Umno No. 2 says leaders who don’t follow rules scupper public respect for law

Mohamad said public officials must show good character and attributes far above the average person, and that they should be held to a higher standard than members of the public. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Mohamad said public officials must show good character and attributes far above the average person, and that they should be held to a higher standard than members of the public. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan penned yesterday a sharp rebuke of elected leaders who flout the law, blaming them for the lack of public respect for regulations.

The former Negri Sembilan mentri besar issued a statement late last night amid public uproar over the perceived kid glove treatment of Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, who was fined RM1,000 for failing to self-quarantine after returning from a trip abroad.

Mohamad said public officials must show good character and attributes far above the average person, and that they should be held to a higher standard than members of the public, a dictum he said is enshrined in the Rukun Negara.

“The responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and its spirit, is the ultimate duty of national leaders and members of the legislative. When they take the oath upon accepting their posts, that automatically means they have sworn to uphold the Constitution,” the Umno leader said.

“What must always be remembered is this: In the eyes of the law, leaders are not in any way immune nor do they enjoy special privileges compared to a member of the public. On the contrary, they are entrusted with a heavier and bigger responsibility,” he added.

“If a leader fails to comply with the standards required of them, then perverted, stunted and lacking will public trust be towards both the government and its administrators.”

Mohamad joins the growing chorus of Umno leaders who have panned the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration for its alleged double standard in its application of the law after it merely slapped Khairuddin, the minister of plantation industries and commodities, with a RM1,000 fine.

Critics noted that the authorities have jailed several members of the public who flouted the quarantine order, while Khairuddin and other public officials caught doing the same were seen as being let off the hook too easily.

Mohamad said today that equality before the law is enshrined in the Federal Constitution. In turn, the Rukun Negara requires that the supremacy of the law is upheld by all.

“One of the key pillars of the Rukun Negara that is responsible for making this nation developed and great is the supremacy of the Constitution and Law,” he said.

“The Rukun Negara makes Malaysia a country of law and order, that is managed and governed based on the Federal Constitution as the highest law of the country,” the Umno leader added.

“Thus, it is the responsibility of all Malaysians to uphold the Federal Constitution. This includes a reminder to its administrators that any trespass and mistakes that leads to the infringement of rules and acts is unconstitutional.”

The Rukun Negara marks its 50th anniversary this year.

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