It is indeed a sad day for Malaysia when the aide of the Top Leader openly uttered racist remarks, as reported here.
A few points came to my mind when I read about this:
1. Does his remark represent the majority thinking of those around the Top Leader? A statement issued has stated that ““The remarks allegedly made by Nasir in Malacca today do not in any way reflect the views of the Prime Minister,”.
2. If that is so, why aren’t there any vetting process in appointing this person to be a special aide to the Top Leader?
3. Why were these remarks uttered at a 1Malaysia event? Is he out to sabotage 1Malaysia or does this represent the thinking of leaders around the top?
4. Even if the Top Leader is liberal, what will happen to his policies if people around him are extremists ?
In US, some of the most powerful people are not the cabinet members , but rather the people working in the White House around the president. That is why the presidential chief of staff has huge influence.
During Chiang Kai Shek’s days in CHina, his office of aides was the most powerful. Ministers and important people had to be in the good books of some of these aides in order to get appointments , and many politicians trying to move upwards tended to bribe these people to say a few good words about them.These aides were vetted by Chiang’s intelligence service, andto be able to get into the office of the aides was a sure way to move upwards in CHina’s politics as well as amassing wealth.
As recently as just a year ago, the ‘infamous’ 4th floor boys yielded big powers; powers which did not commensurate with their official positions.
The powers of those aides to the Top leader all over the world comes from the fact that they are the persons around the Top and whatever decisions to be implemented would have to go through these little napoleons. And they can play havoc by distorting or giving wrong interpretation of orders.
Since they are the nearest , they can also give a lot of advice which can be detrimental, since the top leaders would not be able to feel the ground by virtual of their high positions, and by giving wrong feedback, they can influence policy one way or the other.
Coming back to this case, what he had uttered about being ‘beggars’ and ‘jual badan’ is seditious. If the Top leader is serious about clamping down on extremist views, he should be investigated under existing laws and face the music. Mere resignation would not be enough. This is the best time to show the rakyat that the Top is serious to rein in extremists. Failure to do so would send another signal that whatever rhetoric about 1Malaysia would remain as rhetoric.