Patriot lauds the initiative of Karangkraf Media Group founder Hussamuddin Yaacub in starting an anti-corruption campaign called Rasuah Busters.
This is something positive for the country and deserves widespread support.
The Rasuah Busters campaign aims to tackle all types of corruption, not just petty corruption at lower levels, but also those at high echelons of public service, political office and government-link corporations.
Often, corruption at higher levels of office, both in the public and private sectors, is less noticeable unless there is a whistleblower.
Corruption in the manner of cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement, and influence-peddling is identical in the realm of politics, and those involved often escape with impunity. Patriot is pleased to acknowledge that the Rasuah Busters campaign has included such types of corruption.
Cronyism, nepotism and patronage puts wrong persons into jobs and positions of power and influence. This can be in government-linked companies, government departments and even universities. When the wrong person gets the job, the standard of work and productivity is subpar. Our society and nation suffer as a result.
Promotions to high offices cannot be cabled with cronyism, nepotism and patronage. Unqualified persons holding high office will result in lacklustre supervision of subordinates. They have poor foresight. They react when an incident has happened instead of being proactive and taking initiatives to put things right, or in anticipation of any undesirable incident. A good example is the numerous cases of hazardous chemical spills in our waterways leading to frequent dry taps.
In academia, we are in a chronic stage of academic decadence due to putting the wrong people in positions of decision-making. The standard of teaching and marking in institutions of higher learning is nothing to be proud of.
Plagiarism among academics and students is abhorrently revolting. A recent report has stated that Malaysia ranks the fifth highest with published papers in predatory journals. This is a big shame to our academic work. The authors and the universities should have checked for predatory journals prior to submission of papers.
Patronage in politics kills us from within. We have an overweight cabinet comprising over 70 MPs filling up positions as heads of government-linked companies and agencies. Our politicians do not perform and are merely occupying space.
Attestation is in a recent UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report that stated Malaysia saw a sharp 68% decline in foreign direct investments to a mere $2.5bn, the biggest decline in Asean. Our gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020 has contracted by 5.6% and we are already in recession with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Functions among cabinet members do not seem cohesive, and often a ministry does not know what another is doing.
Also, flip-flops in policymaking are common, especially in how the government handles the current coronavirus pandemic and managing the movement control. Political patronage, a form of corruption, is like a cancer that leads us to a cachectic death.
The six places dropped in the recent Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 is another shame. If our political leaders have pride and self-worth, they should have taken the index as a challenge to reform, to be seen to take action portraying a clean administration.
Finally, in this current pandemic where our national narrative is to secure efficacious and safe vaccines, multi-billion ringgit will be spent. Patriot would like to caution against hanky-panky deal-making in the procurement of vaccines. There is a likelihood of tempting offers. Officials in negotiating procurement must be honest and with unquestionable integrity.
The initiation of the Rasuah Basters campaign is timely. Patriot urges Malaysians to participate.
Retired Brigadier-General Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Assocation (Patriot)