Corrupt politicians are the enemy within, says deputy Agong

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Deputy Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah speaks at the federal celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday in Putrajaya November 20, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 20 ― Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah today called corrupt politicians the most dangerous enemy of the people, branding them hypocrites whose greed he blamed for the country's deteriorating integrity.

His Royal Highness the deputy Yang Di-Pertuan Agong said the danger posed by rotten leaders had been forewarned by Allah in the Quran.

Sultan Nazrin who is also the Ruler of Perak said corrupt politicians were also mentioned in the Quran as “munafik” or hypocrites, adding that their insatiable greed was the chief cause of divisions within Muslim society.

“This culture of hypocrisy has weaken the pillar of integrity because of this inclination towards [pretentious goodness], because we allow the scissors to remain comfortable within the fold,” he said in his speech at the federal celebration of the Prophet Muhammad's birthday here.

“The biggest problem confronting the ummah today is the absence of integrity, especially since this absence of integrity is seen among those entrusted with power.”

Sultan Nazrin has spoken out against corruption in the past, often in speeches at official functions where politicians are among the audience.

He has repeatedly called for more action to rein in graft among high-ranking officials and political leaders, and urged reform of key institutions.

In commemorating Muhammad's exemplary political leadership today, the Perak ruler decried selfish Muslim leaders who deploy cunning political scheming to exploit passion and communal insecurities for personal gain.

He said many of them perverted the democratic process as a “conduit” to enrich themselves and their families at the expense of the community.

“One of the biggest problems facing the ummah today is caused by crisis emanating from enterprises to attain wealth through dishonest and non-transparent means.

“In fact, from it stem power struggles because power is seen as a channel and conduit to build personal wealth, or wealth for families and cronies,” he said.

Sultan Nazrin's criticism follows investigations on a number of senior politicians from the previous administration by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who have also been charged with power abuse and money laundering.

The sultan said the zealous pursuit of material wealth has impoverished the people both intellectually and spiritually.

He said corruption has caused “leakages” in resources, in a clear reference to the country's bloated debt, and also unemployment and rising crime.

Corruption also perpetuates a cycle of violence, he added.

“As a result, peace is disrupted, political stability threatened, and the ummah become more deprived as they are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence of suffering,” Sultan Nazrin said.

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