THE thing about Malaysia is, it takes very little, perhaps even just a whiff of a sex scandal, to derail a man’s career in the country. But, it takes a large amount of money to do the same.
Witness what happened to former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker D.P. Vijandaran in 1988, and two decades later, then MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek – both of whom had their political careers cut short by sex tapes.
Other politicians, too, have been caught with their pants down over allegations of extramarital affairs and sex tapes.
Similar allegations now taint Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad, who has been featured in video clips and a blog detailing his alleged extramarital affair and hinting at powerful men covering up the scandal.
Also, notwithstanding the police probe and now, task force, the mood in Putrajaya appears to be that Prime Minister Najib Razak cannot afford his anti-corruption czar to have a cloud over him.
1Malaysia Development Berhad has been a permanent gloom over Najib since 2012, exacerbated by almost daily attacks from his political foes, including mentor-turned-nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
And now this, a senior lawman said to be involved with a married woman, that pro-government newspapers blame on gambling syndicates, and a former anti-graft crusader accusing opposition parties of orchestrating it.
Dzulkifli on Tuesday broke his silence over the tapes, calling it “dirty tactics” to smear his reputation but stopped short of confirming or denying the affair.
EVEN UMNO WARLORDS ARE BAYING FOR HIS BLOOD
Not helping Dzulkifli is the fact that he does not have many backers in Umno since taking office in August last year, especially after his enthusiasm to go after the “big fish”, which netted popular Umno strongman Isa Samad in the flashy orange MACC lock-up shirt last August.
So, even the few chaps in Umno and the government trying to rally support for him are not having much success.
Some say he has brought this unto himself, while others believe that Najib needs to ensure that only the cleanest of the clean among government officials deserve to keep their jobs.
The term of just-retired inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar was not extended after talk that corruption is rife in the police force under his watch.
Several other top civil servants have been in limbo in the MACC drive to stamp out graft and make sure their sins do not stick to the government of the day.
That no-nonsense attitude is now pushing those with influence in Putrajaya to make it clear to Dzulkifli that a whiff of scandal is pungent enough to bring him down, especially in the business of eradicating graft.
In the end, Dzulkifli is a civil servant and, therefore, expendable, unlike a politician who still has value despite his past sins, such as Muhammad Muhammad Taib’s recent triumphant return despite quitting Umno and criticising it.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT