Side Views

The low-down on fighting graft ― Kunjuraman Karuppan

MAY 19 ― The focus on Transparency International-Malaysia chief Datuk Paul Low’s appointment as a minister in the Najib Cabinet can only mean one thing ― that everyone is depending on him to ramp up the fight against corruption.

That includes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who picked Low to do the job despite a beefed-up Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the creation of corruption courts.

And this is where Low should know better than to say he is depending on the prime minister’s stature to enable him to fight corruption.

The truth is, Najib is depending on Low’s stature to show that his administration is serious about fighting corruption.

If that wasn’t the case, the prime minister would have chose Tunku Abdul Aziz, perhaps, to do the job. But the former TI-M chief seems more interested in riling up the DAP than leading the fight against graft.

Now that Low has the government support and heft to do the job, he should just go ahead and do it rather than give excuses to the extent of his powers and oversight in the matter.

Take charge of the MACC. Encourage and ensure the cases against big fish can stand the scrutiny of the courts, or drop it so that the likes of Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud know their standing in the country.

There are many allegations but the MACC is silent. Is there or is there not a case against Taib? Because that affects the credibility of the Barisan Nasional government that Low serves in.

Of course, Low is right and he can’t change the “culture” overnight.

But he shouldn’t also repeat the standard excuse that ministers’ shouldn’t reveal their assets publicly for fear of reprisals or security concerns over their families.

That’s the police’s job, to ensure safety and security. Not Low’s.

His job is simple. Fight graft from within the government to make the BN look like it is doing what it has promised to do.

No excuses. Do it or let someone else with firmer convictions to do that job. Or another government.

Malaysia has all the tools to fight graft. Low is the engine to make it happen, or so the prime minister believes. Prove him right, Low.

* Kunjuraman Karuppan reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider


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