Are we not ashamed to see Malaysia's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2009 dropped nine places; from position 47 in 2008 to position 56 this year? What tickles me is that despite this appalling performance, Transparency International Malaysia (T-IM) has the audacity to 'acknowledge Malaysia's efforts to deal with corruption', despite the results proves otherwise. It is just like telling your son that his class performance this year is outstanding despite having dropped to 20th placing, compared to being top of the class last year. I am one who would not be easily fooled by what T-IM says, or are the people in T-IM fools themselves?
Ashamed I am, when our neighbour Singapore is tied with Sweden for a third placing, after Denmark. How is that Singapore is able to achieve such high ranking in its CPI, while we continue to drop? Sure, they are highly paid for their job, but they deserve so because they are a hard working people. This is unlike us, being reasonably well paid but at the same time, most act like thieves. Singapore has anti-corruption laws like us, but just look at how they enforce the laws; without fear or favour. Can this be the same with us?
And I have little hope that we can perform any better with the prevailing state of affairs that is inflicting our society, and the much hyped 'practice of good governance' that is so often heard, but never in practice. The Auditor General's yearly report tells it all, but nothing drastic has been done to bring the culprits to justice. Or has our justice system failed too?
Talking about corruption, I remembered back in 1984 when I was a student at the Indian Defence Services Staff College, where I had to hire a car for the year that I was there. To be able to drive, I have to obtain an Indian driving license, despite having a Malaysian license. I sought the advice of the car owner on how I could obtain an Indian driving license. His answer was simple i.e. get two bottles of good Indian whiskey, wrapped it in paper and hand it over to the person in charge of approving the license. And sure enough it worked, and I got my license approved at the wink of an eye.
Now, with all the corruption that we hear happening in this country today, and the magnitude getting into the billions, we certainly have outclassed the little experience that I had in India with just two bottles of good Indian whiskey.
Some years ago, I was told of some enforcement officers from the Road Transport Department could get their car tyres changed for free by just sending their cars to some selected tyre shops. Even this free car tyres are certainly much more expensive than the two bottles of good Indian whiskey. This proves that Malaysians have a much more 'expensive taste' than the Indians, and true enough; what we hear of a few hundred ringgit in corruption some years ago, has now ballooned to billions this present day.
And if we are not careful, the billions will just ballooned to trillions at the wink of an eye. God save us all.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION