PUTRAJAYA: Corruption must be taken seriously if Malaysia wants to join the ranks of developed countries, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).
"To be the tigers of Asia again, then we need to take corruption seriously. We did not get there by taking shortcuts to success.
"I think it is about time for Malaysia to join this list of developed and capable countries and let the world know that we are a strong nation that respects democracy and the rule of law," he said in his address at Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence award on Friday (Dec 7).
Describing corruption as an "awful thing", Dr Mahathir said it could cause irreparable damage to society and the nation.
"It is not the people who engage in corruption whom we should look up to, instead we should celebrate the people who are working to fight it every day," said Dr Mahathir.
Eight individuals from different countries were recipients of the Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence award.
The lifetime outstanding achievement award went to former anti-corruption official Nuhu Ribadu of Nigeria and World Bank group's vice president of integrity Leonard F. McCarthy of South Africa.