PETALING JAYA: Corruption is a pandemic that has infected our country and the only vaccine that can cure it is good moral values.
In a panel discussion on combating corruption, media icons Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub sat down for a Facebook live session on Friday (Jan 29) with prominent journalist Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai to talk about the state of corruption and how they felt the only way to solve it was through the rakyat.
Hussamuddin said he was recently triggered to launch a campaign to eradicate corruption after a friend had related an incident to him.
"He told me had taken his son to the hospital for an eye check-up and only managed to secure an appointment at a government hospital in one years' time.
"The clerk at the hospital told him if he wants to fast track, he can pay a bit," said the Karangkraf group chairman, adding that the public cannot be in denial on the issue any more.
He said people always said politicians were corrupt but the people are also corrupt because they allowed it to happen.
"It's in the system, in the government and even in the corporate sector.
"We have to do something. It is high time the people own up and come out and do something to break this chain," he said, adding that the eco-system needed to be changed.
He said the issue was a collapse of moral values of Malaysians because "we have allowed it".
"We must change our attitudes toward corruption. What I am pushing is to bring back the value system that we brought from our kampung 50 or 60 years ago which has gotten lost along the way," he said.
Hussammuddin said he made a call recently for all political party members to "langgar" (crash) their respective parties and change leaders.
"My call is not only for 'rasuah' (corruption) but also for national reconciliation," he said.
Meanwhile, Johan said corruption was like a cancer in society and it eats away at everything we believe in.
"The worst part is that people have become indifferent and it is this indifference that became the breeding ground for corruption to grow.
"Unless we take a different perspective on the matter, I think we are heading toward some serious problems in the future.
"More importantly, issues pertaining to transparency and integrity, value systems, and values inculcated in all religions and beliefs among the races have been taken for granted," Johan, who was the former Utusan Malaysia group chief editor, said.
Wong said corruption was not only a problem that involved the taker but the givers must also be held responsible.
"You know when you are stopped by the mata-mata (police) and they ask you how to solve the problem and you say 'bayar la' (I'll pay)... that is how the problem starts," said the former Star Media Group chief executive officer and advisor.
He added that the people were fed up with corruption and also with issues being politicised.
Wong urged the public to come together and support this movement to combat corruption.