To our corrupt leaders: Good for you!

Letter to Editor 

I CALL upon the great leaders of the nation. 

The honourable, the bold, the protector, the filial. The ones that have steered this ship of a nation for decades and beyond. The corrupted leaders. 

We the oppositional rakyat have sat on our high horses for far too long.  

We write, we scream, we complain. Through the court of public opinion, we drag you across all free forms of media and burn you publicly like effigies.  

Stupid racists buggers; You incompetent fools.  

Such criticisms bounce off you like rubber bullets off thick armour.  

Is it because you have weathered criticisms so much, that your faces have callused so thick? Are you truly blind to the horde outside chanting your downfall? 

No, because you can rationalise.  

You know that deep down inside, we, the rakyat are no better than you.  

You know that the loudest critics, once in your position, will make the same decisions as you.  

You know that we all are weak, that the allure of cash, power and influence is too much to ignore.  

So let them sing their songs and may their voices be hoarse! Better you on the throne than them. 

Surely you have made the right choices – look at yourself!  

You have risen above your B40 and M40 roots. A nice house, fat paycheck, a beautiful wife and children studying overseas.  

All of these – at the mere cost of self-respect. But who needs it? You already have your group of friends. You drink together, you smoke together, and you understand each other.  

The Malaysian public? Pfft. They don’t get it. 

You are hardworking. You protect those you care about. You are loyal and brave.  

So why do you scoff at your lackey underlings who make amateur political moves, even though they are merely following your footsteps?  

Why do you secretly envy the hanging smile on the pious pakcik’s face, who prays five times a day and goes home to a loving family after a hard day’s work?  

Why, after achieving so much, do you still feel so empty inside? 

You already know the answer. It is because you know that you have chosen the easy path – the path of ignoble ease.  

You are not greedy, nor prideful as everyone else claims you to be. You are just too afraid and too lazy to live the strenuous life that you know that you are meant to live.  

It is because you know that it takes effort, time and commitment to achieve your dreams the right way – and now you have forsaken those dreams for its knock-off counterparts.  

You know that a great nation is built by people who do not fear the strenuous life – men and women knee-deep in labour; soldiers of valour who shed blood, sweat and tears for the country.  

You do not understand these people – why they are willing to tolerate their circumstances, shouldering the burden they happily bear.  

You fools! Just shake our hands, take the money, and become one of us who “gets it”.  

And yet, you secretly envy them, because they embody virtues that you have willingly sold away, and are living the moral life – the only life that is really worth living.  

What was once a simple bribe, a simple favour, have now spiralled into delicate positions that you cannot pull yourself out of.  

You did not decide to be horrible or ignorant. It is this path you chose that shaped the person that you have become. 

You rationalise and justify, suppressing any sign of weakness nor regret. You are in the game now, the big boy league. 

But now you are old and decrepit. Your legacy is a joke. The work you have built up thus far can be easily withdrawn by the powers above, or snatched away by those beneath you – unless, you keep playing the game. 

Yes, your position may be secure. You still have a few decades left in you, clinging onto the status that you hold so dear.  

But one day you will hate your over-civilised nature.  

You will have raised sons who do not give you pride – the timid man, the lazy man, the man who distrusts his own country, the over-civilised man, a reflection of who you are instead of who you wanted to be. 

We all will pass on from this world one day, but you will be surrounded by friends and family with questionable intentions.  

You will be unsure whether you will meet your maker, or enter the eternal void.  

You may be faithful, or do not believe in hocus pocus, but the end-result is the same – your eternal damnation.  

You will inevitably ask yourself “Is this the best version of myself? Is this all I can ever be – this shell of a man?” 

So I preach to you, the Tan Sris and Datuks, the high and mighty. Here’s the question you are destined to answer – be it now, or the unforeseeable future. 

Is corruption truly worth it? – Jan 14, 2022


Jotham Lim 

Petaling Jaya 


The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia. 

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