Do you not get tired when you have to put on a plastic face of respect when you meet some people? Consider this hypothetical scenario:
Let us say you have to attend a meeting at the Ministry. There is the Chief secretary (KSU) chairing the meeting, next the ministry’s legal adviser, then you have a few high ranking officials sitting in as well, looking sleepy and clueless. (do you notice these high ranking officials have a certain similar voice and demeanor as if they all went to the same drama classes?)
The KSU starts off with his usual ‘bismillah” because all those present happen to be Muslims. I have always found it weird why this very same people do not mention “in the name of God” when non-Muslims are present. Is it because God is averse to non-Muslims? Also, it is equally weird that he does not say “in the name of God” for every single step he takes since he is so mindful of God! Maybe he does. And why must he say it aloud….concerned that God cannot hear him?
Maybe, it is all a show for the audience, …….. had he really taken all his decisions in the name of God, this very meeting would have been irrelevant! Unless he plainly suffers oxygen deficiency syndrome to his brains in which case you wonder why he is sitting where he is sitting. And the Rakyat would have saved some money too.
But I have always found this behavior fascinating. Malay politicians and civil servants love to rattle praises about God in public before they start off their verbal diarrhea or unwanted advice. Some of them are so long, your patience is tested. Kenapa tak baca puji-pujian awal-awal sebelum mula mesyuarat? It is almost a must-do-ritual. Even though the Quran that they are supposed to read says “call and praise your Lord in silence and humility”, they insist on doing it publicly and loudly. You really wonder why.
Being a Muslim, I take anyone who says "Bismillah" seriously. He better walk his talk for Allah detests hypocrites.
Back to the meeting room. You wonder whether they have read the 12 page report you have sent them some 2 months back. They are asking the very questions you have already written down so plainly even a primary school kid will understand. And Lord…..you have to keep referring to this man as Datuk and the way his subordinates call him “Datuk” really can empty your stomach though your mouth. You keep excusing yourself to the toilet.
While the “meeting” is going on, you wonder what the names of the officials are because none of them have been introduced to you. Mahathir’s name tag policy seems to be long gone. This is the message that they are the “Gomen” and need not come down to the Rakyat’s level by introducing themselves. Ethics and common sense need not necessarily follow those who utter God’s name.
Anyway, after going through the motion of what should have been a productive meeting, the meeting ends with a “Kita tunggu lah, keputusan mesyuarat ini”. In the meantime, he does not care in the slightest that many of your worker’s families are suffering. He has his family to go back to. And you wait and wait.
Many times I wonder what religion these people belong to. Surely people of God must be compassionate, caring, emphatic and diligent? They should be responsible and work for the salaries that the taxpayers pay them – otherwise it is theft.
I promise in name of Allah, God willing of course, with the strength and guidance which I hope He provides, these people will be brought to justice for taking God’s Way in vain. God’s Way, as I understand is, among other things, the way of Justice, fair play, honesty accountability and dedication to your work.
Retirement and resignation is no escape from culpability.
Since we lack radical political leadership and political will to reform the civil service, the burden must fall on the shoulders of Raperas.