The 1MDB fiasco is the result of the disastrous consequences of leadership failure, says Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said that although there were regulations, governance mechanisms and reporting systems in place, it failed just like other crises around the world because the individuals behind them stopped listening to their conscience and succumbed to greed.
She said wicked individuals could be creative and would try to circumvent these mechanisms.
"We expect our leaders to do good and help us achieve more. Instead, we often see instances where our leaders fail us.
"These are leaders who put profit over everything else. They allow their personal interest to override common interest and they use their wealth to buy influence," she said in her keynote address at the Asean Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Summit 2018 here today.
The one-day summit, themed "Building a Common Sustainable Future - The Challenge for Corporations and Business," brought together business and civil society leaders to discuss the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to build a more inclusive and sustainable society.
Wan Azizah said leaders have to lead with a conscience, constantly guided by the moral compass and commitment.
She pointed out that having a conscience is more than just about knowledge of what is right and wrong, it is also the ability to integrate moral reasoning into their thinking and decision-making.
She said that while such values were pertinent towards realising the SDGs set by the UN, it should not be treated just as another fad or to create business opportunities for cronies and family members.
"We need leaders who lead with a conscience, who are really committed to the SDGs,” she said.
Wan Azizah told reporters later that the health of her husband Anwar Ibrahim had improved, but he would continue to be warded at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre to undergo further tests and assessments.
"Ever since he came out of prison and hospital, he has not rested. I think he deserves a better rest," she said.
Anwar, the de facto PKR leader, was admitted to hospital on Saturday after suffering severe pain due to a prolapsed disc.