All but the last image courtesy of www.corruptpngleaders.blogspot.com
Imagine if Rudd, Merckel, Brown or Sarkozy sent their families overseas to live, study, be treated medically, support sports teams, shop for basics and invest in real estate? What would their constituents say? Imagine if a British MP urged his family to move to another country for reasons of safety---and he bought a million kina home there, sent his children to the very best schools. How would the police, health department, school teachers and general constituents---from settlement dwellers to small businessmen---feel?
When Indonesian and Malaysian politicians do as much people tend to shrug in the knowledge that there has always been iniquity. They think it natural that kickbacks, unregistered gifts, paper bags of unmarked money and ghost employees on the payroll are the going price for governance, and that the rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and never the twain shall meet.Ah, but in Indonesia and Malaysia the MPs don’t swan about with hibiscus in their hair, gladhanding villagers to prove their grassroots mettle. There isn’t the everyman ethos, the stress on humility as first among equals.
What then do we call a country richer than Croesus by minerals, that boasts a functioning parliamentary democracy but takes pride in its rural horticultural base and traditional cultures, with an emergent peasant economy, its hand out to the lowliest of bidders, and the most elite citizens residing overseas?