Time to take fight against graft to the top, say groups
PETALING JAYA: Political parties should disclose all of their financing and expenditure, says Transparency International Malaysia.
“Political funding must be stated in the parties’ bank accounts and a properly audited account financial report must be published annually,” said its president Datuk Akhbar Satar.
“All ministers and top Government servants should also declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and the chief commissioner should declare these to the Parliament,” he said.
Akhbar was commenting on the call by MACC for the Government to declare corruption and abuse of power as the country’s No. 1 enemy.
He said these declarations would be in line with the belief that “transparency and accountability begin at the top”.
“The public must also help MACC by reporting corrupt practices and cooperating in court,” he added.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar also supported MACC’s move.
“Such an honourable effort must be supported thoroughly,” he said. “The police always prioritise integrity and the war on corruption must be fought at all fronts.”
Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said reforms in corruption laws were needed to ensure that MACC could “act without fear or favour”.
“Our laws on corruption should be reviewed, revised and made up to date,” he said. “And follow best practices such as in countries like Denmark, Hong Kong and Singapore.”
The Government could set an example by making sure there was a cap on money politics, he added.
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said it was vital for the public to be proactive in helping MACC.
“MACC needs a free hand to take action in fighting corruption,” he said.
G25 member Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said the best way to start would be to require all election candidates in the 14th general election to sign a pledge against corruption during the campaign.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said the Government’s commitment to fight corruption was already there “but the journey to deal with the problem takes time”.