PETALING JAYA: Just as his book titled Corruption and Crime in Malaysia, Perception or Reality has been nominated in this year’s Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards (RCA), author Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar (pic) has already wrapped up its second edition.
“Three thousand copies will be printed and they will be available in June,” he said.
The president of Malaysian Association of Certified Fraud Examiners said that latest updates on the ongoing trial of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal are included in the second edition.
“I have added some news extracts on 1MDB, including the charges involving former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor,” he said, adding that the mock-up book was ready and printing will start after the festive season.
Dubbed the scandal that have brought down a government, the 1MDB political scandal and its many alleged frauds were at the centre of revelations prior to GE14 that had eventually changed the country’s course, including the arrest and charging of Najib.
To record the significant events and what truly happened in between, Akhbar, 62, said he felt compelled to pen them down as a reference, especially for the future generation.
“It is a big scandal that has ruined our country and it is important for readers to know what happened during the last regime, where corruption was rampant and the judicial branch was controlled.
“With my experience in law, enforcement and crime, I documented what happened from the investigative perspective – how the scandal and issues are tackled, who are involved, what happened in between and all the inside stories,” said Akhbar, who is also a criminologist, crime analyst and former graft buster with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
He said he was happy and proud that his book, which was published on May 15 last year, became one of the 10 non-fiction nominees in this year’s awards.
“I have never thought that I would come to that stand because I’m not a good writer,” he said, adding that he would know if he won at the award presentation ceremony on June 1.
The awards are a precursor to BookFest@Malaysia 2019, which will take place from June 1 to 9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Star Media Group Bhd is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2019.
He hoped the book, which is written based on facts, true stories and data relating to the scandal surrounding the 1MDB, would serve as a lesson and reminder to the present government and future administrations to always uphold integrity.
However, Akhbar also warned that Malaysia is still facing an integrity crisis, with people willingly involved in corruption and whistleblowers fearing reprisal.
Quoting a 2003 study by then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Akhbar said 30.5% of students responded that with power and opportunity, they were willing to get involved in corruption.
“Today, those who responded are in the system, probably as politicians, civil servants, employees of public or private firms.
“It’s notable that 55.2% of MACC arrests from 2013 to 2018 were youths between the ages of 20 and 39. And 44% of the arrests involved were civil servants,” he said.