Empower women to stand up and fight against corruption

13 Feb 2020 / 20:34 H.

PETALING JAYA: Women at all levels of society should not feel intimidated in reporting cases of corruption as they can play a pivotal role in combating graft.

Women’s activist Ho Yock Lin (pix) said though considered the more genteel of genders, women need not feel less empowered than their male counterparts in the fight against corruption and should not feel pressured into keeping silent.

“Some women feel they are marginalised and are generally afraid they or their family members will be threatened, so they tend to keep their mouths shut.

“But they shouldn’t feel intimidated just because they are women. Like men, they too should be asked and able to speak up (against corruption),” she told theSun.

Ho, who is former All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) president, was commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s speech on Tuesday, commending the role of Malaysian women in the government’s effort to fight corruption.

Wan Azizah particularly took note of the role of former auditor general Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad, former audit performance director Saadatul Nafisah and audit director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad, in exposing the alleged tampering of the 2016 final audit report on 1MDB.

She had also called for more engagement and collaborations “to ensure women from all walks of life are empowered and have the ability to be at the forefront and centre of society to fight corruption”.

Ho added that women should also not be afraid to report graft even if it involves family members, friends or colleagues, in the spirit of a cleaner Malaysia. But she questioned if the existing Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 was sufficient in protecting those who expose corrupt crimes, claiming that many still believe otherwise.

“People tend not to want to speak up against corruption. They will do so among themselves, but not report it to the authorities. It shouldn’t matter if it’s their husband or superior,” she said.

Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association of Malaysia president Datuk Rahmah Abdul Hamid meanwhile, said corruption among women are few and far between as they are generally God-fearing.

She added that if moral values are ingrained via good upbringing and fear of god’s retribution is with all Malaysians, then people are more likely to stay away from graft.

“It’s not easy at all to bribe women. They are too pure and straight forward about ‘dosa and pahala’,” said Rahmah when contacted.

“I think our country is on the right track (in fighting corruption), but stronger and better upbringing in religion will certainly take us all forward,” she added.

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