Corruption by any name

08 Jan 2019 / 20:40 H.

    SIXTY years of the Barisan Nasional’s dominance has helped breed corruption in the country.

    The previous government failed to cleanse the nation of this scourge after such along time in power.

    Then, in rising to the clarion calls of the opposition block, citizens said enough is enough and cast their votes in the last general election in a never-before attempt to shatter the six-decade old binding chains of the Barisan Nasional stranglehold.

    With the incoming opposition block of parties forming the new government Malaysians celebrated the birth of a “New” Malaysia.

    As the months flow under our nation’s political bridge we continue to hear allegations of corruption bobbing up every now and then.

    It seems to take on various shapes and it is anyone’s guess what else will surprise us as we face the future.

    Is corruption impossible to plug? Are we saying that despite the volley of laws, punishments, standard operating procedures, gatekeeping, and what have you, corruption is hard to tackle?

    If you can implement overnight a smoking ban on citizens, what is so hard to ban corrupt behaviour among the rich, powerful and those in decision-making posts?

    We still see politicians, including non-political higher-ups, preaching that no country even in the developed world is free from corruption and that efforts are being taken to fight corruption.

    Our determined arguments and protests to champion one religion over another has not curbed corruption.

    Lessons about the now world infamous kleptocracy has not helped plug corruption.

    The various machinations now in place are not killing off corruption.

    It is still the same old filth of “what is in there for my taking” that is driving our corrupt behaviours to take deeper root.

    How far more can this plundering go on?

    Will the time not come when the country is devoid of resources to support a growing population given all the known and unexposed corruption?

    Yet the ordinary Joe is made to bear the brunt of it all with having to put up with substandard road repairs; substandard produce and consumables; lack of amenities from clean drinking water to lighted up dwellings; costly private healthcare versus cheap, inefficient public healthcare; costly tertiary education; increasing red tape; more laws that prohibit the philosophical blossoming of human rights; human trafficking; unaffordable housing; and the list is endless.

    Truly what is difficult to declare war on corruption?

    When the nation successfully fights corruption by making this war a national preoccupation, the government will certainly sow the seeds for development, peace, progress and happiness across the length and breadth of the country.

    But when corruption is the shortcut to riches, power, control and dominance, we must be prepared for many more decades of this cancer that continues to breed and spread aggressively with no letting up.

    J. D. Lovrenciear

    Kuala Lumpur

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