Minister: Many of our politicians are hopeless

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah – Picture from The Star

By John Isaac

MINISTER of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has declared an uncompromising stand against Malaysian politicians whom he describes as ‘having no integrity’.

He said the ever-increasing pace of change would require politicians to uphold the highest level of integrity.

He lamented about Malaysia facing a lot of problems, especially those concerning 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

“Unfortunately, I’m also a politician, but I can say lots of our politicians are hopeless,” he spoke at the launch of the ‘Integrity Day’ and ‘Organisation Anti-Corruption Plan’ (OACP) Workshop conducted by his ministry in Kuching as reported by Borneo Post.

Abdul Karim said the problem would emerge when politicians began ‘giving priority to their own pockets instead of their responsibilities to the people’.

He claimed that when politicians were given the trust to hold important posts, be they Prime Minister or ministers, they began ‘to see things differently’.

As an example, he said if there were projects to be implemented, the main thing in their minds would be on how they could make money from these projects.

“Unfortunately, it happens everywhere. It happens in Peninsular Malaysia, it happens in Sabah,” he said.

He said this had caused Malaysian politicians to lose loyalty to their respective parties, causing them to be in a certain party for a while and then move on to another.

This, he added, caused the whole system to collapse, and when the whole system collapsed, elected leaders would start jumping here and there, exposing their dishonesty and low level of integrity.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said politicians who had breached the trust, should go because not only had they shamed themselves, but also their families.

He said in some countries, those who had breached the trust would even kill themselves, in view of it being the only way to avoid shame.

“But in Malaysia, the whole system is already there – that is the problem. I feel sad having to say it this way when I am a politician myself, but we have a lot of problems in politicians’ integrity, be it in Peninsular Malaysia or Sabah.

“I’m not saying that we are perfect, but it is still better than in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

“Well, by saying all these things I might be creating more enemies but being a representative of the people, being a politician may not be seen as a career; rather, it is a service to society.

“When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. There are always other avenues.

“Being devoted to our land will never fail you,” added the minister.