Rodziah Ismail Ticker's Blog

Talk only…Dari dulupun cakap je…

Posted in Corruption, Malaysian Politics, Politics by rodziahismailticker on November 1, 2009

Be firm on corruption

WHILE some will applaud the prime minister’s realistic stand on corruption, others even from among his supporters will think that the stand is not strong enough. While promising that the task force will investigate the serious cases highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report and serious action will be taken against the wrongdoers, Datuk Seri Najib Razak clarifies that the action may be administrative and not necessarily legal.

The setting up of a government task force comprising the country’s top civil servants to investigate the wrongdoings of government departments and the civil servants managing them may be seen as innovative but the fight against corruption and its perpetrators is not.

The fact that the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have been actively involved, especially recently, in bringing to book those involved in bribery and corruption both in the public and private sectors shows that the authorities are indeed starting to seriously walk the talk. The fact that more people, including the whistle-blowers, are coming forward to report on real and perceived cases of abuse of power and authority shows that the public want a cleaner, corruption-free society.

Granted the task force is set up to investigate the abuses and wrongdoings unearthed in the Auditor-General’s Report. It is only right that government servants are assessed against the rules that bind them in their duties and responsibilities. It is only fair that the action taken against those found guilty of committing a clear breach of trust be commensurate with the regulations that are in place.

However, one must bear in mind that the chain of wrongdoing is long and entangling. Government departments buy products and equipment or obtain the services and consultancy of parties in the private sector. Granted there will be those who are unknowingly or naively roped in by the unscrupulous businessmen and contractors. But there are an equal number of people who act with their eyes open and their palms outstretched and ready to be greased.

In order to be dead serious in the fight against corruption, the government must not be seen to be soft and compromising, especially with their officers whose duty it is to serve the people – not hoodwink or rob them. If the top leadership is seen as being compassionate in order to win hearts and minds, the public thinking and tidak apa attitude will not change.

Malaysians need to be jolted out of their apathy and lackadaisical attitude towards morality and accept responsibility for the society that they themselves have created.

Halimah Mohd Said
Kuala Lumpur

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