Letter to Editor
PROF Dr Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara and Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya believe that Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s conviction on embezzlement and money laundering charges could well be the end of his political career and Muda.
According to Azmi, this is so because “no one will believe him again, not even his ardent supporters.”
I, for one, have no idea what Azmi is talking about.
I am quite sure that no one in the country ever saw Syed Saddiq as a person of utmost honesty, for his conviction last week seems to have destroyed that reputation.
Syed Saddiq, to most of us, is about as believable as any other politician in the country. As much as we believed in him before his conviction, we still believe him today.
Being honest and believable is also hardly the criterion for having a successful career in politics in our country.
If there is indeed such a creature called an honest politician in the country, I will bet a ringgit and thirty-five cents that none of us know that politician’s name, because that politician likely never made much of a career for himself in politics.
And let’s not forget, no one really knows what exactly is the crime that Syed Saddiq is purported to have committed.
While all of you who are reading this right now are probably aware that Syed Saddiq has been slapped with a very harsh and humiliating punishment by the court last week, none of you, I am quite sure, really know what he did to deserve it.
We are so unaware of his actual crime, that believe it or not, most Malaysians actually believe that Syed Saddiq is simply being punished for leaving the unity government.
And let’s not forget that Syed Saddiq is also young and has a high brand recognition. I daresay that he is recognised by Malaysians much as Anwar or Mahathir is recognised.
I have secondary school and college students who have no idea who Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof are, and I have friends from different races who have no idea who P. Ramasamy or Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran are, but everybody seems to know who Syed Saddiq is.
The kind of brand recognition that Syed Saddiq has will probably give him a space in politics for the rest of his life.
As for his conviction, to be brutally honest, being sentenced by a court doesn’t really mean anything much these days, especially if you are a politician.
Which politician today does not have a court case? Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim used to be in jail and former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently in jail.
As sad as it sounds, having a court case these days might just be a rite of passage for politicians. If you haven’t spent some time inside, you might just not be seen as having made your bones in politics.
That Syed Saddiq by his own volition resigned as Muda president has also earned him a degree of approval from the public.
Critics might argue that Syed Saddiq giving up his post as Muda president is about as meaningful as a beggar willing away all his wealth to charity, but in a country that is used to seeing politicians who would rather destroy the country and die before giving up their seat, it was indeed a delight to see a president of a political party stepping aside on his own free will.
In any case, I for one believe that this unfortunate season in Syed Saddiq’s career might even be a blessing in disguise.
One of Muda’s biggest problems, you have to admit, is the perception that it is basically made up of kids who are playing grown-ups.
They look like adults, sound like adults and carry themselves like adults, but somehow you get the feeling that it is nothing but a façade.
Who knows, this trial by fire that Syed Saddiq and Muda are undergoing now might be exactly what they need to show the people what they are made of.
The most significant difference between a kid and an adult is that you can count on an adult, and the clearest sign that you can count on someone is that they will remain steadfast even when they undergo trials and tribulations.
Like steel tested by fire and hammer, I hope this season of tribulation for Muda will see them emerging stronger than ever. – Nov 14, 2023
Nehru Sathiamoorthy is a FocusM reader.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia