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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Putrajaya’s push for Malaysia to become a cashless society is partly to make it harder for corruption to take place, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He explained that cashless transactions entail data trails that can enable authorities to observe and detect the suspicious movement of money.
“Each expenditure will be recorded in the system, thereby allowing us to know if there have been any attempts (to bribe),” Dr Mahathir said during the launch of the Unlimited Travel Pass My100 and My50 in KL Sentral.
He also said widespread corruption was an indirect contributor to rising costs.
“When corruption becomes rampant, all works become more costly since there is a need to pay certain parties in order to obtain approval.”
During the Asean Summit in Singapore last month, the PM already expressed interest in pursuing a cashless Malaysia, saying he was inspired by discussions with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi’s administration has taken various measures to deter cash-facilitated crime and corruption as well as counterfeiting, including banning the use of large-denomination banknotes.
Malaysia is currently at the heart of a global corruption and money-laundering scandal as a result of the 1MDB controversy.