Posts Tagged fight corruption

Fight corruption, DIY style

People have the power to question mischievous officials

by  : M. KRISHNAMOORTHY from Petaling Jaya

We always seem to ask what the MalaysianAntiCorruptionCommission (MACC) or the Government is doing tofight corruption while not realising that therewe can take steps on our own. Yes, it is time the man on the street realises that he can take the bull by the horns and demand for justice and efficiency.

However, before embarking on such a mission, it is important to be clear on your rights and know the facts. Let me give you an example of how I used this doityourself approach to help a friendrenew his business licence.

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Recently, an engineer friend of mine told me that he had applied for a business licence renewal through a runner as he did not have the time to go through the process personally. However, after eight weeks, there was still no news, and’his wife, who ran the business, was afraid that they would be operating without the licence.

According to my friend, the runner had told him that the delay was because no “undertable” payment had been made to expedite the renewal process. However, the engineer felt this was unnecessary as it was just a simple renewal. “I am afraid that if I make a fuss, I might be penalised by the council.

“According to my runner, the officials in question would not settle for anything less than RM500,” my friend told me when he appealed for my help, knowing that I had assisted other friends in similar situations.

As I am a firm believer in two principles —
“Love all, serve all” and “Service to man is service to God” 1 could not refuse and followed the engineer to the licensing office. At the counter, I asked why the renewal had taken more than two months when it would normally take less than two weeks.

I also raised my voice and asked the receptionist, “One runner told me you want some extra money before approving the application. Is this true?” The receptionist denied that any such request had been made, and I further queried why it
had taken so long, especially since Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had called on public servants to respond to complaints within three days. The receptionist said she would check on the matter and returned 10 minutes later, saying that she could not locate the original application.

Since 1 had feared this would happen, 1 was prepared and told her that we had all the paperwork with us. She filed our application and said the authorities would make an appointment to inspect the premises within a week to ensure compliance
with the conditions of the licence.

My friend and I were happy as we thought that the problem had been solved. However, the following day, the engineer told me that his runner had said certain officials were asking for kickbacks before issuing any approval. I immediately told him that we would be visiting the council again.

This time, I did not mince my words as I said to the clerk, “Do you need any extra money for the approval? “If you do, please tell me who wants it and I will report the name to your superiors!” The clerk insisted that no extra “payment” was required and introduced us to another officer.

“We will not have to come to your premises for an inspection and your application has been approved. If you wait for a short while, we will give you the new licence,” the new officer told us. Within 15 minutes, my friend’s licence was renewed, at no extra cost While it may seem like a small victory, it contains lessons for everyone on how to tackle corruption.

We should take the initiative to question the authorities if there is any delay. We must know the deadlines set out in the authority’s client charter and use this as an indication of untoward delays.

At the end of the day, all government departments carry out their own internal audits and if we, as consumers, highlight our difficulties, any wrongdoing will come to light, providing a check in the system. We must be brave and willing to question the authorities.

We must be proactive and take the initiative to ensure that we do not fall for underhanded dealings. It is because of fear that we become victims of corruption.

So, pick up you courage, know your rights and the facts and question the authorities in your own personal fight against corruption.

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Cabaran dalam meningkatkan integriti penjawat awam

Oleh DATUK AHMAD KHUSAIRI YAHAYA

PENULIS ialah Pengarah Bahagian Dasar, Perancangan dan Penyelidikan SPRM

KESERIUSAN kerajaan dalam meningkatkan integriti dan mengekang jenayah rasuah di kalangan pegawai awam jelas menerusi pelaksanaan pelbagai dasar dan program yang diperkenalkan sejak sedekad lalu.

Antaranya menjadikan rasuah sebagai salah satu daripada bidang penting yang ditekankan dalam Pelan Transformasi Kerajaan (GTP). Untuk itu, sebanyak 27 inisiatif telah dan sedang dilaksanakan dengan giatnya menerusi Bidang Keberhasilan Utama Negara atau NKRA Berkaitan Rasuah.

Apa yang menjadi faktor paling kritikal dalam memastikan usaha meningkatkan tahap integriti perkhidmatan awam, sebenarnya bukanlah terletak pada hanya kesungguhan kerajaan. Kesungguhan itu juga perlu datang dari kepimpinan agensi kerajaan dan menuntut semua lapisan warganya untuk berubah.

Sejak kebelakangan ini, terdapat perubahan yang boleh dibanggakan ditunjukkan oleh kalangan anggota perkhidmatan awam berbanding sedekad lalu. Hakikatnya, tahap kesedaran para pegawai awam terhadap integriti dan semangat anti-rasuah jelas meningkat. Namun demikian, masih banyak ruang boleh diperbaiki untuk menjadikannya unggul di kaca mata masyarakat.

Berdasarkan perangkaan SPRM sepanjang sembilan tahun iaitu 2003 hingga 2011, secara keseluruhannya, purata tangkapan ke atas penjawat awam adalah seramai 260 orang setahun. Berbanding jumlah keseluruhan penjawat awam di Malaysia iaitu 1.4 juta orang, peratusannya adalah terlalu kecil iaitu sekitar 0.018 peratus sahaja.

Walaupun kelihatan kecil namun jika tidak dibendung ia mampu meruntuhkan negara. Pegawai awam dilihat mempunyai kuasa dan kuasa ini jika disalahgunakan boleh mengakibatkan kesan yang amat buruk.

Trend perubahan ke arah pembudayaan integriti dan anti-rasuah di kalangan pegawai awam jelas ketara bermula 2009. Terdapat pengurangan yang jelas dari segi jumlah tangkapan ke atas penjawat awam berbanding tangkapan ke atas sektor swasta dan orang awam. Kempen Perangi Pemberi Rasuah benar-benar menghasilkan impak yang besar dalam sejarah pencegahan rasuah di negara ini. Sejak pelancarannya pada 2009, jumlah penjawat awam dan swasta yang ditangkap kerana cuba menyogok pegawai awam melonjak begitu tinggi. Dalam 2009 misalnya, jumlah tangkapan keseluruhan SPRM ialah seramai 500 orang kerana ditangkap cuba memberi rasuah seramai 98 orang. Melonjak melebihi empat kali ganda iaitu seramai 424 orang dalam 2010 dan 389 orang dalam 2011. Jumlah wang sogokan bermula dari RM50 ke angka RM1 juta.

Perubahan BPR kepada SPRM dalam 2009 sebenarnya membawa kepada perubahan dari segi pendekatan dan strategi pencegahan rasuah di negara ini. SPRM menetapkan tiga bidang utama iaitu penguatkuasaan, perolehan (sebut harga dan tender awam) dan projek mega kerajaan sebagai fokus utamanya.

Beberapa kelemahan yang selama ini menghalang usaha pencegahan rasuah dikenal pasti, antaranya tanggapan bahawa tanggungjawab memerangi rasuah terletak di tangan SPRM semata-mata, kurangnya inisiatif agensi awam untuk mencegah rasuah; mekanisme kawalan dalaman yang longgar dan tidak sempurna dan kesalahan rasuah tidak dianggap sebagai kesalahan berat bagi kes tatatertib.

Terdapat segelintir ketua yang menganggap tugas mencegah rasuah adalah tanggungjawab SPRM. Justeru, pembudayaan integriti dan pencegahan rasuah bukan merupakan agenda utama. Yang lebih penting menjaga suasana harmoni dan semangat esprit de corp di kalangan pegawai/staf. Jika tindakan keras diambil dan pembudayaan anti-rasuah menjadi berkesan maka ia kononnya akan mewujudkan suasana kurang selesa dan syak wasangka sesama anggota.

Perkara yang lebih disesalkan ialah sikap kasihan kepada pesalah rasuah masih menjadi asas pertimbangan dalam proses tindakan tatatertib. Bagi SPRM, siasatan sesuatu kes tidak hanya berakhir dengan tindakan menghadapkan suspek ke mahkamah semata-mata. Sebaliknya, banyak kes yang disiasat SPRM dikemukakan sebagai Laporan SPRM untuk tindakan tatatertib. Namun, atas dasar simpati, suspek-suspek ini terlepas daripada hukuman berat seperti ditamatkan perkhidmatan dan hanya diberikan surat teguran atau amaran sahaja.

Perangkaan SPRM sepanjang 10 tahun lalu berhubung kes tatatertib jelas menunjukkan sebanyak 1,957 laporan dikemukakan kepada Pihak Berkuasa Tatatertib Agensi. Daripada jumlah itu, hanya 60 kes dikenakan hukuman buang kerja. Sebaliknya, 979 atau 50% dikenakan surat amaran yang tidak mendatangkan apa-apa kesan deterrent. Ini jelas menunjukkan tiada istilah serius dalam kes-kes yang melibatkan perbuatan jenayah rasuah.

Cabaran utama yang perlu diperbaiki dalam memastikan kelangsungan program pemantapan integriti dan pencegahan rasuah dalam perkhidmatan awam adalah melibatkan dua pendekatan strategik yang dikenal pasti SPRM iaitu memperkasakan entiti kawalan dalaman agensi awam dan memperkukuhkan SPRM.

Justeru, dalam konteks memperkasakan entiti kawalan dalaman agensi awam, SPRM telah mencadangkan kepada kerajaan untuk mewujudkan model pencegahan rasuah yang berbentuk kawalan dalaman menerusi penubuhan Unit Integriti di kementerian, jabatan Persekutuan dan negeri.

Model unit ini sama seperti di Amerika Syarikat (AS) dan Taiwan. Di AS ia lebih dikenali sebagai Inspector General Office (IGO). Unit ini diwujudkan di jabatan-jabatan berisiko tinggi dan bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya memantau dan menjalankan siasatan ke atas kes-kes berkaitan integriti, rasuah dan lain-lain jenayah yang melibatkan warga agensi terbabit.

Mengambil contoh di AS, unit integriti New York Police Department (NYPD) ditubuhkan dengan keanggotaan seramai 700 orang bagi memantau 35,000 pegawai polis di NYPD iaitu nisbah 1:50 manakala Pihak Berkuasa Pelabuhan New York mempunyai keanggotaan 70 orang bagi memantau 7,000 pekerjanya iaitu nisbah 1:100.

Idea berhubung penubuhan Unit Integriti di agensi-agensi kerajaan ini disambut baik. Buat masa ini, empat agensi telah mewujudkan unit ini iaitu Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia, Jabatan Kastam dan Eksais Diraja, Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan dan SPRM sendiri. Pegawai-pegawai SPRM akan dilantik dan ditempatkan sebagai Ketua Unit Integriti di agensi-agensi terbabit.

Perubahan status daripada BPR ke SPRM dalam 2009 sebenarnya selari dengan perubahan besar kepada budaya kerja dan sistem operasi SPRM secara keseluruhannya. Bermula dengan Pelan Strategik SPRM 2011-2013, tiga bidang utama diperkukuhkan termasuk memperkenalkan sistem pengurusan siasatan berkesan, sistem pengurusan pencegahan dan pendidikan berkesan dan pembangunan serta pemantapan modal insan SPRM secara menyeluruh.

Jawatankuasa Eksekutif Transformasi yang terdiri daripada ahli-ahli Lembaga Penasihat SPRM dibentuk bagi memacu proses transformasi. Kesan kepada proses transformasi ini jelas memantapkan SPRM dari segi memperbaiki struktur organisasi, memperkenalkan sistem pengurusan modal insan berdasarkan kompetensi, memperkenalkan sistem pengurusan bakat yang fleksibel dan membawa masuk tenaga pakar yang berkepakaran tinggi bagi meningkatkan operasi SPRM.

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Step up resolve to fight graft

from : MalaysiaKini

While ushering in the lunar year of Rabbit, politicians with or without public portfolio alike have been busy hopping from house to house on their annual Chinese New Year visits. The concept of Open House for all our Malaysian festivities is indeed a creative and laudable practice that is truly our homegrown tradition in Malaysia.


Perhaps, beyond all the stereotype seasonal greetings and pleasantries, we should do ourselves an honest audit of our prevailing depth of mutual understanding and sense of mutual appreciation for one another’s culture and norms in our social fabric.

Of late, racist slurs seem to be on the rise. Politicians from both sides of the divide have been endeavoring to outperform one another. If this is to be done in the interest of the people, healthy competition would certainly serve as a boon to the nation.

But so far what has been unfolding in front of the people is nothing but protracted political squabble laced with endless finger-pointing and mudslinging. Both sides are apparently interested only in proving the decadence in their opponents.

To the discerning Malaysian public, the degree of decadence in any politicians or political parties is of course worth alarming but mere expose of such decadence would unlikely render us more competitive in our pursuit of success in the global perspective.

The Malaysian voters cast their votes to seek good governance with sound check and balance in place. They don’t do it simply to catapult certain individuals to public portfolio, to make them instant millionaires. Neither would they want to install them to hog the limelight through mudslinging.

True, political decadence that exists in the form of corruption, power abuse and malpractices in the implementation of policies must be exposed and addressed. This should transcend partisan lines.

However, in the Malaysian perspective, our partisans seem to have developed a common habit of mounting offensive selectively against their rivals’ wrongdoings especially alleged graft involvement. But to the same malpractices within their own camp, they would either turn a blind eye or stubbornly cling to the same old denial syndrome. Much less would they endeavor proactively to address the issue.

Perhaps, this is deemed suicidal as it is said to be tantamount to shooting in one’s own foot. But I would say this is a real test to our commitment to upholding integrity. Anything falling short of that would only reveal the hypocritical nature and lip services of the politicians who use anti-graft merely for their own political gain.

Generally speaking, the graft malaise is not the monopoly of parties entrenched with power as many might have thought. Much to my dismay, many individual politicians or even parties having had their first taste of power have in many cases proven failed to resist such a graft temptation.

Honestly, upholding integrity is part and parcel of the public office holders’ duties and not something spectacular that warrants rewards. This is similar to our common norm that stealing common properties is an offence in the eyes of law. We don’t need to honour individuals for abiding the laws in this respect but those who flout them would certainly have to pay a price for their misdeeds.

Over the years, we have been taught that all men are equal before the laws. But in reality, this would in most cases remain a distant ideal. This provides us with room for further improvement in our anti-graft fight in the Year of Rabbit.

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Memerangi rasuah perlu komitmen semua sektor

Utusan Malaysia
Oleh MOHD. AYOP ABD. RAZID

SEPERTI najis dadah, rasuah juga musuh utama negara yang wajib diperangi. Dalam konteks ini, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) mempunyai tanggungjawab yang cukup besar dan mencabar dalam memerangi rasuah di negara ini. Rasuah boleh berlaku di mana-mana sahaja, tidak kira dalam agensi kerajaan mahupun swasta. Rasuah ada pemberi dan penerimanya.

Ia tidak akan berlaku jika salah satu pihak menolak amalan yang menjijikkan itu. Kaedah memberi rasuah juga pelbagai dan semakin licik sifatnya. Justeru, ia bukan perkara yang mudah bagi SPRM untuk membendungnya.

Namun, dengan iltizam dan kekentalan semangat yang tinggi, SPRM bersedia mendepani segala cabaran dan rintangan untuk menjadikan Malaysia negara yang bebas dan bersih daripada gejala rasuah. Melalui aspirasi dan slogan SPRM 2010, iaitu ‘Bersama Lakukan Perubahan, Perangi Rasuah’ yang dilancarkan oleh Ketua Pesuruhjaya, Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed sempena ulang tahun pertama penubuhannya pada 9 Mac lalu, ia telah meningkatkan kesedaran di kalangan penjawat awam dan masyarakat tentang kesan dan bahaya rasuah.

SPRM ditubuhkan melalui penggubalan Akta Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia 2009 dan mula beroperasi pada 1 Januari 2009 bagi menggantikan Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR). Pada 26 April lalu, Ketua Setiausaha Negara, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan telah merasmikan kempen ‘Hindar Menerima, Perangi Pemberi Rasuah’. Kempen itu bertujuan mencetuskan motivasi dan meningkatkan integriti penjawat awam dengan menolak amalan rasuah, di samping melakukan perubahan minda ke arah pencapaian agenda transformasi negara.

Seperti yang disebut Mohd Sidek, mesej dan matlamat kempen itu adalah mudah, iaitu penjawat awam tidak boleh dirasuah. Kempen itu juga bertujuan menyedarkan orang awam bahawa pemberi rasuah juga tidak terlepas daripada tindakan undang-undang. Dalam ucapan perasmian kempen tersebut, beliau menyebut bahawa pelaksanaan dan kejayaan kempen ini banyak bergantung kepada komitmen dan kerjasama semua ketua agensi.

Kesedaran yang tinggi di kalangan pegawai dan anggota perkhidmatan awam mengenai ‘najis’ dan jenayah rasuah akan menjadikan mereka lebih tegas dan berani menolak pujukan serta godaan pemberi rasuah. Peningkatan tahap integriti ini amat selari dengan komitmen kerajaan pimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yang mahu mewujudkan sebuah pentadbiran yang ‘mendahulukan rakyat’ dan ‘mengutamakan pencapaian’ seperti yang terkandung dalam gagasan ‘1Malaysia’.

Justeru, usaha memerangi rasuah menjadi agenda utama pentadbiran beliau supaya aspirasi dan kehendak rakyat benar-benar menjadi kenyataan.

Ini terbukti apabila usaha membanteras rasuah turut dijadikan salah satu daripada enam Bidang Keberhasilan Utama Negara (NKRA) yang diberikan perhatian penting di bawah Program Transformasi Kerajaan (GTP). Warga perkhidmatan awam dikehendaki memberi fokus kepada penyampaian perkhidmatan yang efisien dan efektif dengan menampilkan nilai etika kerja dan tahap integriti yang tinggi.

GTP yang telah dilancarkan oleh Najib pada 28 Januari lalu bertujuan membawa perubahan perkhidmatan awam ke arah menyediakan perkhidmatan yang melangkaui jangkaan semua segmen rakyat dan pelanggan. Ini membuktikan bahawa gagasan ‘1Malaysia: Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan’ adalah gagasan serius yang menuntut warga perkhidmatan awam melakukan transformasi minda, etika kerja dan kaedah penyampaian perkhidmatan bagi mendukung agenda dan aspirasi negara.

Sektor perkhidmatan awam hari ini lebih menjurus kepada memudah dan mempercepat urusan pelanggan, sama ada urusan orang ramai ataupun sektor swasta tanpa banyak proses dan prosedur serta kerenah birokrasi. Cara ini didapati berupaya membendung berleluasanya amalan rasuah dalam perkhidmatan yang diberikan. Penubuhan Pasukan Petugas Khas Pemudah Cara Perniagaan (Pemudah) telah berjaya membentuk kerjasama sektor awam dan sektor swasta. Melalui Pemudah, banyak proses dan prosedur lapuk dan menyukarkan telah dapat dihapuskan atau dikurangkan.

Hasilnya, tempoh masa kelulusan sesuatu permohonan itu dipendekkan apabila berurusan di jabatan dan agensi kerajaan. Keputusan perniagaan seperti pemberian kontrak, perolehan, dan sebagainya dapat dilakukan dengan lebih efisien tanpa melalui ‘jalan belakang’. Hakikatnya, banyak kemajuan sudah dirasai oleh mereka yang berurusan dengan sektor awam hari ini.

Misalnya, pendaftaran perniagaan boleh selesai dalam tempoh tiga hari, permohonan pasport selesai dalam tempoh dua jam dan pendaftaran hartanah dilakukan dalam tempoh dua hari.

Begitu juga dengan penggunaan MyID untuk semua urusan individu dengan pelbagai agensi kerajaan amat memudahkan kerana kita perlu mengingati satu nombor sahaja. Penggunaan MyCOID untuk semua urusan perniagaan telah menjadikan kerajaan lebih mesra perniagaan.

Kemudahan teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT) turut dimanfaatkan oleh kerajaan melalui talian dalam banyak urusan. Melalui Internet, pembayaran dan transaksi boleh dilaksanakan pada bila-bila masa dan di mana-mana. Kini, terdapat 1,277 perkhidmatan dalam talian di pelbagai agensi perkhidmatan awam bagi memudahkan urusan orang ramai menggunakannya.

Kesimpulan, pelbagai pembaharuan yang dilakukan dalam perkhidmatan awam itu mampu menutup ruang dan peluang berlakunya rasuah di kalangan penjawat awam. Rakyat kini semakin yakin dengan agensi kerajaan, terutamanya agensi pengawalseliaan dan penguatkuasaan. Melalui peningkatan integriti ini, maka hasrat kerajaan untuk mempertingkat daya saing negara di persada antarabangsa akan menjadi realiti.

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Tumbuk rusuk tiada kesudahan

oleh : NOOR MOHAMAD BIN SHAKIL HAMEED -Serdang, Selangor

PEGAWAI imigresen, majistret, ahli politik, warga korporat dan senarainya semakin panjang apabila kita membelek dada akhbar tempatan mutakhir ini yang melaporkan gejala rasuah di negara kita. Najis ini sudah tidak mengenal mangsa.

Lebih pelik ialah semakin ramai yang ditangkap dan dihukum Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), semakin bertambah kes rasuah. Persoalannya ialah di mana silapnya? Apa lagi yang tak kena?

Apa yang nyata dan tidak dapat dinafikan ialah pihak SPRM semakin efektif dan kreatif menjalankan tugas penguatkuasaan mereka tanpa memilih bulu.

Buktinya ramai individu yang berpengaruh dibawa ke muka pengadilan. Mereka menjalankan tugas dengan penuh dedikasi dan amanah.

Namun, isu ini masih tidak menampakkan tanda kesudahannya, malah semakin berleluasa seolah-olah mencabar sistem perundangan.

Akibatnya masyarakat semakin keliru, marah dan menjadi mangsa keadaan pihak pelaku rasuah seperti ini. Adakalanya hak dan kebajikan rakyat dinafi dan dipinggirkan.

Keadaan ini, sekali gus membuktikan hukuman keras semata-mata belum memadai untuk menginsafkan pelaku rasuah.

Tambahan pula, sudah menjadi suatu kelaziman apabila manusia suka kepada harta dan kekayaan.

Itu lumrah dan fitrah kejadian manusia dengan kita tidak boleh menyekat keinginan berkenaan.

Justeru itu, apa yang perlu dilakukan ialah memupuk dan mengutamakan elemen agama dalam diri masyarakat.

Hal ini perlu kerana tiada agama yang menyokong atau membenarkan amalan rasuah. Semua agama di dunia ini mengutuk amalan rasuah.

Kerajaan, pihak berkuasa agama, masyarakat dan keluarga perlu memainkan peranan supaya menerapkan ajaran agama masing-masing ke dalam sanubari ahli keluarga terutama elemen halal dan haram punca sesuatu rezeki yang diperoleh.

Kita percaya ilmu agama boleh menjadi pendinding dan ubat paling mujarab untuk mengubati virus rasuah dari terus merebak dan menghancurkan masyarakat kita.


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Malaysia lauded for efforts to fight corruption

By : The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been lauded for making good progress in combating corruption. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) deputy secretary-general Mario Amano said the country had taken positive steps in nipping the problem in the bud.


“We are pleased with Malaysia’s progress. Treating bribe-receiving and bribe-giving as crimes and imposing tough jail sentences and
fines for individuals and companies are steps in the right direction,” he said recently.


Enforcement efforts by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), he added, had helped make Malaysia one the leaders in the region
in lighting bnbery.

“Effective criminalisation of bribery must become a standard practice in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said. The Government’s efforts to combat
corruption include setting up a public “name and shame” database, compliance units, a MyProcurement portal, and an integrity pact between
government and vendors to enhance transparency.

As of Wednesday, 195 names of convicted corruptors were listed on the database available on the MACC website. The website also stated that 605 individuals had been arrested for corruption-related offences as of last month of which 32% were civil servants, Fighting corruption is part of the Government’s six National Key Result Areas.

Meanwhile, Asian Development Bank (ADB) South-East Asia director general Kunio Senga said that corruption sabotaged policies and programmes that aimed to reduce poverty and promote economic growth and development. Malaysia, he added, had actively participated in the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific region since its establishment in 1999.

Both Amano and Senga were in town recently for the Initiative’s 10th regional seminar on the criminalisation of bribery.

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‘Malaysia a role model in fighting graft’

By : NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The inconsistent interpretation of corruption by different countries has made the task to combat social ills even more difficult.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Sutinah Sutan said greater efforts were being made globally to standardise and streamline the understanding and procedures linked with corruption so that it could be tackled effectively.
“Many lesser developed countries are still learning from the experience of others and are attempting to adopt their initiatives.
“Malaysia is seen as a role model as a nation successful in combating corruption. Many countries look at how we have rapidly progressed and developed since achieving Independence in 1957.
“They say we have managed very well to control corruption with our strong political will,” she said at the close of the three-day “15th ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific” and “Regional Seminar on the Criminalisation of Bribery” at the Palace of Golden Horses in Seri Kembangan, Selangor yesterday.

Sutinah, who is also the event’s secretariat chairman, said the delegates agreed that corruption was a big threat among lesser developed countries and greater initiatives were being put into place by their respective governments.

She said Malaysia had measured up to international standards like those laid out in the “Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act” and other United Nations laws and regulations.

“We have learnt that minimising bureaucracy and delays can reduce corruption. The idea is to promote business without corruption by enhancing confidence-building measures for businessmen and foreign investors.”

She said the message was clear — one does not have to bribe officers; there is no “extra cash” required to do business in Malaysia.

“We are also pushing for matters concerning extradition, asset recovery and other new action plans in a systemic manner with the cooperation of other countries.”

The event saw 28 countries and over 200 representatives involved, including representatives from the Asian Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Transparency International, World Bank, German Training Institution, American Bar Association and the United Nations Development Programme.

The speakers presented international standards and national approaches to issues concerning international instruments on the criminalisation of bribery, challenges in establishing and applying domestic and foreign bribery offences, corporate liability for bribery, investigative techniques, and sanctions and confiscation.

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We’re in the business of fighting corruption

Omololu Akinwande, is the President/Executive Secretary, Children Anti-Corruption Initiative (CACTI), a non-profit organisation that is leading the campaign against corruption in high and low places. He shares the vision of his organisation in this interview with Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf and Musa Odoshiomokhe

TO what extent can the youth be an anchor in checking corruption in our society?

I want to say that all efforts toward anti-corruption by the adult have failed. The EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct, all the stratagem that were actually put in place to actually check corruption have not given us the desired result. You will agree with me that they have not met the anti-corruption expectation and that is the reason why this organisation came on board. If you look at it, the adult so to say; our parents who are teachers in schools, heads in both corporate and private organisations could not meet the anti-corruption organisation expectation, the question now is what is the solution? And this happen on May 29, 2008, when a group of individuals came together having overviewed the system and the problems associated with the development and progress of Nigeria, discovered that corruption is the major obstacle to the system. When we now look at it from another perspective, we came with the conclusion that let us work on the children; the belief is that the children are essentially the adult of tomorrow, you and I were once children, certain values that were inculcated in us from the beginning are still with us. Essentially, what CACTI is trying to do is to look at another way in correcting the ills of society. And we discovered that the best way is to involve the youths that we should meet them where they are, like in schools, religion organisations, to actually pass the kind of orientation we think our youth desired especially on the re-orientation of children, visit them at schools and explain to them what corruption entails, where it thrives and what they can do right from their childhood to guide against corruption.

Your effort may yield minimal result because when these kids get home they still relate with corrupt parents, how do you tackle this?

We are in a world that has changed quickly, we are in a world where children are conscious of their rights, and you will agree with me that we are in a world where a two or three year old child reacts to how they are treated. Fine, let me say that some parents may not tell the child what corruption is all about because they are guilty of it. There are some individuals that are still very upright who have integrity, who are saddled with the responsibilities of teaching these children what corruption is about. The problem is that when the child gets anti-corruption information aside from the parent’s angle, the child has a better chance of even correcting the father or mother. For instance, we try to expose certain behaviours of parent which portray them as liars when they exhibit one, such a child of course, know that their parents are not saying the truth and will point this out. Apparently, such parents would have to change and tell the truth to their children because they have been exposed. So, when the child gets what corruption is all about from another angle aside the parents, the child stands a better chance of putting the parents through. It is like you saying no to corruption right from your childhood. Before we started this campaign, we have not been enjoying regular electricity, children believe that it is a normal thing and that is how it should be. It is a normal thing for us to have bad road and power failure all the time but through our campaign we have been telling children that this is not normal. Our inability to have electricity all the time, seeing destitute all over the places is due to corruption. Corruption in high and low places, inadequacies of government, they now started to have a new orientation, that what happened is not normal. Essentially, what we are saying is that what you inculcate in the children is what they grow up with and believe in. And given that parents that are corrupt will not teach children not to be corrupt hence CACTI is taking the lead in the campaign against grassroots corruption. There is a friend of mine who said ‘ah Omololu, we thank you for what you are doing’. This is probably because the parents are not open or do not have the moral justification to stop the children from what they are doing. From what we are doing we discovered that parents are thankful and appreciate what we are doing.

In the next five years where do you project that CACTI should be?

In the next five years, we hope we would have become an organisation that makes impact, we would have got to a stage where the Nigerian child is exposed. What we discovered when we started is that most of these children as innocent as they are they have no idea of what corruption is all about. For these children to grow up and become the pride of society we need to let them know what constitute corruption and its consequences on the larger society. It is when you have information about something that you work against it. You cannot work against what you don’t have information about. So, in the next fives years we want to see an organisation that is able to impact on the lives of children in the nursery and primary schools. We focus more on children in nursery and primary schools than in secondary schools. We discovered that children in primary schools are still very innocent, they have not been exposed to acts capable of affecting their lives negatively hence the need to get them involved at that level so that we can educate them properly in the right direction. It is easier to check children in this category than their senior counterpart whose mind appeared to be more rigid.

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