Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What honeymoon?

The one hot issue in Malaysia these days is none other than corruption and how to combat it. While the Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has made some further pledges (in marking the end of his first year 'honeymoon' in office) to fight the disease, several political commentators such as Stevan Gan and MGG Pillai have correctly pointed to his failure to do so over the last few months.

Malaysians are understandably disappointed.

Abdullah has based his election platform on fighting corruption and Malaysians have almost fully supported him. What is holding him back? Is it that difficult to put the wrong doers behind bars? Those so-called big fishes? The “warlords”?

I recall a commentary by Bakri Musa, who suggested that Abdullah could do wonders if he sets his mind to serve only one term. Forget about hoping to be reelected. This would give him a free rein to push for reforms worthy of an emerging first world nation.

Once he has his mind on track, the only thing left to do is to kick the butts of those contaminated fishes in his pond. Imagine what history he could make in just one short and swift term... Impossible thing to do, you’d say?