"Lavish lifestyle should be sufficient to take action against those suspected of corruption. Only then will there be a lesser chance for people in high places to be corrupt.
"Unfortunately, for the court of law, that does not count as evidence," Dr Mahathir said in his keynote address at the second annual Malaysia's War on Corruption Symposium, here, on Wednesday.
The former premier of 22 years said the 'big fish' was always able to hide their corrupt activities, not being subjected to the same laws as others.
"So the only way to detect corruption at the top is to see the person's way of life. If he has a big car and big house.
"Corrupt people will have to spend their corrupt earnings because if you keep the money locked away and then you die, what's the point?" he said.
Dr Mahathir said the problem with some countries was that people at the very top were in control of the very agencies meant to combat corruption.
"When you know that nobody can take action against you, then the tendency is there to keep taking more and more," he said.
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