PETALING JAYA: Corruption has deeply rooted itself in our society to an extent that it is now sadly considered a way of life, based on the observation of a journalist after 40 years in the media industry.
The situation prompted Karangkraft Media Group chairman Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub to start a movement against corruption through his “Rasuah Busters” initiative.
“It is a problem that affects all races and is common in the private sector as well as the public sector,” he said yesterday.
“A campaign of a bigger scale is required to change the culture and unroot and uninstall these practices. A sort of mental revolution is needed to fix the issues of morality and values in the country.”
“Condoning corrupt practices has worsened the situation and we have allowed this disease to spread throughout the country,” he added.
Hussamuddin said the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the situation. The cause of the economic downturn and loss of unemployment and income by many is a result of rampant corruption that exists, he said.
The Rasuah Busters campaign works with a #RasuahBusters central team acting as initiator. The team will create awareness and make available basic materials, and recommend skills and knowledge needed to kick-start and grow the movement.
Malaysians can get involved by creating their own #RasuahBuster team within social groups such as family, friends and colleagues, where materials and ideas can be shared.
“We are now in the first level, which is the awareness stage but we have a long-term plan for systemic change for future generations,” he said.
Hussamuddin, who is also Rasuah Buster team leader, said Malaysians must convince one another that everyone stands to lose if corruption is allowed to go unchecked.
The initiative has been lauded by many, including corruption watchdog group Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism.
Founding director Cynthia Gabriel told theSun that the establishment of the programme is timely and much needed, given the worsening state of affairs in the country.
“We are only now seeing the damage caused by a single party’s rule for over 60 years, with the machinations of greedy politicians now exposed and laid bare,” she said.
Cynthia added that corruption has permeated every level, including the government, enforcement agencies as well as the private sector.
“It is crucial that citizens push and drive the message to politicians that votes will only come if they bind themselves to openness and integrity,” she added.
The National Patriots Association (Patriot) said the initiative deserves widespread support.
Its president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said the recent Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2020, which shows a drop in ranking, is a shame.
“Our political leaders should have taken the index as a challenge to reform, to be seen to take action portraying a clean administration,” he said.
Arshad also said corruption in the form of cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement, and influence-peddling is rampant.
He said he is pleased to acknowledge that the Rasuah Busters campaign has included such manners of corruption.
“When the wrong person is put into a job and position of power and influence, the standard of work and productivity is sub-par, leading to the suffering of our society and nation as a result.”