Malaysia Dateline

Santhara is the living embodiment of “Do as I say, not as I do”

We Malaysians are a forgiving lot. For the most part, we are decent, law abiding, polite human-beings.

And it’s unfortunate that we’ve extended that same politeness to politicians who misread our kindness for weakness, who betray, lie and treat their voters like welcome mats.

You know the kind I’m referring to, the type of politician that Edmund Santhara has gradually exposed himself to be.

A politician so entitled, he would leave Malaysia in the middle of a global health crisis and take an almost two month vacation while the entire country is under lockdown.

I sympathise with Santhara for wanting to visit his family and his wife who was feeling unwell in New Zealand, but there are so many Malaysians who are in the same boat.

In fact, how many could not even travel to say their last goodbyes to family members who have passed away? Santhara, there is simply no excuse for what you have done.

When I think about your lengthy 55-day holiday, it brings me back to the young Malaysian employee who committed suicide in Singapore after isolation and being apart from his family fuelled his depression.

What would his family have given to have spent just a day with him and help him feel less alone?

Let’s face the facts. Many have been forced to make heartbreaking sacrifices in our attempt to combat the virus together. Santhara’s family situation isn’t any more unique or dire in any way. Is his family somehow more important because he is a politician?

His defensive attitude in response to the whole debacle simply adds salt to the wound. He even went so far as to threaten legal action against those who were supposedly “damaging his reputation”. Really, Santhara?

Someone who was concerned about his reputation would not have abandoned the people’s mandate, or flown 9000 km for a vacation while the country has been plunged into economic and political uncertainty.

Word to the wise, just because Muhyiddin gave you his formal approval doesn’t make what you did okay; it makes him complicit in practicing double standards. Spare us the sanctimonious drivel about how you haven’t done “anything wrong”.

After all, if you hadn’t done anything wrong – why not inform your constituency of your trip? Why only admit to it after you were exposed by the Sarawak Report?

Was a simple and heartfelt apology to the Malaysian people somehow beneath you?

You are not going to be able to gaslight your way out of this. While you were away, your constituency Segamat was hit with massive floods. Who were the people supposed to turn to?

Your arrogance proves that you are just another entitled politician that perfectly encompasses everything the Perikatan Nasional government has stood for since its inception.

The problem with politicians like Santhara boils down to the fact that he is so far removed from the wants and needs of the average Malaysian.

With a net worth of over RM 132million, Santhara doesn’t understand the struggles of living within the system.

It is absolutely shameful that in Malaysia those that make the rules don’t feel the need to abide by them.

Santhara brings shame wherever he goes. He brought shame to Pakatan Harapan for trusting him; he has brought shame to Perikatan Nasional by association, and now he has brought shame to two countries due to his entitlement.

If only he’d feel enough shame within him to do the right thing and resign.