It is very sad that the issue of the crude, vulgar and indecent gestures of Pahang Mentri Besar Adnan Yaakob during the Sanggang by-election nomination could drag on for four days without a single top Barisan Nasional leader coming forward to do the right and decent thing to publicly admit that whatever the "provocations", what Adnan had done was wrong, improper and most unbecoming for a Mentri Besar; that he was setting a most deplorable example of what is civil and proper conduct for the young generation of Malaysians and that Adnan should repent and apologise for his actions.
What is even more saddening is that the only top Barisan Nasional leader who is generally expected to be most civil, decent and moderate and would dissociate himself from such crude, vulgar and indecent conduct and gestures, namely the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah, has proved to be a disappointment.
Instead of reprimanding and demanding that Adnan give an immediate and unconditional public apology for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures, Abdullah not only defended Adnan, claiming that the crude, vulgar and indecent gestures were the result of "provocations" and even boasted that the incident would not affect the Barisan Nasional's chances in the Sanggang state by-election.
The issue of the Pahang Mentri Besarís crude, vulgar and indecent gestures must not be seen as a Sanggang by-election issue, but as one concerning the proper public conduct of political leaders and how they comply with the best practices expected by the people.
The Barisan Nasional allegation that Adnanís crude, vulgar and indecent gestures were the result of "extreme provocations" on nomination day is unproven - both as to whether there were such "provocations" and who were responsible for such "provocatons". However, the least Abdullah should have done is to instruct Adnan to publicly and unconditionally apologise for his conduct despite the fact that he had acted under "provocations".
The only question left now is whether the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is prepared to intervene to restore public confidence in the Barisan Nasional leadership by directing Adnan to immediately and unconditionally apologise for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures (with or without provocations) to send a clear message that the Barisan Nasional does not approve of "samseng" conduct by Ministers and Mentris Besar.
If Mahathir is also not prepared to intervene, then it will be left to the voters of Sanggang by-election on April 1, 2000 to speak up on behalf of 22 million Malaysians to indicate their disapproval of Adnanís crude, vulgar and indecent gestures.
In other countries with higher standards of code of conduct for government ministers, Adnan would not only have to apologise but also to resign from office. I am not asking Adnan to resign as Pahang Mentri Besar but he must be required to repent and apologise for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures as a lesson to all other Barisan Nasional Ministers and Mentris Besar as to what is acceptable and unacceptable public conduct for them.