SHAH ALAM, June 29 — Politicians in this country need to be free of corruption as a preliminary step towards achieving a corruption-free country, said Director-General of National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.
He said this was because the biggest corrupt activities in the country were believed to involve politicians, apart from the management of political parties.
“The first party that needs to change is politicians...they need to change if they want others to change (not corrupt).
“Much of their failure (to prevent corruption) lies in their practice; they may have forgotten or neglected including the issue of political funding,” he said in the Mind Talk programme organised by the Sinar Harian daily at the Karangkraf Complex here today.
Abu Kassim said with the approach of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government today that is firmly fighting corruption, he is confident that corrupt practices by politicians can be curbed.
The measures taken include launching the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 (NACP) as a committed effort towards a corruption-free country.
“Among the measures was also when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad instructed members of Parliament including the opposition to declare their assets.
“Prior to this (the previous government), it is difficult to declare assets, but today all the members of Parliament have declared their respective assets,” he said.
Abu Kassim also called on all parties to give Latheefa Beebi Koya a chance to lead the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
He said it was unfair to criticise the new MACC chief commissioner just because she was a member of a political party before.
“Offer support for Latheefa, not by picking on where she had come from but who she is, her neutrality, her without ‘fear or favour’ nature should be supported.
“The appointment of Latheefa adheres to the existing system. Yes, it should have involved Parliament but the guidelines were not ideal. When (Datuk Seri) Mohd Shukri Abdull told Dr Mahathir that his work was done, the prime minister appointed Latheefa based on the existing system,” he said.
Latheefa, 46, was appointed to replace Mohd Shukri after he sought to shorten his contract which was supposed to end on May 17, 2020.
Just before her appointment, Latheefa left PKR on June 3. — Bernama