Awang Tengah: Buying food or dispensing largesse?

SARAWAK Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan was recently caught on video with his face mask off during his visit to Matu, Sarawak on March 31.

In the 25-second video, walking past stalls selling food and beverages sans face mask. He had since then acknowledged his mistake and was issued a compound for his oversight.

But the bigger issue here is the fact that he was also seen giving out RM50 notes to roadside hawkers during the public event.

He has since then claimed that the money was meant as payment for the items that he had purchased from the hawkers.

The Borneo Post has also reported him as saying that he had been in a hurry and had asked his special officer to collect the items for him, adding that he had given money to the stallholders and had told them to pack his purchases.

But still, one has to wonder: Did he really buy something from the hawkers, or was he dispensing largesse?

If you take a closer look at the video, you would see him swaggering through the crowd and handing our RM50 notes to hawkers. What you wouldn’t see is him stopping at a stall long enough to relay his orders to the stall owner.

So unless he was telepathic, he couldn’t have had the time to order anything from anybody, could he?

Awang Tengah has always been known as a ‘generous’ man, but one has to wonder if the money that he had handed out was truly for what he had claimed.

While clichéd, cash is king, and this is true for many Malaysian politicians from both sides of the political divide, especially when the general elections are just around the corner.

Whether the money is for the ‘welfare’ of the people, or a ‘tip’ of sorts to buy power and votes, this has long been a common sight.

And so, in Awang Tengah’s case, whether or not there is a kernel of truth to what he had claimed, who can really tell for sure? – April 9, 2021


Photo credit: Malaysiakini

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE