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KUALA LUMPUR: THE fight against corruption must go beyond political and public services borders, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
He said if people viewed corruption as an unethical and immoral behaviour, they could not stop at just looking at public officials and politicians who abused their powers.
“We must take an honest look at the values prevalent in our society.
“For example, we rightly demand greater scrupulousness from those in public office, yet, we live in a world where the public culture endorses the pursuit of greed and material success, at least until someone is caught breaking the law.
“In other words, we forgive greed, until that greed spirals out of control and the effects reach beyond the handful of individuals perpetuating it,” he said at the launch of the 6th International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities Annual Conference and General Meeting.
He said it was tempting to think that the solution lay in an ideal system of inspection and penalty.
“But this alone is insufficient. An effective punitive system will deter some, but even in countries where transgression of these laws could lead to the severest of punishments, it is not an entirely effective means of eradicating it.”
Instead, he said, people must look at the bigger picture to see how they could instil a “natural abhorrence” of corruption in society.
“It is critical, therefore, for people in positions of power and authority to exemplify the values they wish their constituents would follow.
“This makes the behaviour of those in positions, be it in politics, government, business, civil society, education and perhaps most critically, the home, especially important in instilling the right values and basics of ethical conduct.”
In Malaysia, said Najib, many efforts were made to fight corruption, including forming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
"Our relentless battle against corruption continues as we have made it one of our National Key Results Areas and part of the national Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme."
Najib said Malaysia would continue to be consistent in the fight against corruption and this was evident when the country signed an agreement to establish the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Vienna, Austria.
He announced that the government would contribute RM1 million to IACA. "This reflects our continuous commitment to eradicating corruption not only here in Malaysia, but also internationally."
He praised the world's first international Master Programme in Anti- Corruption Study, recently launch-ed by IACA.
"Malaysia, through its Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy, is a strong supporter of this programme, even to the extent of conducting one of the seven modules here."
Earlier, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed stressed the need for inter-governmental and inter-agency cooperation to combat corruption, which was becoming sophisticated.
"To put it bluntly, we either work together or we will lose together."