A Royal Lesson Politicians Can’t Afford to Ignore

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The King of Malaysia’s recent visit to Sabah wasn’t just some formality; it was a masterclass in leadership.

Let’s not kid ourselves; people adore the king in a way most politicians can only dream of. And this isn’t just any place; it’s Sabah, a state that doesn’t have its own king. People didn’t just line the streets; they showered the King with gifts, letters, photos—you name it. If that’s not adoration, I don’t know what is.

Wasn’t that a wonderful spectacle? Can you imagine if this kind of adoration is bestowed upon mere politicians? Well, I must assure you that for some politicians, they do imagine this thing.

This is especially true for the politicians out there, especially some federal ministers and particularly opposition leaders of certain parties who think they’re God’s gift to politics.

Wake up now.

First off, hats off to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor. The man gets it; he understands what public service is actually about.

He’s not in it for the applause or the pageantry; he’s in it for the people. You know, the very thing politicians are supposed to focus on? It’s refreshing, and unsurprisingly, people respect him for it. Can we just take a moment to appreciate that?

Now, let’s dive into the cesspool that is political sycophancy. We’ve got politicians who are floating on clouds of ego, fuelled by an army of ‘macai’—die-hard supporters who fawn over them as though they’re anointed royalty, especially in a certain opposition party that I do not wish to name but everyone knows what I’m talking about. These politicians get lost in a haze of uncritical adoration and start believing they’re demigods.

In fact, many times, they acted as if they ARE demigods.

Enough is enough.

Here’s the reality check: politicians, you’re not a king; you’re not infallible; you’re not invincible. You don’t have a divine mandate. You’re in public office to serve the people, not your ego. And guess what? The public isn’t as naïve as you’d like to believe.

People respect the King precisely because he’s not trying to ‘win’ respect; he already has it.

Some may argue that the monarchy has become obsolete, advocating for its abolition. These views often emanate from self-proclaimed activists who, in reality, harbour their own monarchical aspirations. Allow me to clarify: as long as the realm of politics exists, the concept of a ‘king among men’ will remain relevant.

When politicians have to bow to the King, it’s a reality check they can’t ignore, spotlighting the hierarchy that they wish didn’t exist. This is precisely why the monarchy still matters. We, the people, want politicians to remember their place.

Politicians are not kings, no matter how much their egos tell them otherwise. And every so often, they’re forced to bow their heads to a real authority, smashing their delusion of grandeur.

Some politicians seem to forget one very important fact too: power in politics is ephemeral. It’s transient. It’s not an inheritance; it’s a loan, granted by the people and revocable at any moment.

Look around you. How many politicians have gone from heroes to zeros because they forgot that simple truth? So when you start believing the echo chamber that tells you that you’re the next best thing since ayam penyet, remember you’re just one election away from becoming a historical footnote on Wikipedia.

Now, if you want a legacy, you could learn a lot from the King. There’s an enduring dignity there, a respect that’s earned through a lifetime of service, not through theatrics, empty promises, or snappy Facebook posts and cute little overly choreographed TikTok skits. So cut the charade. No one’s buying it. You’re not fooling anyone.

So, what is the message here? It’s a reminder to politicians: Want respect? Earn it. Want loyalty? Serve the people. Want a legacy? Make one by doing your job, by being a leader instead of a self-serving narcissist.

It’s high time for politicians, especially those playing games in that local opposition party, to get off their self-built pedestals and start doing the work they were elected to do.

And hey, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Because the people are watching, and they’re not as forgiving as your ‘macai.’

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