THE truth will prevail. A conspiracy to tarnish my/our reputation. These are two of the most abused and maligned statements often used by politicians and civil servants who were caught off guard when their malfeasance was exposed.
Why? It’s easy. They play this blame game when they cannot see a better solution to their problems or cannot handle a distressing situation, believing it will benefit them in the long run.
They feel that they are losing control of a situation and to regain it, they blame other people as it makes them feel like they are “right” and the others are “wrong”.
Instead of explaining the matter, blaming someone else helps divert the attention of the public, to another possible source who could have conducted these immoral acts.
It is much easier to put the blame on others. It is also easier to blame someone else for their actions than take a deeper look at why they made the mistake and face possible consequences.
Blame shifting takes less effort and it is easier on these people emotionally.
Blaming others is so contagious now that every time a politician or senior civil servant is exposed for certain nefarious activities or malfeasance, it will always be explained away with either one of the above abused statements or both.
Playing the blame game comes as second nature to our politicians and civil servants who are used to getting their way as none of them has ever encountered the need to maintain a sense of personal responsibility in what they do nor are they ever held accountable for any wrongdoing in the course of undertaking their role and duties.
They are lifting the accountability and responsibility off themselves and passing the buck, which is a lot easier than having to handle the aftermath of being responsible for it. And this has been going on, not only when their malfeasance is exposed but also in the course of their duties.
They convinced themselves that whatever is going on is someone else’s fault. Anyway, it is easier to lie than face the truth.
Just look at the numerous wrongdoings highlighted in the annual report by the auditor-general year in year out and no apparent actions are taken against any of the perpetrators other than just a simple explanation that it was due to carelessness without due regard to the fact that if proper care were exercised and leakages minimised, more could have been for the welfare of the rakyat.
These politicians and civil servants, however, forgot that in today’s digital age, news and cultural narratives are aplenty, unlike the information platform of yesteryear comprising mainly of mainstream print media.
Nowadays, people can find information, all of which is freely available and within seconds just with a few clicks on the mobile phone. However, this also makes many vulnerable to accepting and acting on misinformation.
“The truth will prevail” adage is no longer applicable. In today’s digital age, truth is no longer dictated by the authorities, but is networked by peers. For every fact, there is a counter statement and all this looks identical online, which is confusing to most people.
Blaming it on a conspiracy is quite an adaptive thing to do as conspiracy theories have always thrived during times of crisis. People have always believed in conspiracy theories.
When a major event happens, people naturally want to know why it occurred. They want an explanation and they want to know the truth. We are drawn to conspiracy theories when we feel uncertain in specific situations.
And when these politicians and civil servants cite conspiracy to explain away the many exposé, they felt that they have explained the matter.
Research has shown that people with lower levels of education tend to be drawn to conspiracy theories, not because they are not intelligent but because they do not have access to the tools that allow them to differentiate between credible sources and non-credible sources.
So they are looking for that knowledge and certainty, but not necessarily looking in the right places.
They feel underappreciated and the politicians and civil servants feed them with this belief and the belief that the politicians and civil servants are with them, whereas others are evil doers who are trying to ruin it for everybody else.
Yes, many politicians, be it from the ruling coalition or the opposition, and civil servants will loudly proclaim that the truth will prevail or there are conspiracies to unseat them or smear their image but the people have yet to see any of these revealed to be true even after 20 years.
The nonsense continues and the rakyat bear witness to the same two excuses being uttered shamelessly till today.
In psychological terms, people’s propensity to blame others could be deemed an attachment issue that manifested when these people were growing up that led them to not accept responsibility. And we are talking about two generations of politicians and civil servants suffering from this attachment issue. This appears to be in parallel with the decline in our overall educational standards from 20-30 years ago. – January 15, 2022.
* FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.