KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The bribing of voters in elections enables those who are corrupt and thieving to form government, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed today.
In a lengthy examination of the crime of bribery, Dr Mahathir in his latest blog post noted that voters are exposed to the risk of being bribed as their votes could determine the victory or defeat of a candidate.
Dr Mahathir said that voting is intended to enable the selection of the best candidates to form a government that would care for and benefit the citizens, with a government formed of officials who do not take bribes enabling dealings with the government to be easy, less costly and without time being wasted.
But Dr Mahathir said those who wished to seize power for their own interests would allegedly see elections as a method to obtain power through corruption, suggesting that voters could be tempted into voting for a dubious candidate if given bribes.
“But if the candidate is not good, giving out money, it is highly likely that many voters would set aside good governance and the country’s development. They will receive bribes. After receiving bribes, they will vote for the briber. The more money there is, the more ready a voter is to give votes to the briber,” he claimed.
“For candidates with money, whether it is their own money or borrowed or stolen, many will bribe voters. Highly likely the candidate who used money to bribe will win.
“With this, thieves and bribers can form a government. It’s also possible they are paid by certain people plotting to seize government power for their own interests,” he said, cautioning however that a government controlled by the corrupt would result in national interests and the citizens’ interests being set aside.
In the same blog post, Dr Mahathir cautioned that the crime of corruption should not be taken lightly or be viewed as a minor offence, as it would become common practice in society and ultimately hinder a country’s progress.
Dr Mahathir listed the negative effects of corruption on a country that would ultimately be faced by citizens, including increased cost and delayed approvals from an inefficient administration turning away investors and businesses, and the knock-on effect of decreased economic activity and loss in job opportunities.
“What can eliminate corruption is our own attitude in rejecting bribery as a crime that is very bad and heinous and which needs to be rejected,” he had said earlier in his post.