Malaysia’s anti-corruption structures stronger now, says integrity chief

GIACC director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed says strong structures have been set up to fight corruption in Malaysia. — Bernama pic
GIACC director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed says strong structures have been set up to fight corruption in Malaysia. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 ― Strong structures have been set up to fight corruption in Malaysia ever since Pakatan Harapan took over the government, Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said today.

The director-general of the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) said that in some countries, the corruption cycle continues even after a change of government, but not in Malaysia.

“But what happened in Malaysia is totally different. We have a strong, structured anti-corruption plan to address corruption, immediately after we took over the government.

“We are different,” Abu Kassim told Malay Mail after opening the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum 2019 here.

In his opening speech, the former head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission spoke of a syndrome in which politicians turn into corrupt officials they used to condemn after winning elections.

He described the endless loop of corruption perpetuated by such politicians as the “5-15 syndrome”.

“The 5-15 syndrome is about integrity and about  governance of a country where corruption has been used and abused, to put down the government. And somebody, especially the Opposition, to get power, they use corruption as the tool.

“Before they take power, they are very, very serious. Their voice is very, very loud, and even the whole society was together with them, and they give a clear message to all saying that they hate corruption, they want to have a government with high integrity and uphold the new government,” he said in his speech.

He added that the danger is that after becoming government officials, the same critical politicians forget their electoral promises to fight corruption and they become “more corrupt then the previous government” as there is no clear structure to tackle the problem at the root source.

Abu Kassim said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recognised the problem and addressed it by creating the GIACC after the May 2018 general elections.

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