KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — The G25 group of prominent retired civil servants today called PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang “irresponsible” for his statement on non-Muslims and non-Bumiputera being the “root of corruption”.

In a statement, the group said turning corruption into a racial issue will not mesh well with voters of all races and does not benefit his own party members.

“His statement has caused distress among non-Malays that they are being made the scapegoat for the institutional weaknesses that make it possible for corruption to spread like a cancer.

“A more responsible way is to take a non-racial approach by recognising the truth, whether in Malaysia or in any country in any part of the world, that when bureaucracy becomes too difficult to get things done, corruption starts to rear its ugly head,” G25 said in the statement.


The group said that Malaysia’s slow service in administrative paperwork like passports and licences paved the way for businesses and institutions to accept “duit kopi” as a favour to speed up processes but has since gone down after operations became more digitalised.

“While petty corruption has gone down because of greater administrative efficiency, high level corruption has been increasing at an alarming rate, mainly because of the need for political funds to build a war chest for elections and also because of personal greed among politicians and civil servants.

“The spread of high-level corruption has no racial divide among givers and takers,” G25 said.


The group refuted Abdul Hadi’s sentiments and said that political leaders were more susceptible to corruption because of a lack of accountability and transparency in awarding contracts to government purchases and procurements.

“When the ministers show they have the power to make their own decisions, the political lobbyists will know who to bribe to get the approvals, and the best lobbyists are those who are family friends and relatives of those in power.

“This ‘I scratch your back, you scratch my back’ syndrome applies to all races because money knows no race,” the group said.

It added that Abdul Hadi, as the leader of PAS, should be familiar with the syndrome as evident in the issue of illegal logging of forest reserves in Kelantan when it allegedly involved bribery and corruption and cross-border smuggling along the Thai border.

“The attempt by the PAS leader to blame the non-Malays shows his lack of knowledge about the root causes of corruption.

“He ignores the truth that the frontliners who act as lobbyists for business owners to reach to the top are members of the ruling party in power at federal or state level.

“The lobbyists go for whoever can offer them the best deal such as a success fee or a partnership in the non-Malay company.

“It is therefore not right to blame the non-Malays as the big players in the corruption scandals because as the saying goes, it takes two to tango,” G25 said.

Describing political lobbyists as “rent collectors”, the group said that high-level contracts are usually given in exchange for benefits like cash incentives.

“With so many ‘rent collectors’ to pay, the costs of corruption make government expenditures unnecessarily high for the country.

“The PAS president should have mentioned how money is used to make the political lobbyist job so attractive to party officials. They are the real shakers and movers of corruption at the highest levels of government,” it added.

On Saturday, Abdul Hadi reportedly accused non-Muslims and non-Bumiputera of being the detriment to the country’s economy and politics.

He went on to say that it was PAS’ responsibility to raise awareness among Malays about the importance of active participation in the country’s politics.