PM Najib, at the recent Pahang Malay Contractors Association, Annual General Meeting (AGM) said that “Corruption and leakage are not only affecting the government’s revenue but also the nation’s economic performances”. I don’t really know whether the members attending the AGM really understood what Najib meant, or was Najib trying to insinuate to the Malay contractors that the nature of their business exposes themselves to the scourge of corrupt practices. Najib’s statement could also be an expression of his concern that corruption is unstoppable, and has somewhat become an embedded culture among the Malay business community.
It is common knowledge, particularly those in the construction industry to express freely of the ‘tolls’ that they have to pay to the local authorities in order to get their project approved. There was an occasion when someone told me that sometimes officers at the local authorities unashamedly demand from housing developers’ money for every single house they build. And who are these people working at the local authorities? If I say that they are mainly people of my race, many will again get angry with me. But this is the reality; an obvious weakness among my race that knows no fear; either to be caught or to answer their misdeeds in the hereafter.
I think Najib knows better than I do of the local authorities and the people that are deeply mired in corruption. And I believe some of the people are known to him. Citing the case of the recent raid by MACC on the Customs Department may be just the tip of the ice berg. Just take a peek at the Auditor General Annual Report and one will find that corruption and abuses are found in every conceivable departments of the government. It is so widespread and massive that I think it will take the entire MACC to just investigate one whole report. But the sad thing is that the ‘bosses’ are too protective of their people, and are often too meek to take punitive action on the report.
And when one speaks of corruption these days, one is drawn to the many ‘eerie stories’ of the Sarawak CM Taib Mahmud’s plundering of the country’s wealth. Strangely, the people of Sarawak still elect him, and this time around he gets stronger than in the previous state election. This is an unusual phenomenon in Sarawak politics where the person who is said to be corrupt gets a huge mandate to continue ruling the state. Unlike in the peninsular, the support for UMNO’s has dwindled, but in Sarawak the PBB remains ever popular. This goes to prove that in Sarawak and particularly among the supporters of PBB, corruption is no big issue. It is now left to the opposition and Sarawak Report to think of new strategies to bring down Taib Mahmud in the next state election. I think Taib Mahmud will not be having a ‘gala time’ the moment he relinquish power………………just like the disposed Mubarak of Egypt.
While I applaud Najib for the cautionary statement he made regarding corruption at the Pahang Malay Contractors Association AGM, I hope he can be equally bold to act upon those he knows to be corrupt. Statements have little meaning if it is not followed by actions.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION