, I wonder who was leading and managing Malaysia over the past 10 years when handbags, jewellery, sunglasses, watches and lots of cash were taking the centre-stage. We have not even included the many alleged real estate, paintings and yachts spread across the globe.

I wonder again how one could ever explain all this. Well, we were told that the PM did not know what was going on; the possessions he owned were mainly gifts; the valuation was flawed; his family was rich and he needs lots of cash to manage a political party.
Seriously, I think there are limits to baloney. -Mkini

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