PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admits that the challenges in addressing corruption and abuse of power today are more challenging than when he was first appointed as prime minister in 1981.
Dr Mahathir said when he took over the country’s governance 37 years ago, the government machinery at that time was viewed as virtually free from corruption, unlike today.
He claimed that the actions of a former prime minister "promoting" corruption through the "cash is king" culture resulted in the total involvement of the government machinery.
“We have to choose, filter before we take action.
"If we are suspicious, we cannot sack all the government officers whom we suspect (to be involved in corruption) because we will have no machinery to carry out our duties and orders,” he said.
He said this to reporters after delivering his speech at a briefing on Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) here today, which was attended by 160 Pakatan Harapan (PH) Members of Parliament and government administration officers, including Cabinet ministers.
Dr Mahathir, who celebrated his 93rd birthday today, also received birthday greetings after he delivered his speech at the briefing session from the guests present.
Asked by reporters on his birthday wishes, Dr Mahathir jokingly said: “I wish the press will help us overcome corruption,” which was greeted with laughter from the almost 50 media personnel covering the media conference.
The briefing, being held for the first time by the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC), was aimed at providing exposure on various aspects relating to corruption and preventive measures to MPs and administration officers of the new government that was formed after the last 14th general election. — Bernama