PETALING JAYA: Weeding out corruption requires a more proactive and independent Anti-Corruption Agency, and the commitment of all Malaysians, several non-governmental organisations said yesterday.
“What is needed is a more proactive ACA and the commitment of leading institutions in weeding out the problem,'' Suhakam commissioner Prof Datuk Hamdan Adnan said in an interview.
Describing the practice of corruption in Malaysia as being “very grave”, he said it should be immediately addressed before it became a “way of life” that affected the economy and national health.
He said the problem was prevalent among almost every government agency including the police, local authorities, city councils and health department.
Hamdan was commenting on a call by Acting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Thursday to effectively address the issues of corruption and abuse of trust in order to be competitive.
Datuk Param Cumaraswamy, who is vice-president of the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Transparency International, said what was needed was an ACA that was free to act without fear or favour.
“This means that the agency must be free, and perceived to be so, from any political and extraneous interferences and pressures.
“Only then will the public have the confidence to fully co-operate with the Government to minimise, if not eradicate, corruption,'' he said.
Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) president Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman said no religion supported corruption because it would result in injustices and discrimination against those without money.
Malaysia was ranked 33 in last year's TI Corruption Perceptions Index among 102 countries, compared to Singapore which emerged fifth.
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