The co-founder of the corruption watchdog, Transparency International, very recently found himself the object of Malaysian ire.
Michael Hershman invoked the wrath of indignant Malaysians by saying that corruption is under control in Malaysia.
Now, if you're not Malaysian, and particularly if you have not had the pleasure of acquaintance with a Malaysian, you may be unaware that Malaysians are a very cynical bunch.
But we were not always like that.
Once upon a time, we were naive, gullible and would happily hold hands and sing kumbayah under a raintree.
And then, we woke up to the government that we had. One that blatantly and nonchalantly lied to us. We awoke to the discovery that some people got a bigger slice of the pie than others. And others did not even get any pie. Not even a crumb.
Malaysians generally believe that corruption is truly well and alive in Malaysia. Which, in my humble opinion, is true.
It is very annoying when 1MDB manages to lose millions of ringgit and the citizens are taxed with GST to recover that amount.
Heck, it's absolutely galling.
But when Hershman says corruption is "under control" he is comparing it to countries like the United States of America that appear that be clean and free of corruption, when it is ludicrously rife.
Ironically, the Malaysian style of corruption is most identical to the American style.
The Scorpene submarines which saw the Defence Ministry get massive kickbacks from the French DCNS group, is a prime example. The US equivalent is roughly the Iraq war, where a select bunch of arms dealers had squirreled some money into the pockets of Bush and cohorts.
However, what is worse, is that thousands of innocent civilians and military personnel were killed, both in America and Iraq, whereas the Scorpene submarine only resulted in the death of a Mongolian model.
For information on America's shenanigans for the past few years, read what the American academic Juan Cole says about the Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World.
Bear in mind that the average Malaysian pays far less tax than the average American, who pays both federal and state taxes. Where there is no state income tax, they pay retail tax which is similar to the dratted GST that Malaysians are now forced to pay.
The cost of living is also much higher in America because retailers just charge so much more than what it would cost for exactly the same product.
The utility companies, like internet service providers (like Comcast, Frontier and Century Link) are in cahoots with each other, and so charge approximately the same exorbitant price.
So am I saying that Malaysians should lie back and just take it?
The world is changing. It has been constantly changing for the past few million years, in case you hadn't noticed.
The once dominant leaders are no longer in power (except for Mahathir; we can't get rid of him); the once powerful countries are no longer dominant economically or socially.
For once, Malaysia has the opportunity to be one of the best places to live in.
But this is only if we rid ourselves of the apathy and fear that the government tries to instill by its sedition and public assembly laws.
It is important to make a home for one's family, but for the family to thrive, the nation needs to be secure and stable.
That can only happen by constantly monitoring our representatives and leaders. By making sure they do what we tell them to, instead of being their slaves and servants.