As a small boy in UK I was brought up to try and live by the seven virtues, which my parents always assured me, the world cannot survive without. These are of course: faith, hope, charity, justice, loyalty, patience and fortitude. These seemed marvellous words to me and I could recite them whenever I needed to, but what exactly they meant I was not sure. And anyway the other famous seven, the seven deadly sins, sounded far more interesting to me. However, about 50 years ago I arrived in Ipoh for the first time and it was no surprise to me that the British Colonial Government (as we love to call them) had made sure that our citizens would always have four (known as the cardinal virtues) of the seven to look up to every day – justice, loyalty, patience and fortitude. No doubt they hoped that, like this small boy was supposed to, the people of Ipoh would be outstandingly virtuous in everything they did and not fall into the ways of that other seven!
However, it is my duty to report that today, Ipoh’s justice is slipping downwards and is likely to crash to the ground at any moment. Not only that but the city’s fortitude is also showing major cracks and this does not bode well for the future. Surely fortitude cannot be allowed to follow justice down the slippery slope! Having made these observations I am happy to tell you that locally, loyalty and patience are both standing firm for the rakyat, but there is no forecast as to when that may change. So what can be done about this appalling situation in our city? Maybe Datuk Bandar or Menteri Besar himself could step in and put things right but of course that would be a political solution and in this case would not fit the bill. What we need is for a skilled monumental mason to be contracted to view the problem at close quarters and advise how the deterioration in our virtues can be halted and then put right.
So what to do? Well it is quite clear that we do need our politicians after all – to promptly demonstrate their virtue by placing an immediate contract on that monumental mason as a matter of extreme urgency. It will be inexcusable if someone dies through administrative inaction. And all of Ipoh’s virtues die with it.