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YOURSAY | Go after the bribe-giving tycoons too

YOURSAY | ‘Bribe givers must be punished if we’re to eradicate corruption.’

COMMENT | Disturbing questions over Najib’s ultra-luxury gifts

MS: This symbiotic (or should I say parasitic) relationship between politicians and businesspeople has been flourishing for well over six decades.

It is now so normalised that the MACC routinely ignores instances when it becomes known. For example, like this case involving YTL’s Francis Yeoh and Pavilion’s Desmond Lim, two Chinese businesspersons whose cosy ties with politicians have been well-known.

In 1996, then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched his ‘Smart Partnership’ initiative in Langkawi - a glitzy event which saw politicians and businesspeople openly indulging each other, sans shame or guilt for the greater good and well-being of both.

This unholy nexus, formally approved and encouraged by none less than the prime minister opened the doors for the free flow of gifts and favours.

Jailed former premier Najib Abdul Razak simply continued with this mutual co-prosperity arrangement, milking it such that a RM1.58 million watch is par for the course. It was "You help me, I help you" on steroids.

Today, it is why politics is so lucrative and why PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said that non-Malays (meaning the Chinese really) constitute the root cause of corruption.

MarioT: It is known that a businessperson does not shower you with very expensive gifts for nothing. He or she certainly expects special privileges for their projects to be conducted without objection, hindrance or inspection.

Such gifts given to a civil servant are seen as bribery, which is a punishable crime.

A police officer who accepts a RM50 bribe for not acting against a motorist for a traffic offence is dealt with severely, while a person who is supposed to be the custodian of law and order accepts gifts worth millions goes scot-free.

Doesn’t this show the existence of a two-tier enforcement system?

BluePanther4725: In Malaysia, businesses are forced to give bribes to ruling politicians/cronies and various government agencies if they want to continue doing their businesses.

Otherwise, the authorities will create trouble for them and eventually they will be forced to close shop. Therefore, many of the businesses that give bribes are victims themselves.

That's why we don't have many reputable foreign companies willing to invest and do business in Malaysia, for example, Apple.

While both the giver and receiver of bribery are guilty, it is the receiver who enforces this corrupted culture. The only way for us to free ourselves is to get rid of this highly corrupted PN/BN government. Otherwise, nothing will change.

Cheong Sai Fah: Who in his right mind wishes to bribe when a service can be rendered without fear or favour?

Here is a case where the lawyers for the recipient claim it is Najib’s right to claim ownership of the gifts. Where is the shame displayed by the receiver of the alleged bribe? Leadership by example indeed!

Headhunter: There is no such thing as a free lunch in this world. When businessmen give you an expensive gift, they expect something in return.

Anyone who says otherwise is either an idiot or trying to cover up something. The MACC, if it is interested in this, can easily find out.

That said, no political leader should accept such gifts while in office. It's morally wrong and there is no justification for it except to grease the palm of the taker.

OceanMasterII: It is sickening to read such behaviour of the rich and the powerful.

Every time I ride on KLIA Express, I get bombarded by the "over-the-top" extravagant lifestyle of the rich on its info TV. Guess what, it is no other than YTL Group advertising a lifestyle that probably 98 percent of Malaysians can’t afford.

It's been there for ages and my thought was how is it that whoever is in charge does not think that the KLIA Express is a public transport system and should be inclusive of the general public?

Well, reading P Gunasegaram’s commentary here, we know what the reason is. The rot is a lot deeper.

BobbyO: Who paid for the gifts? On the receipts, it may show Desmond Lim and Francis Yeoh, but the actual people who paid for the gifts are the citizens of this nation.

Nothing is free. If we were to audit or investigate every deal between these individuals and the government, what dirt would it expose?

So, does not it clearly show that these watches gifted are an act of corruption, given for favours done? If indeed that is true, they should be equally charged for shamelessly making monies at the people's expense.

MVA: Gifts to the PM belong to the state. If such gift-giving is not illegal, then bribes are going to be channelled similarly through third parties who can claim they did not receive any favours.

But the favour would have been for the party that gave the money for the gift to the gift giver.

Hmmmmmmmm: It is just hearsay to say that the watches were gifted by Francis Yeoh and Desmond Lim.

The lawyers should get them to identify the watches and confirm that those were indeed the watches gifted by them to our ex-PM. The MACC can take over from there.


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