Don't forget greed and self-interest
(Reader's letter from malaysiakini, Aug 29 edition)

Aug 29, 2000 : I agree totally with the observation of Ariani Rustam (Naivete of Malaysian students, Aug 26-27) that it is the naivete of some of our student and youth leaders that has trapped them to be unwitting, pliable tools of powerful political interests backed by the corporate financial power of crony companies. But we should never ignore the power of greed and self-interest, too, in motivating them.

Names such as Lee Chung Han (Mcuk), Don Rahim (Promuda) and Tan Khoon Tee (Cumas) may be new, but the type has existed since a long time ago in the Malaysian student and youth circles - both local and overseas. Let us not forget memorable characters from the past in overseas Umno clubs and in such student groups as Ethos.

These were people who have obviously perfected the art of climbing the social ladder and rubbing shoulders with powerful and rich benefactors through the sponsored activities of their respective organisations.

We wonder how much of social interest and concern are still alive in these characters, now that they have secured their coveted cushy jobs in organisations such as the MSC, the Securities Commission, etc.

In periods when the powers that be were strong and secure in their positions, securing their sponsorship - even their recognition - used to be rather difficult. But they are much easier to secure these days. The people manipulating the situation may be naive politically, but their survival instinct must not be underrated.

Johan Sibalan


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