Sultan Nazrin: Don't justify corruption, treat it now

SHAH ALAM: Stop justifying the act of corruption, instead go against it and start treating the "disease", says Perak's Sultan Nazrin Shah.

His Royal Highness also said that an honest assessment of corruption should be mandatory – sincere and objective – based on facts, as proof that Malaysians are truly serious in fighting and combatting even to the point of totally eliminating corruption.

"We must be brave enough to admit that the reality is that corruption is happening on a dangerous scale, based on the repeated warnings contained in the Auditor-General's report and the various findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

"In addition, complaints reported to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as well as various agencies and departments, including subjects in anonymous letters, news reports by the media, and issues told in social media, should also be considered as indications to the real situation of corruption that occurs.

"Therefore, we cannot take it lightly, be complacent and choosing to be in denial, conceiving all kinds of justification – performing mental acrobatics in order to deny the existence of the corruption 'elephant' that is vividly clear happening in front of our eyes," he said at the Corruption and Hypocrisy in the Malay Politics (Korupsi dan Kemunafikan dalam Politik Melayu) book launching event at Kumpulan Karangkraf building here on Thursday (Sept 22).

In his Royal address, the Sultan of Perak said that the writer Emeritus Prof Tan Sri Dr M. Kamal Hassan had selected important topics to be addressed – Malays and corruption.

"The writer’s approach is brand new, out of the norm, and outside of the box of the people.

"Despite having the risks of getting backlashes (from the Malay community), he’s ready to face it as he wanted to awaken his people from a slumber; and hopefully will make them realise that the people are facing a deadly 'virus'... even more deadly than Covid-19," he said, in reference to corruption.

Sultan Nazrin added that corruption led to wider socio-economic issues that hindered economic growth, discouraged foreign investment, increased administrative and transaction costs, deprived citizens of access to services, and promoted political instability.

"Corruption results in unsustainable development, environmental pollution, unbalanced distribution of wealth and draining of national treasures.

"Many countries are blessed by God with various sources of wealth, but because of corruption, some countries are immersed in the turmoil of backwardness, some countries are buried in the mire of poverty," he said.

"The wealth of the country is misused - the country’s revenue vanishes. As a result, backwardness continues to hit, poverty continues to spread.

"If there is no seriousness to fight corruption, corrupt practices will grow, flourish, become accepted as a norm and finally seep into the culture, ultimately destroying a nation," the Sultan added.

His Royal Highness likened corruption to a disease, and like other sicknesses, it was curable.

The Sultan also stated that out of the 180 countries that have been evaluated by Transparency International, Malaysia had fallen from the 57th position, earning a score of 52 in 2020, to 62nd place earning a score of 48 in 2021.

"Corruption is a cancer among the community, it spreads slowly while destroying the 'organs' of the organisation until eventually brings the organisation down and results in death if not treated promptly.

"Therefore, we cannot take corruption lightly, be complacent, choose to deny it, or justify it – even fighting for it with all the tricks to suppress the existence of the elephant of corruption in front of our eyes.

"The assessment of the state of corruption must be done honestly – sincerely and objectively – (and) factually, as proof that we are very serious about curbing, even intending to fight and eliminate corruption," he said.

Sultan Nazrin also reminded the public that power, rank and position were a part of the tests from God.

He added that there were people who conspire and commit the crime of corruption which eventually would be exposed sooner or later.

"Be aware! Power obtained through bribery is not guaranteed to be accompanied by loyalty.

"The true nature of a person will be revealed when a person gets a position and power. And then, words no longer hold on to.

"A person's true character will be displayed when he has wealth and possessions, then the humility disappears, meanwhile on the other hand, arrogance and disdain emerge," he warned.

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