LETTER | Yesterday, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Ismail and the Malay rulers support the government’s efforts to cleanse the country of corrupt practices and enhance good governance.
As reported, "Anwar also said he has urged all leaders and civil servants to collectively combat corruption and make Malaysia a role model for other nations."
The call from the very top of the nation's seat of power - king, rulers and PM, has been made. It must now be the final call, or we are doomed to be a failed, hopeless nation.
Yes true, our civil service which is in all probability the world's largest manpower engine can make a huge difference in responding to what appears to be the final countdown signalled by His Majesty and backed by our 10th prime minister.
All agencies - from the police, immigration and customs, in particular, must demonstrate zero tolerance for corrupt cultures. Period.
The “shape up or ship out with immediate termination” dictum must sink in every corner of the vanguards of clean governance.
No more of that “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” practice that is prevalent in Malaysia.
Let us then begin with banning politicians from doing business - either directly or through proxies.
All other civil servants of the over-staffed and varied ministries, agencies, departments - all of them must wake up to the truth that the seasons of past decades of warnings are now over.
Next, the private sector cannot be spared either. It is no hidden secret that this economic engine has been fuelling corruption in the country for decades.
Today, doing business in the country means you must cut corners and line the pockets. Let us stop kidding ourselves if we want to mean business is no more to be business as usual.
From captains to the last employee on the line must have an abhorrence and fear of corruption. They must also have the courage and determination to expose any corrupt practice - be it within the industries, professional bodies or the civil service.
“Blow the whistle without fear or favour” must become a nationwide courage.
The media must marshal all its courage and demonstrate independence in reporting the truth, exposing all corrupt people.
All of these drastic measures call for a rewiring of our policies anchored over decades of malpractices.
Of course, it will take a huge chunk of national budgets to get the “Say No More to Corruption” culture to root and help transform our bleeding nation.
Perhaps the time has come to once and for all implement painful policies like doing away with pensions, for example.
Trade unions must remould themselves and join the policy implementations to rewire war strategies against corruption.
Major policy initiative needed
Perhaps the time has come to cut back on religious funding and get communities of congregations (all religions) to self-fund their obligations to live and thrive by their respective faiths. It is about convictions and taking responsibility.
Handouts are a short-term surface treatment of the festering wounds of corruption.
Hence, another major policy initiative is needed to free the country from cheap, imported labour over-dependence.
The harsh truth is easy, quick profit motives are fuelling almost if not more than six million migrant labour population in the country.
Meritocracy is long, long overdue. Using race, and religion potions disguised as empowering citizens but in reality, incense political support, must cease immediately.
Malaysians need to be told - no matter how cruel it may be made out to sound, that every citizen must drop the crutches and work hard to build their lives.
After the world is already facing hard times given the fragile geopolitical tides.
A socially stable, economically independent citizenry can only strengthen the resilience of a nation.
Now the question is, are our leaders, captains of industry and the citizens ready to take the plunge?
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.