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Putting the heat on wrongdoers

Hand in hand: Dzulkifli shaking hands with some of his officers after having taken up office as MACC chief commissioner for 100 days. He pledged to bring an end to corruption with the help of the people.

Hand in hand: Dzulkifli shaking hands with some of his officers after having taken up office as MACC chief commissioner for 100 days. He pledged to bring an end to corruption with the help of the people.

The Anti-Corruption Revolution Movement (Gerah) wants to stress to the public that they must say ‘no’ to corruption or feel the heat. In fact, corruption must be public enemy number one, says Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad. Below is a Q&A with him ahead of the launch of Gerah tomorrow. 

Q: Can Datuk explain more on Gerah and why it is mooted?

A: Gerah is actually short for Gerakan Revolusi Anti Rasuah. It is a new initiative to fight corruption and abuse of power. Gerah can also be defined as panas (hot). We are aware that any efforts will not bring about the necessary change without the support of the people. The people’s mindset must first change.

Our intention is to create a sense of fear and uneasiness so that wrongdoers will feel the heat. They should, for they are gambling away the peace, security and harmony of the society, as well as jeopardising the country’s growth.

Despite drastic action from numerous operations including arrests and prosecutions, many more are still showing no remorse or fear. So, we decided to launch this social revolution via a quick and stern approach with the aim to eradicate corrupt practices at all levels. We will continue to take stern action against wrongdoers, regardless of their position and status.

On our part, we will use all our resources and manpower to ensure the success of this campaign. For a start, we will mobilise 2,000 officers from all over the country to meet the people and foster closer rapport and cooperation so that they will help us in our battle.

Q: Is this revolution really necessary? Is the MACC overdoing it?

A: I am of the opinion that the society must no longer be in a denial syndrome. We cannot afford to be in this situation anymore. Some quarters are claiming corruption cases are isolated and under control. This is clearly not the case.

Corruption is happening in almost every sector. The sad part is the absence of willpower and a holistic approach to reject this scourge. For the love and sake of this country, the people must collectively do something together to nip all forms of corruption in the bud.

Why the need for a revolution? This is the only way to prevent the country from going downhill and stunt our development. Besides Gerah, the 3J campaign aims to spread an awareness message against taking and accepting bribes.

Q: Can Datuk elaborate more on 3J and its significance in educating the people?

A: The MACC, on its own, will not be able to fight corruption and abuse of power effectively. We have only 2,900 personnel nationwide. So we need the people to be in this together.

Firstly, there must be a change in the mindset, that corruption is akin to a disease, a cancer. It must be cured and prevented from spreading. As long as this doesn’t sink in, our fight will remain a dream. The words “Hulur, Kawtim and Settle” are synonymous with corruption and we use them so that the people are fully aware of our objectives. We hope that this will pave the way for them to say “no” and steer clear.

Q: Recently, Datuk called upon Senators to urge the Government to declare corruption as the number one enemy. Can this be achieved?

A: This is my stand. Most issues such as drug abuse, illegal immigrants, leakages, smuggling, prostitution and gambling are closely related to corruption and abuse of power, hence affecting our image in the eyes of the world. We cannot play down these issues any more.

It is high time we acknowledge both scourges are at an alarming stage.

For the sake of our next generation, we must act now by declaring corruption and abuse of power as the country’s number one enemy.

Q: Have all this fight and changes implemented threatened the safety of Datuk in any way?

A: To me, threats are not to be feared. It is a responsibility which I will shoulder. I am aware of this heavy burden since I assumed office. It is the hope of the people and I shall not betray their trust.

I can also sense that the people are warming up and slowly supporting our efforts. So I have set high hopes for Gerah and 3J so that it will not lose its momentum.

This is the time and the right platform to shape the society to hate, reject and fight corruption. So when the majority act and speak up, what is there to fear?

Q: Corruption is an evil which has existed over the last century. Despite various efforts, it could not be eradicated. Will the latest campaigns be just an act in futility?

A: It will only be in vain if we do not put in any efforts to make a change and act while we still can.

Related story:

3J and Gerah ways to take fight against graft a notch higher