The most effective method to vanquish corruption is not through the invoking of laws but the inculcating of values, according to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Conceding that corruption exists around the globe, the former prime minister argued that when a society views corruption with contempt, the menace would be significantly reduced.
To achieve this, Mahathir said, leaders must provide a good example for the citizens.
“Leaders must ensure that educators emphasise this (rejection of corruption) from the kindergarten to school levels,” he added in his latest blog posting.
Mahathir also issued an ominous warning that widespread corruption is steering the nation towards destruction.
He expressed sadness that there are a substantial number of Muslims who are both givers and recipients of bribes.
“This is because those responsible for educating (Muslims) on corruption being forbidden in Islam do not emphasise this (restriction) and the importance of rejecting such offers,” he said.
Mahathir noted that in the twin June 18 by-elections, many voters were delighted to receive gifts of cash, rice and electrical appliances.
“These people knew they were being bribed. The persons giving (the bribes) also knew that what they were doing was wrong according to the law and the faith they profess.
“It is because of corruption that the quarters who bribed were victorious (in the polls). A victory obtained in this manner is not a real victory,” he charged, likening the by-elections results to a stolen item.
BN secured thumping victories in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections despite Mahathir hitting the campaign trail and urging voters to treat the contests as a referendum on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s leadership and cast their ballots for the opposition.
The prime minister has accused his former mentor-turned-nemesis of masterminding a plot to topple him with false allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
Mahathir said those who indulged in corruption would not be punished in this world because they have control over the prosecution and punishment process.
However, he warned of retribution in the hereafter, including for those who received the bribes.
“In Islam, we are given the opportunity to repent, but this is only when we do not repeat the same mistake. Those waiting for such bribes in the future must remember what is said about repenting in the Quran,” he said.
“Corruption is a filthy and heinous crime. It ruins society, oppresses the poor, prevents progress and harmony, weakens (the nation) and facilitates colonisation by other races,” he added.
Mahathir said those who attempted to legitimise corruption are also part of the crime and sin.
“Worse still are those who aware of the religious restrictions on corruption, but still attempt to legitimise it.
“Their sins will increase manifold because others will accept bribes because of their claim that it is legitimate,” he added.