We agree with Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, that whipping is not the solution to corruption. If whipping is introduced to combat corruption, a lot of people would be whipped!
Whipping is an inherited historical legacy that is outdated and does not have a place in modern society. It has passed its shelf life. We must take a holistic, radical and long term approach to get rid of the menace of corruption in society.
The National Integrity Plan (NIP) launched by the Prime Minister in 2004 emphasizes that education is a central tool in the fight against corruption. Education against corruption must begin from the family and school. Children must be taught that corruption is very destructive and that the poor are the worst victims of corruption. Ethics courses should be introduced to young professionals in order to equip them with good work ethics.
Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) further proposes that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) must be made independent. Increasing its staff to 1800 will be woefully inadequate if the ACA is not made independent. In order for people to co-operate in the fight against corruption, the ACA must be made independent.
TI-Malaysia understands that the Attorney-General is looking at introducing a Whistleblower’s Act which will promote accountability and good governance. Such an act will reassure the public and employees that it is safe and acceptable to raise concerns about corruption in the workplace, against politicians and leaders. TI-M hopes that the Whistleblower’s Act will be tabled as soon as possible in Parliament.
In the case of politicians, voters must exercise the democratic right to participate in elections and vote only for clean politicians. Voters should not support government and corporate leaders who are corrupt. These leaders must be made accountable to citizens, taxpayers and shareholders. TI-M will cooperate with the government, media and other NGOs in their effort to fight against corruption.
Tan Sri (Dr) Ramon V. Navaratnam
Transparency International – Malaysia