MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Materialism has become almost like a religion for many of us today, says UMNO stalwart Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas.
The situation has become dire that honesty is now a scarce commodity.
Megat Najmuddin should know, for he has held high office in both politics and the corporate world – and he is still a member of ruling political UMNO party.
“We as a people have become more materialistic. Money and material gain is the buzzword now, and everyone wants to become rich, wants to become moneyed, unfortunately, irrespective of where it is coming from. It is quite blatant now."
The present generation of politicians from all sides tend to want to be elected to office to make money, rather than to serve the people
“It is sad for me as an elder citizen of the country to see this. You can see it started in the 1980s. I am talking about the Malays - how values have changed so much. We worship money, we worship people with money and we actually lack culture. We need to be kinder, less selfish."
“We need to think of the less fortunate and ensure that the poor are looked after. Instead, it is just money, money, money into my pocket or to my family's pocket - so much obsession there when it comes to materialistic things. And that's the sadness that I feel,” says Megat Najmuddin.
Referring to the culture of materialism being more prevalent among politicians today, Megat Najmuddin says that the present generation of politicians from all sides tend to want to be elected to office to make money, rather than to serve the people.
For now, Megat Najmuddin says he is a “retired politician”. He was until recently a member of the UMNO Disciplinary Committee. He was also once the UMNO Division Chief of Petaling Jaya and then Subang for 10 years. He was also the state assemblyman of Kelana Jaya for two terms (1986-1995).
This is one of the reasons why UMNO politics is what it is today. It has become very materialistic and I think that goes to other (political) parties as well - no money, no talk.
“At that time, the money that was given to the UMNO branches by the state UMNO and all that is not enough - totally not enough. You have to have an office, people working in your office, a divisional office, because we are service orientated. We have to have a permanent office - we have hundreds of branches. You look at them - we have to also give them some money, so that they can continue to service the people,” says Megat Najmuddin.
On how to solve the greed among politicians, Megat Najmuddin says the first thing to do is to be rid of the culture of handouts.
“As I said just now, we are very, very obsessed with the idea of money. Money talks. And this is one of the reasons why UMNO politics is what it is today. It has become very materialistic and I think that goes to other (political) parties as well - no money, no talk. And everybody is waiting for handouts - which is very sad. I blame leadership from those days who created this culture of handouts - giving handouts and expecting handouts,” says Megat Najmuddin.