Man of the hour: Is Anwar’s anti-graft drive just a fad or a necessity in Madani Malaysia?

TAN Sri Azmi Khalid, a minister during two former prime ministers, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said Prime Minister (PMX) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is walking the talk about corruption.

“Carry on!” he urged, when FocusM approached him for his comments.

Dayak National Congress president, Paul Raja gave his thumbs-up to the current wave of arrests, “That’s what we need! Absolutely, that’s what Malaysia needs except those who make a living out of it.”

So, it is not only the ordinary people on the street who are lauding the PMX’s anti-corruption campaign, but even some politicians and leaders of non-governmental organisations are willing to openly say this is what they want to see.

Since the setting up of the unity government, the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has publicised a lot more cases that they had investigated, and charged the people concerned.

This has undoubtedly sent a chill up the spine of those whose turn may come next.

For that reason, there have been many talks to topple the government elected by the people to the point that it even irked Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar who does not mince his words.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar

“Enough is enough,” His Royal Highness was quoted saying. “How much longer must the 30 over million people of our country endure this situation (the talk about attempts to derail the current stability)?”

Sultan Ibrahim is slated to be the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) by Jan 31 next year.

Who would be happy?

Business people would be secretly happier if the level of corruption – especially that to do with government contracts – can be reduced.

At least, they see light at the end of the tunnel knowing that they will be able to compete on a level playing field if the PMX is successful in his campaign.

Contract prices can also be reduced substantially without having to take care of the kickbacks paid to the people in the corridors of power. For every ringgit spent, there is value.

For the longer-term impact, the Anwar administration should reform the law and make it compulsory for every contractor to sign a legal-binding pledge that they will face the maximum penalty if they are convicted of giving bribes.

While naysayers are doubtful that Anwar would succeed, one cannot help but to agree that this is a necessary evil for Malaysia to move forward and become a more attractive destination for foreign investors.

For this reason, we believe PMX’s fight against huge corruption cases may eventually send some – even the most unlikely people – to prison. Each person has to be accountable for his own crime during his lifetime, especially when it involves billions of the rakyat’s money.

This has nothing to do with Anwar’s attempt to retaliate against those who sent him to jail. His Madani concept will have to be peppered with justice and doing the right things to put this nation back on track again.

The younger generation, especially the Malays, are more educated and compared to pre-Merdeka days, society has moved from one that held politicians in high esteem to one that has the guts to speak up.

Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) deputy president Amira Aisya Abd Aziz, for example, recently ticked off UMNO by stating that her party “rejects any element of kleptocracy” UMNO warlords have to take cognisance that their voters can ditch them if they continue with the “Berani Mencabar” (Dare to Challenge) politics.

Anwar is the man of the hour. He listens to what is on the ground. Realising that this is the wishes of everyone who has seen the humongous impact of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) scandal, Anwar is willing to take the bull of corruption by the horns.

For this reason, he has promised that he would not interfere with any corruption cases involving even people within his own party. In the event there is evidence to prove that any one of his ministers is guilty of corruption, we believe that Anwar is unlikely to cover up.

But, if there is apparent abuse of power is at the MACC, never under-estimate that he may turn the table around and instruct an independent body to investigate the MACC.

Although this may be played up by the Opposition, this is the only way to ensure that there is no abuse of power within the hierarchy of the anti-corruption commission.


Read the other articles in this series:

The collapse, collapse, collapse mantra that PN is capitalising on

Unity gov’t solid and strong despite chants of impending collapse

Main pic credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook

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