SUBANG JAYA, Feb 19 — Malaysia would have become a developed nation by next year if not for the money the country had lost to corruption in the government, said National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) deputy director-general Datuk Anis Yusal Yusoff.
Anis said the aspiration to eradicate corruption and strengthen integrity in the country has to be pushed from bottom to top in order to achieve the goal.
“Because of all the money that has gone to the wrong person, it is holding us back. If it is not for all corruption, by next year in 2020, we would have become a developed nation.
“Let’s be positive that the government today is doing something, the political will is there and the people’s will is there but we have to work together hand in hand in ensuring that we achieve the goal in curbing corruption,” he said at the the “Til’ Eleven” dialogue session organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), today.
Anis said some of initiatives to be taken in order to solve the issues and ensure the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023 is successfully implemented include focusing on enforcement as it is one of the key factors in executing the law.
“We have section focusing on enforcement because we know that it is one of the problems.
“We have many laws but the problem is that those enforcing the laws, those given the trust, are the ones that betray [the law],” he said during the dialogue, titled “the Importance of Integrity.”
Anis said GIACC has identified the custodians of the plan to ensure the execution, which he said would be Cabinet ministers and ministry secretary-generals.
“They are the ones who have to figure out [the implementation], and if they don’t understand, they can come talk to us and we will certainly help provide some input on how it is to be done.
“The have to own it, they have to champion it not only in terms of planning but on how to translate it into action,” Anis said, adding the problem mainly faced by the new Cabinet ministers is that they are able to see that the planning can be done quickly, but said it is not a simple task to do.
Meanwhile, Anis said it was important for the ruling Pakatan Harapan party to have the two-thirds majority in Parliament in order to execute the reforms that the government has planned, such as the separation of powers.
“Let’s be realistic, can you be sure the opposition will vote on the day [in Parliament] to get the two-thirds [majority]? The implication of not getting a two-thirds majority would force the Prime Minister and the whole government to resign as they are pushing to make amendments to the constitution, but they don’t get the support of the House.
“This is serious we are working with many parties to see whether they would sign some kind of declaration so that on the day they would have to vote accordingly,” he said.
The NACP was unveiled on January 29, which is a five-year framework aimed at eradicating corruption and improving governance.
It is a thorough roadmap done by the GIACC to ensure that anti-corruption efforts will last in the long run and to implement policy reforms at every level to realise this goal.