THERE is simply no stopping when greed enters our human psyche. Corruption is the consequence of greed and involves not only monetary considerations but also abuse of power.
In the case of petty corruption, greed may not be the factor as having to make ends meet on a meagre salary may be the motivation factor.
The Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah alluded to this in his speech at the 47th anniversary of the country’s anti-corruption body on Oct 1, 2014. It is good that a monarch has taken interest in this subject.
Income and economic inequality is an issue which the Government has to seriously address as this is one of the major causes in countries all over the world for social unrest. Rulers and Governments have been overthrown because of corruption.
What is more disconcerting however is when those already enjoying a reasonable standard of living succumb to greed which is insatiable.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has to be commended for the recent arrests of Customs officers, some with high ranks, after a year of investigative work. It is up to the courts to determine their innocence or guilt.
Some social media sites seem to have missed the “woods for the trees” and focused on the headgear worn by some of the suspects when they were brought to court. Such negativity is not constructive and misses the larger issues at hand which is the arrests; for which any enforcement agency should be commended.
In the fight against corruption, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has met with the New York Police on their experience and measures taken to stem corruption.
Corruption is and always will be a global phenomenon, lest there are those who think that it is unique to Malaysia. What is different perhaps is the level of drive towards eradication. Corruption needs punitive measures. On the larger front however, religious and ethical values have to be inculcated.
Corporations through their CSR programmes have to take the initiative. It is not only the Government’s fight. After all, is it not the corporate figures who feed the “big fish” who are in a different league compared to petty corruption involving those who do not earn much? What next after the Customs department? The MACC should not only keep up the momentum but step it up a notch or two.
Society in totality does not have to pay in perpetuity for the misdeeds of the few who are greedy beyond imagination amongst us.