In Malaysia, we sometimes come across photos or videos of dubious business persons in the company of prominent politicians and top civil servants – either while on holiday or at residences and events.
It seems we are unable to learn our lesson well enough. It needs no scientific tool to establish that business persons who court the company of people in power usually have an ulterior motive.
Invariably, that motive is driven by greed, nothing less. It is to help secure contracts or seek the politicians’ help in closing an eye.
These business persons may even provide the certain politicians or top civil servants a hidden means to profit from their business deals and operations.
Why is it so difficult to outlaw this practice of politicians and top civil servants allowing business persons to court them?
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Why do such business persons ‘chase’ – at great length and enormous cost – people in power?
We all know the answer, but who will bell the cat?
Some business persons think that ‘knowing who’s who’ is more important than what they actually know and are capable of in their business. As long as allow such a culture to thrive, we will continue to hear of business persons going down the dark path.
We will not even gain momentum in the war against corruption.
Our systems may be well placed to provide effective checks and balances on business practices to prevent politicians and top civil servants from compromising on their call of duty.
But it will take courage and principle-centred leaders to actually pull the brakes.
Leaders in some other countries have successfully steered their nation by keeping businesses free from political and civil service ‘connections’.
So what is holding Malaysia back from purging such unhealthy political and business practices?
Do we not realise that news reports of corrupt business persons in cahoots with politicians and top civil servants have already dented the nation’s competitiveness?
If we do not curb such practices, then be prepared to go down the same painful route as some failed nations – something that is not impossible given how past governments have nurtured the “you help me, I help you” culture.