The post which I wrote 2 days ago, ‘one million gets you nothing nowadays’, attracted a lot of hits. The post is not about the one million, but rather about the arrogance and the out-of-touch-ness of some of the powerful people, especially those classified as VVIPs.
Why these people become so out of touch and arrogant? I will endeveour to tell you here.
Before I go further , I wish to say that most of us– honest people who take our jobs seriously and do it to the best of our ability– would not be able to save a million in our life time.
A family of 4 in Kuala Lumpur needs at least 2000+ for shelter , food, clothing and transport. These are the so-called basic needs.
If the family income is 4000, and they save about a thousand plus, they can never hope to save the million in their life time. This is because they need to use the savings for education, for emergency health expenses. Even if they have absolutely no entertainment and live a very frugal life, they can never expect to save a million.
In most cases, a middle class household may succeed in owning a house valued about 200,000 after a whole life time of work. And that is probably all they can leave to their children. Those earning below the status of middle class would be lucky to have a low cost house in thier name.
Contrast this with those people whose money comes easily. A meal can often cost a few thousand dollars. A trip overseas can be as much as some people’s life time savings.
I think the some of the top powerful politicians have been living in a coccoon, and they are totally out of touch with reality.
After dealing with huge sums amounting to 8 or 9 figures, it is difficult to imagine how they can understand the value of money in everyday life. Money and power corrupt them , and it is easy to understand why these people think of themselves so highly and why they can become so arrogant.
I think some of the community leaders have to take certain blame too.
One of my friends , from a very well known family, and whom I was helping a few years ago and who rose to become MP and deputy Minister, used to have to attend at least 8 or more functions a days. So much so that he confided to me that he had hardly any time to sit down and think and plan.
When they are so short of time that they do not even have time to read papers or go to the market ( the news are all cut out and summarised by PAs), they lose touch with the society. When true friends tell them the things that are true but not nice to listen too, they will slowly distance themselves from these true friends.
At every function, , he was praised and ‘bodek’ by these so-called community leaders (I still get goosebumps recalling some of these praises, really) . Slowly and surely, all these praises gave him a God-like feeling.
When these politicians begin to feel God-like, they will slowly reach a stage when they begin to think that nothing they do can be wrong.
So, breaking traffic rules , cutting corners, and using governemnt properties for private use is something that comes natural to them.
They think they deserve all these, since they are the ‘goverment’, and they are the ones who ‘provide’ the rakyat with goodies . (They do not consider that this is the rakyat’s right).
Since they think they are the ‘providers’ for rakyat, it is natual that they become arrogant. They think that the laws apply only to the rakyat and not to them..
These human ‘God’s have no qualms running red lights, parking in no waiting zones, and if some policemen tried to stop them, they will immediately call the CPOs or even the IGP to report the poor policeman who is just trying to do a job.
Slowly and surely, a culture forms, and the lower ranked police tend to just ignore these law infringements in order not to get into bad books of their own bosses.
And when these ‘God’s lost the ministerial/DUN/MP position, they felt so lost, and some of them ‘hopped’ to the other side, seeing that tables have been turned and that they have better chance to become MP again on the other side. Few of them hopped because of ideology or the welfare of the rakyat. Most hopped because of self interest, and that is true!!