LETTER | Day in and day out for the last two years, the rakyat has been inundated with salacious details of corruption amongst the political elites.
The audacity of those charged and the shameless thumbing of their nose towards the public redefined the word revolting.
None wore morality and ethics on their sleeves.
Just like the case where a politician who was charged but was later acquitted of accepting money said in the trial for which he was charged, that RM2 million is like pocket money to him.
Details revealed from the Ultra Kirana case and the payout by the company to senior politicians showed the shamelessness of those alleged to have received funding from the company.
Everything about the case runs afoul of the laws of the country. From the source of the funds - from foreign funders - to how these funds were remitted into the country - via money changers and changed to cash - happened right under the noses of the authority and yet no alarm or any investigation was ever conducted and the culprits brought to book is astounding..
Every other day, the poor rakyat will read of news about someone being charged for corruption or for receiving bribes.
It has become a standard feature in the daily media, be it mainstream or online.
Whatever positive spin that the government makes on the growth of the economy and a return to the pre-pandemic days will be wiped out if the level of corruption continued in its present trajectory.
The rakyat is well aware that every initiative or legislation announced by the government will always be accompanied by some unanswered questions, ie there must be a party or parties that will benefit from the introduction of the initiatives or legislation.
It was never for the well-being of the rakyat. It was always for the well-being of the politician who promoted it.
From 2018 to 2020 during the reign of the Pakatan coalition, the government formed the Pusat Governans, Integriti dan Anti-Rasuah Nasional (GIACC) and launched the National Anti Corruption Plan (NACP) for the period from 2019-2023 with the objective of making ‘Malaysia known for her Integrity and not corruption’ and builds a corrupt-free nation that upholds transparency and accountability.
The government then even represented to the rakyat that the NACP was developed with practical goals in mind. It is based on reforms to be undertaken by the government, in partnership with the private sector and NGOs, to address issues of corruption, integrity and governance, over the five years.
After two successive changes in government during the last two years, the NACP disappeared from public view, never to be mentioned or discussed in public again. Any announcements are mere semantics to make them appear relevant and for the government of the day to crow that they are still committed to wiping out corruption.
The rakyat is no longer ignorant or appears oblivious to corrupt acts being perpetuated by the political elites where such acts used to be kept under wraps away from the public eyes.
It is the economic performance that will define the new government that is voted in by the rakyat in GE15
How enduring those performances will be dependent on the economic team that will spearhead and drive the country's economy and competitiveness.
Demand from the parties whom they plan to appoint to their economic team if they are elected to govern and for the economic team to propose their agenda and action plans i.e what reform and tax measures they plan to propose and enact for the country, for the rakyat to evaluate and decides before voting.
The country and the rakyat would not benefit from a good action plan if it is not accompanied by an equally realistic and workable plan by the government to plug the loopholes in corruption within the government and the politicians.
Corruption has become endemic that it became a standard joke in coffee shops that if one were to throw a stone into a group of politicians, you will definitely hit a politician that has been implicated with some kind of allegations of corruption before.
Thus, moving forward, we, the rakyat and eligible voters should demand from the parties and the proposed candidates who want our votes to be appointed as an MP or state representative, the following before we will give them our votes in the coming general election.
Regardless of whether they are in the ruling coalition or the opposition post the next general election:
1. They will introduce through the government of the day or as a private members bill if from the opposition, for legislation, tentatively titled `The Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act’ that aims specifically to promote efficient and enhanced delivery of government services by reducing red tapes within the first year post the general election.
2. Each of them commits that they will support the legislation when it is introduced in Parliament. To borrow the phrase from the president of the National Cancer Society when he berated MPs who do not support the Generation End Game legislation, MPs who do not support the above-proposed legislation are deemed to support corruption amongst the political elites and the civil servants
3. The government will implement the ‘step aside’ rule for those charged with serious crimes and ensure better protection for whistleblowers.
4. The parties who will form the federal and state government of the day will take steps to ensure that all municipalities and councils and government-linked companies are run by ethical leaders, managers and workers, and remove those who fail to do what they are paid to do.
5. The government of the day will overhaul government procurement, using technology to make it transparent and free of corruption.
Voting day is the only day where the power is truly with the rakyat.
Any other days within the next five years before the next general election, the rakyat will be treated with disdain by the same politicians whom they voted for.
And each of the candidates is aware of the power of the rakyat on the voting day.
Prospective candidates from the political parties will bow to whatever demands by the voters up to the voting day.
If we, the rakyat and eligible voters, do not demand the above from those prospective candidates before casting our votes, we truly deserve what will befall the country in the future.
The choice to have a corruption-free country in the future is with us.
Vote wisely. Demand from those who are seeking your votes for their commitment on how they will address corruption in the country.
They know they have to answer to you again in five years if they reneged or fail to fulfil their commitments to you in this coming general election.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.