Corruption continues despite ethical courses

I REFER to your front-page report headlined “Warisan veep arrested” (The Star, Oct 6).

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) under new chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad has been cracking the whip on corrupt ministries and heads who were entrusted to guard public funds, to spend prudently and wisely to uplift the people.

The latest scandal rocking the nation involves the Rural and Regional Development Ministry where RM150mil has been allegedly siphoned off since 2013.

This is in addition to another RM29mil that was seized in relation to the alleged misappropriation of government funds by several senior government officials of the said ministry and parked in 10 bank accounts that are now frozen.

Despite its laudable role in steering the process of socioeconomic development, government bureaucracy has not escaped public criticism for its inefficiency, corruption, and failure to guard public interests.

The media, civil society groups, intelligentsia and the political opposition have successfully utilised the major scandals to highlight the growing public concern over the poor performance of the bureaucracy and its lack of accountability and responsiveness not only in the Rural and Regional Development Ministry but also in the Youth and Sports Ministry’s weak procurement process where over RM100mil was embezzled by a senior official.

The “clean and efficient government” movement initiated in the early 1980s and a series of subsequent efforts aimed at promoting appropriate values and ethics among public officials have clearly not worked.

Numerous rules and regulations have been framed, major reforms have been introduced in various spheres of administration, and an extensive training and bureaucratic reorientation has been undertaken with the Whistleblower Pro­tection Act and yet the corruption culture continues.