Academicians: M’sia may descend into ‘kleptocracy’


by Pauline Wong
thesundaily
27 November 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia may descend into a “kleptocracy” if corruption is not addressed effectively and comprehensively, academicians warned today.

They warned that the country would be ruled by the corrupt if graft is not tackled in a far-reaching manner which can be felt by the people.

“Kleptocracy”, derived from the words “kleptomania” and “-cracy” or “rule” refers to a government filled with those who seek status and personal gain at the expense of the governed.

At a forum on “Eradicating Corruption: How successful have we been?” organised by the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) today, National University of Singapore Associate Professor Dr Syed Farid Alatas voiced the danger of kleptocracy taking root as corruption is not a random or occasional occurence but tends to be systemic.

He said “kleptocrats” are usually not mid-level officials who extort money as a means to make a living, but high-ranking officials who see it as a way to accumulate wealth.

Despite positive outcome from anti-corruption initiatives rolled out by the government through the Government Transformation Programme and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Syed Farid said the effects were still not felt by the people.

“The people are still pessimistic about the way authorities are tackling corruption,” said Syed Farid, a Malaysian who was formerly a Universiti Malaya lecturer.

Commenting on Malaysia’s deteriorating position in the Corruption Perception Index, from 37 out of 80 countries in 2003, to 60 in 2011, Syed Farid urged the government to work towards the formation of a truly independent anti-corruption body.

“The MACC, for example has no power to initiate prosecution. The power to prosecute lies with the Attorney-General’s Chambers – which is as such free to practise selective prosecution,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, another panelist, Universiti Malaya Faculty of Economics and Administration Professor Dr Edmund Terence Gomez said grand corruption must be tackled from the top.

“We must first talk about devolution of power, where important institutions like the MACC and the AGC, and even the Judiciary must be independent.

“We have to do this soon, because degenerative corruption is becoming pervasive. Money is being channeled into the political system and we see this in permeation of money politics,” he said.

He also called for a fair and just implementation of good and noble policies to eradicate corruption.

The forum was attended by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi under whose tenure the MACC was formed.

“When we talk of corruption, we must talk about the integrity of our judiciary. It must be a respected and respectable institution, able to prove that they are able to demonstrate that they are the highest institute of correctness and integrity,” Abdullah said in his closing speech.

Calling for the strengthening of the judiciary to fight corruption, he said the judiciary itself must be above doubt.

“There must be good governance, or corruption will run rampant in the nation,” he said.

Ideas also released yesterday its interim report “Combating Corruption: Understanding Anti-Corruption Initiatives in Malaysia’.

The report concluded that there is a disconnect between public perception and actual data on corruption, and that corruption cannot be measured by perception alone.

“Public perception as measured by the Corruption Perception Index implies that corruption is rampant and the situation is bleak. But data suggests that the problem is not as bleak as the CPI score has painted,” the report stated.

The 55-page interim report which analysed the causes, cost and implications of corruption in Malaysia, also reviewed initiatives taken by the MACC under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) for combating corruption.

The report is funded by the MACC-NKRA division and other local and foreign sponsors.

Print Friendly

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 9:34 am

    If people check the timeline – when Najib took over, one of the first question asked of him was whether he would follow-through on Badawi’s corruption initiative and he fell short on MACC almost immediately.

    DOES IT LOOK CHANGED AFTER FOUR YEARS?

    Clearly on corruption, ITS ENTIRELY COSMETIC. There may be some surgery, but ITS STILL COSMETIC..Najib is a FAKE when it comes to corruption (and abuse of power too).

    Its quite clear, NAJIB NEVER INTENDED TO FIGHT CORRUPTION – the goal was always to better cover it up, avoid scandals and fiasco.. From Shahrizat not being punished, to farce that is the PKFZ trials, to all revelation of Defense Contracts, Musa Aman’s RM40m ‘donation’, LRT bidding, and the latest of Deepak Jaikishan, and many other NOTHING HAS FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED..

    Najib is a FAKE – He is Mahathir’s political son – a prodigal one but nevertheless still his offspring. Talk of difference between him and Mahathir is UNFOUNDED. They are of spiritually the same. Najib JUST SOUNDS different. He is BAPA Public Relation & Advertising, nothing more…

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 9:37 am

    B careful 4 d dons here, nanti d Ed Min moos U down

    Dis UmnoB/BN gomen: “Government of the corrupt, by the corrupt, for the corrupt, shall not perish from the Earth” (with apologies 2 Abraham Lincoln)

  3. #3 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 9:46 am

    ///The report concluded that there is a disconnect between public perception and actual data on corruption, and that corruption cannot be measured by perception alone.///

    If corruption was measured by actual incidence everyone in umno would be 6ft under by now, I mean in prison. Remember the cowgirl once famously asked? Which umno leader is free of problem? This is a statement made from the inner circle. It surely cannot be perception.

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 10:40 am

    [“When we talk of corruption, we must talk about the integrity of our judiciary. It must be a respected and respectable institution, able to prove that they are able to demonstrate that they are the highest institute of correctness and integrity,” Abdullah said in his closing speech.

    Calling for the strengthening of the judiciary to fight corruption, he said the judiciary itself must be above doubt.

    “There must be good governance, or corruption will run rampant in the nation,” he said.]

    Tun Abdullah Badawi made these comments in his closing speech. I would like to know how Tun reconciles these comments with the Perak Constitutional power grab where some of the judicial decisions were highly questionable resulting in BN usurping the people’s rights to their elected Govt.

    Can Tun also explain the Lingamgate tapes which were also exposed during his watch and what was his role in it.

    Judiciary independence? What about the Altantuya murder trial which also took place during his watch?

    Tun, you had the chance to do something about it. You did not.

  5. #5 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 10:49 am

    “…But data suggests that the problem is not as bleak as the CPI score has painted,” the report stated….”

    IDEAS should be lauded for their efforts. But if it is a report funded by MACC /NKRA, that itself has tainted the report.

    And it is not public perception if RM250m and RM40m suspiciously looking scandals are left untouched while strenously going after dubious RM2k corruption allegations resulting in deaths of witnesses. And what can one say of PKFZ? What happened to the “high powered” committee to be chaired by the Chief Secretary to investigate this scandal purportedly in place of criminal investigations that the previous Transport Minister was pushing for and which cost him his job?

    And the latest “Humveegate” Is that perception too?

  6. #6 by Noble House on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 - 2:30 pm

    ‘Kleptocracy’, literally meaning “rule by thieves” is so called in a state of unrestrained political corruption. It is sometimes referred with the ‘neologism kleptocracy’ if the highest echelons of the governments also take advantage from corruption or embezzlement from the state’s treasury, of the natural resources or state-owned productive industries to enrich themselves, which is often spent on showy buildings and armaments.

    A corrupt dictatorship typically results in many years of general hardship and suffering for the vast majority of citizens as civil society and the rule of law disintegrate. In addition, corrupt dictators routinely ignore economic and social problems in their quest to amass ever more wealth and power.

  7. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Thursday, 29 November 2012 - 8:55 am

    ///They warned that the country would be ruled by the corrupt if graft is not tackled in a far-reaching manner which can be felt by the people.///

    OMG, look at how outdated the prediction was! I mean, dont they know? In fact we are already under the rule of the corrupts and we have been so since monsterO’mamak’s time. That makes wot? a good 30plus yrs (min) of rule by corrupts todate.

    That is why we are now at the brink of economic disaster. And those corrupted idiots are still orgying away publicly with butt shows, fake funeral rites and ferrari offer.

  8. #8 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Thursday, 29 November 2012 - 2:24 pm

    /// Malaysia may descend into a “kleptocracy” ///

    May descend??? Already neck high into the cess pit……

You must be logged in to post a comment.