Rotten to the core but there is still hope yet !

Today, Malaysiakinicarried a news article which says that the ACA will be given full prosecution power. This is a significant move. Corruption is so rampant now that it is almost glorious to be corrupt (example – pls read the story below, in the second half of this post,  about ‘Cop vs Cops’ ). First,  I quote Malaysiakini:

    

Anti-Corruption Agency gets prosecution powers
Jul 11, 08 11:00am
The Anti-Corruption Agency has been granted full prosecution powers which will allow the agency to open a case and proceed with it until the matter is brought before the court.

MCPX

At present, the agency has to refer its completed investigations to the Attorney General’s Chambers to decide on whether the case could be taken to court.

This dramatic change – which will give the agency more bite and do away with the long-held complaints of its lack of independence – was announced today in a brief statement by the ACA in Putrajaya.

The agency said that this new move would allow it to efficiently and effectively investigate corruption cases.

This will also remove the negative perception that it was the AG’s Chambers that was delaying the prosecution of high-profile cases involving politically connected individuals.

I have been pushing for an Independent Commission for Anti Corruption, for many years now. I have written many posts on this, asking the government to give power of arrest, investigation as well as prosecution to an totally independent anti corruption agency. With prosecution power, which exists now with the AG chambers, the anti corruption commission would not have to submit all its investigation to AG chambers which will ‘decide’ whether to prosecute or not.  The perception is that the AG chambers very often did not pursue cases that should by right be prosecuted. Why is this so, only they can answer the public.

I have many times quoted the example of Hong Kong. In the early 70s, Hong Kong was a mess and one of the most corrupt places. Even the chief of police was found to be corrupted. Firemen then often would ask for “water”(shui)  before they release water to put out a fire. (In Cantonese custom, water means money). Ambulance drivers would take a long detour to send a cardiac attack case to hsopital if the relative refused to pay “tea” money, knowing that the first hour was very crucial for heart attack patient. Gangsters ruled the streets without any fear of the police, since very often the top policemen were in cohort with the the bosses of the triads.

All these changed within a short time of the setting up of an Independent Commission for Anti corruption, the ICAC, by Sir Mac Lehose the governor , after the people went to the street and successfully petitioned the government. The Chief of Police , Peter Godber, was sacked and arrested. The rest is history. One of the most corrupt places in the world became one of the least.

So the above news saying that the ACA has been given prosecution power is an important first step. But this alone would not be enough. The agency must be given full independence  and answerable to a select anti-corruption committee of Parliament and not the the Prime Minister. They should take up cases against big fish without fear or favour. It should be free to investigate corrupt practices among ministers, government servants, judicial officers and judges,enforcement agencies, private sectors and political parties without fear or favour.

If they can do that, I am sure  we can be like HOng Kong within a short time, maybe even before the stepping down of the Prime Minsiter in 2010.

……………………………………………………..

Cop Vs  Gangsters  Cops

On the same topic of corruption,  I would like to refer to an article in Star today, “Cop vs COps in Gemas Station”. Apparently, according to the Star,

” A policeman has lodged a report against all his colleagues including his superiors allegedly over dissatisfaction on how the monthly bribes from those operating illegal activities was being distributed.

In retaliation, one of his superiors, a sergeant, lodged another police report against the policeman, a lance corporal, for allegedly selling station property to scrap dealers.

A source said the lance corporal, in his 40s, was dissatisfied with his superiors for allegedly taking the lion’s share of the bribes while the rank and file received very little.”

All of us have heard stories about this sharing of bribe  but this is the first time that a report has been lodged. If this story of  the whole team  taking bribe and share the bribe is true, then it is really a sad thing for the force as well as all Malaysians. We want to ask what has happened to : “cekap, amanah , Bersih” by TDM?

The rot is like Hong Kong in the 70s. So the remedy should be the same. The PM has nothing more to lose since he has announced that he will be retiring in 2010. Tackle corruption without fear or favour and he could still earn a good name in history. The ball is now at his feet and how he kicks it will determine how posterity views him.

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charlie
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 14:12:41

    good news, and a breath of fresh air after the sickening sordid tales for the past few weeks. it seems like the PM is living up his promises, and this coming hot on the heels of his announcement of his retirement in 2010 does seem to suggest that he’ll be able to push thru measures that are good for the people with less resistance from within.

    Like

  2. Ko Yem Binjai
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 15:09:47

    hi doc,
    i did mention the same but, i prefer no royal royal in this case of royal commission this that..

    i commented on this ..WITHOUT the solidarity of the PEOPLE AUDITORS and GOVERNMENT AUDITORS whereby placing limitations on commoners and political sympathizers to check on their…

    in my

    TO GO REASONING item 7. it is linked and samplings of how to..check on

    http://wordpress22.wordpress.com/

    Like

  3. Ko Yem Binjai
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 15:13:35

    and check on our emails at archived I DEMAND TO KNOW part I II III IV V VI

    may truth prevails

    take on smallest to giant ghost..20 years never ends.

    many more will get in hands of ACA..

    instead, better resigned as MP to those involved.

    CORRUPTED MINDSET CORRUPTIONS BLOGGED

    Like

  4. novice101
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 15:28:18

    In Malaysia, when we are in a mess, we pass more laws. When the laws do not work, we create more agencies to implement the laws. When the agencies do not work, we go back to passing more laws and the cycle repeats itself. What are basically missing are the lack of a universal value and a lack of a basic human character – honesty and decency. If these two elements are present in the law-makers and the implementors of the country, then Malaysia would not be in this mess.

    Like

  5. monsterball
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 20:31:58

    Doc…This should be very good news to Anwar and bad for those two…now under investigation by ACA.
    Look at the timing!!
    Dollah is doing his best….but he has not much help from others.
    Now he has somewhat shut up mouths…announcing his retirement date…..it takes Mahathir …to tell… the rare truth…..for once…and that is..Najib will never be a PM. He does not mind …making a fool of himself…..by contradicting himself…to play his dirty politics.
    And Tunku Razaleigh……hahahahahaha….is he real?
    He is complaining…no contest for top post……not legal…while his best friend….which was his one time wort enemy…did that for years.
    Surprise….do bring out the best and worst of each politician in UMNO. Sit back..enjoy and relax.

    Like

  6. KongKor
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 21:30:41

    Hopefully this announcement is not just another PR exercise of which the government is very fond of doing. I am a skeptical until there is ACTION and PROSECUTION.
    It would be good if the ACA could investigate political big guns especially those who are in still sitting pretty in power.
    Meantime, all I can do is look and see how true this statement is. All said, but what about all done?

    Like

  7. A true Malaysian
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 21:48:17

    Hey guys, just to divert a bit, go read a tribute to Kak Wan Azizah in Susan Loone’s blog http://sloone.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/a-woman-of-indomitable-courage/#comment-59073.

    Malaysia really need personalities like Kak Wan. My comments to this article :-

    When DSAI was caught 10 years ago, Kak Wan ran across to Sri Perdana (old one) to ask for leniency from Mahathir’s wife, Siti Hasmah, but her plea was not entertained.

    The hardship that follow has moulded her into one tough lady that she is today. Comparing to all other wives of BN VIPs, Kak Wan is definitely the most qualified to conferred such honour, not one that is bought over.

    The other ‘Iron Lady’ of course goes to Betty Chew, Guan Eng’s wife, who suffered the same predicament of Kak Wan when Guan Eng was in prison. For not nominating his own wife or father, this shows us the true character of Guan Eng.

    Bravo to you Guan Eng, and of course, congratulations to Kak Wan and DSAI.

    Like

  8. kittykat46
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 22:05:44

    I believe the chief Pat Lah activity between now and 2010 would be to maximise the assets of his family.
    He is well-known as a “family man”

    Like

  9. Justin Choo
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 23:15:53

    Dr Hsu,

    Certainly, taking bride is more fun than taking bribes!

    Like

  10. jeff
    Jul 11, 2008 @ 23:48:40

    Dr Azizah is well qualify to be Malaysia future PM, most of her statement regarding equality and fair treatment of all Malaysians regardless of race n religion should be the guiding principle of all future government policy. I fully agree she is a very fair Malay Malaysian and one tough “iron lady” made in Malaysia.

    Like

  11. steven
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 05:18:42

    I have been a strong advocate of independence ACA directly answer to the august house for decade, if PM really sincerely want to end corruption and deliver his promise, he should let the agency carry out the fight without favor or fear, able to prosecute any government official or minister base on evidence of investigation by not having to get permission from AG or PM office, which conflict of interest is common in both offices.

    Like

  12. Dr Hsu
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 09:15:50

    A True Malaysian, I agree with you that Wan Azizah is a great lady ad I have great respect for her. Another PKR personality that I have always respected is Dr Syed Husin Ali. I think he is a real malaysian, a true socialist.

    Like

  13. monsterball
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 12:30:10

    Malaysia has the most titles of… Datuk..Tan Sri and Tun..in the world.
    I suspect the UMNO Malays have great inferiority complexes…and need to think of all the superiority fronts.
    They cannot find a way.. ..like the natural Royalties….with God given titles…like the Tunku….and they must find a way…to be at par with Tunku.
    So steal…get rich…buy best expensive cars…dressed up in suits…with titles.
    When they appear before the public..first thing they appeal to are the simple minded…Malays….being so poor and hungry….feel proud of their own race successes.
    Being less educated…they cannot comprehend the corrupted and sickening sinful acts…by these UMNO rouges….robbing them..yet they don’t know. some know…don’t care.a they feel..the robbing is more of the Chinese…….as the wealth came from Chinese mostly.
    Majority Malays listened to them….and love the race and religion politics.
    So that went on…for the first 25 yeas….a successful formula….supported by MCA…MIC. Malaysians just have to live with it.
    But under the next 25 years….UMNO became brave and outright rouges..with no fear..as the dictator encouraged everyone to get rich……by stealing..so sin…and to each his own………just don’t get caught..he will always close both eyes.
    He became the hero to corrupted UMNO members.
    God is great….as that created the ..”haves” and “have nots”…from their very own Malay race.
    How can a crooked party be fair to everyone? Impossible!!!
    Now that trend is on going…..I guess Eng Guan have no choice..but to use this opportunity…..to recommend Azizah…the highest award….making keDAILan….recogniZed by UMNO.
    For that…he is smart and right….as when approved…means not only Azizah deserved it……..but keDAILan is somewhat……doing good for the country.
    Not easy to be a politician. One needs to be smart and cunning.
    That’s why I don’t like joining any party….although not all cunning and smart suggestions…that are not for selfish reasons….but to do good for Malaysians..not for one race….but for all Malaysians…then …it is a good and smart..idea.
    And that if that gives.. Eng Guan…political advantages…and still help able to build Penang….then he is a smart chess player.

    Like

  14. A true Malaysian
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 12:52:33

    Dr. Hsu,

    Yes, indeed. I missed out Dr. Syed Husin Ali. He is a kind of ‘hard working’ type and prefer to keep low profile while keep working in the back ground.

    Like

  15. aadya
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 22:46:41

    Talking about ACA, this blog entry tickles my senses:

    “A report has been lodged with teh Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) against former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli for claiming that the Barisan Nasional will take over the Perak Government on August 31. Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh, Tebing Tinggi assemblyman Ong Boon Piow and DAP member Ray Ng made the report at the ACA office in Ipoh yesterday.

    SO WHEN ARE THE DAP FELLOWS GOING TO LODGE A REPORT WITH THE ACA AGAINST ANWAR IBRAHIM FOR CLAIMING THAT HE IS GOING TO TAKE OVER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY SEPTEMBER 16”

    LOL! :P!

    from renovatio blog

    Like

  16. romerz
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 23:35:08

    Dr Hsu,

    Corruption permeates every level of our society and as long as Parliament sees it fit to continue passing new punitive laws to check the ills of this country, the enforcers of the law will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

    I am hopeful that finally the ACA will be transformed into one with integrity. I’ve always believed that if we have a powerful, independent and honest ACA, all the rest will naturally fall in place.

    Malaysia’s ills have never been the problem of a lack of laws but the lack of proper and honest enforcement.

    My sincere hope is before Badawi leaves office, he will have the political will to see through the creation of a truly independent ACA. And if he can do the same for the judiciary and the PDRM, like you said, there is still hope left.

    We too can do our part by not offering any bribes to the Polis to get off from traffic offenses. At least its a start somewhere.

    Like

  17. sumseng
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 23:50:01

    As a law abiding and loyal citizen, i don’t see we have the choice of whether want to give or refuse bride, the ball is on the police. Any one who has the privilege to drive or operate vehicle in Malaysia street will know that, any decent person will know the consequence of refusing to submit.

    Like

  18. monsterball
    Jul 15, 2008 @ 00:47:29

    sumseng…Put it simply…we have no choice but to bribe our way from deeper trouble and inconveniences.
    Why is one trying to be righteous and holy?
    All over the world…this is the way of life.
    It’s the big fishes in the police force…taking huge sums monthly from massage parlours….prostitute dens….pirated DVD shops….that should be round up.
    Again how can these people refused to give…as their businesses depend on the police…not to harass them.
    Actually…the police are suppose to gather evidences..and shut those joints…….but somehow….these aged old trades….keep flourishing…..showing the police….love to see it on going….to become millionaires themselves.
    And for one wise guys..trying to divert attentions….discouraging small bribes to traffic policemen…he needs to look into the mirror..into his own face… and ask himself…….do Gerakan ministers take bribes? If so…..why is he not shouting at Gerakan…into.. his own corrupted party….and stop try to teach us to be good Malaysians? Why did he not resign from this filthy party…but keep promoting it…as a good party? As long as it stays in BN..it is shit party. Why one is so proud to be a shit man?
    Only a low class hypocrite will ignore his own house..filth and dirt…and appear clean in public places.
    We need to watch out for hypocrites…vipers..and anti oppositions…trying to convince us……how pure they are.

    Like

  19. jeff
    Jul 15, 2008 @ 04:13:25

    Agree! monsterball. Those hypocrites who choose to stay put in the begger party for umno contract hand out. They are mainly short of nothing except a mirror to look into self. They will blame Malaysians who dare to speak out against rotten officials as conspirator of rotten policy, even use of draconian law to silent him. They will say Liberty, Equality , Justice n Peace for all Malaysians as value of the low n evil, snow as black and charcoal as white, watch up the young n restless, they are living among us.

    Like

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