Time to clean Malaysia of its corrupt culture

comments     Stephen Ng     Published     Updated

COMMENT The changing landscape in Asia will make Malaysia stick out like a sore thumb if nothing is done to stamp out the corrupt culture in Malaysia.

Efforts by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should extend beyond just the top civil servants. The net should be spread further to net in the politicians as well, especially if we want to convince investors that the country is serious about combatting corruption.

In my opinion, everything has to begin right at the top. If the fish head is rotten, the whole fish is rotten. No fish can be preserved even with salt once the rot has set in.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, should therefore come clean on scrutiny by both the MACC and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over a number of allegations that have become known to the world.

Already in the public arena

There is really nothing hidden now. What was once hidden in the closet is now under the spotlight.

We now know who the Malaysian Official One (MO1) that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is referring to, thanks to Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan who told the international media that it refers to none other than Najib.

We have also heard that the wife of a prime minister spends RM1,200 for a hairdo at a time everyone else is tightening their belts due to the Goods and Services Taxes (GST) and the escalating cost of living.

We are also keen to learn from Rosmah how much she had to save every day throughout her entire life to afford the kind of lifestyle that she is living, not to mention the allegation that she had purchased a diamond ring worth RM24 million.

We would also like to know from where did the RM40 million that went into Najib’sprivate accounts come from? Did it originate from SRC International Sdn Bhd, and more importantly, had the money been used to pay off his credit cards?

These are the questions on everyone’s mind, and we strongly support former minister Zaid Ibrahim’s application for the court to compel AmBank Islamic to reveal the details of transactions for five private accounts of Najib. It is time for the bank to come clean, too, on the transactions that are suspicious.

By applying to intervene in Zaid’s application, Najib is not giving a very positive impression of being a true Muslim leader, now that he is trying to champion the Rohingya issue when the Temiang Orang Asli is being sidelined.

His credentials become doubtful when people start asking, “What is there to hide, if there is nothing to hide?” Most of us can even say with confidence, based on the DOJ civil suit, that RM2.6 billion that went into his account had originated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It takes a clean leader to change the corrupt culture in this country. If Najib failed to come clean on all these allegations made against him, including those mentioned by the US Department of Justice in their civil suit to seize US$1 billion worth of assets, then, the whole effort by MACC to nab top civil servants would be incomplete.

When Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairperson Annuar Musa preached to the Mara staff, his words will only be taken with a pinch of salt, not to mention that PAS’ gathering to garner support for Act 355 will turn the country into a laughingstock, if the very allegations of corruption in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal are not being dealt with appropriately.

Even Najib is hammered by the non-governmental organisations when he preached about not taking from the rakyat. We will somehow be seen as still lagging behind other nations in the region.

What he said at the Prime Minister's Department monthly assembly in Putrajaya yesterday is a test on his own integrity, as the nation has sought for the truth behind the transfer of RM2.6 billion and another RM40 million into his personal accounts at AmBank Islamic.

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