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Corruption by our leaders more likely to destroy country than state secrets being revealed

Corruption by our leaders more likely to destroy country than state secrets being revealed

Updated 4 hours ago ·
Published on 11 Aug 2022 11:23AM ·

FORMER home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi cautioned that thrusting the littoral combat ships project openly into the light might affect state secrets following the release of a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on their investigation into this matter.

What state secrets could potentially be exposed?

The designs or technical specifications or capability spelt out in the original bid could possibly be made redundant now due to the fast ever changing technological landscape.

Or that the navy, the end user of these ships, would unknowingly use a vessel that is inferior as compared to the price the government paid for?

Are state secrets being leaked more harmful to the country or corruption amongst our leaders which has the capacity to undermine the government and threaten security?

The perception of corruption is increasing year after year.

Corruption is changing, getting new dimensions, not only in scope, but also in methods. It is now mentioned in the billions of ringgit amongst political elites. Millions of ringgit are for newcomers or junior officers.

The bribers are becoming innovative, adapted to situations, and the innovation of companies in paying bribes and hiding them is also visible.

A great influence for the increase comes also from the ineffective sanctioning of corruption, which increases the possibility of continuing the corruptive actions of those involved, creating at the same time a strong likelihood that others will join in the corruption due to this inefficient sanctioning.

The political influence of corruption is also manifested through the proverb – examples are attractive.

If top government, parties and leading politicians are corrupt, then corruption shows at all levels, and this evil then spreads among the ordinary population, as nobody trusts the institutions or the rule of law.

The Prime Minister and every member in the Cabinet hold the ultimate public trust.

All are vested with great powers. In exchange each swears an oath to faithfully execute the laws that hold those powers in check. This oath is no formality.

The PM and his cabinet answer to Parliament and thus to the country if they are engaged in serious wrongdoing. 

Acts for corruption were provided for in the country with laws and institutions formed to investigate any perceived corrupt acts but yet the effectiveness of such laws and institutions against leaders and political elites leaves much to be desired.

Leaders who are faithful only to themselves and their own followers will sell out democracy and national security for their own personal advantages.

Indeed, these leaders threaten the country itself.

The country has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for politicians’ greed.

To date, virtually no major political leader has been jailed for serious corruption in this country.

This has given many powerful politicians and senior bureaucrats a license to steal.

Corruption creates insecurity in every aspect in the country, be it our national security or the economy. For example, it creates incentives for contracting major defence projects or unnecessary infrastructure projects.

Corruption is projected to increase further in the next few years as the country struggles with insufficient tax revenue.

The poor state of public administration, which is a consequence of political “overcrowding” of officials, where loyalty usually prevails over professional standards, is expected to contribute to an increase in corruption.

If the same excuses and intensity was given to reduce and minimise corruption versus the call to be mindful of state secrets being exposed, the country could possibly be saved.

FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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