Will political parties take up the challenge of the MACC? — Ramon Navaratnam
MAY 25 — The MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Shukri has to be commended for offering leaders of all political parties the opportunity to vet their candidates for the coming 13th General Elections for corruption.
The vital question in the public mind is: Will political party leaders and their proposed candidates take up this challenge ?
As a former President of Transparency Malaysia and a former Chairman of the MACC’s Prevention and Consultation Panel, I believe the public and especially the Voters will warmly welcome this sound MACC initiative.
I would therefore strongly urge the leaders of all political parties as well as the political party members themselves to resolve to cooperate fully with the MACC to ask for full vetting of their candidates before the fast approaching 13th General Elections.
The Elections will gain greater legitimacy and be generally regarded with a higher standard of Transparency, Integrity and Accountability and certainly be seen as much cleaner, if all the political party leaders request that the MACC vet their candidates to ascertain if they have “clean records”.
In fact, the public have a real opportunity now to find out whether the Candidates are free from corruption in the past and to ensure that in the future, the MACC monitors their wealth to check on their Report Card for malpractices and corruption.
It would be even better if the Government that is committed to fighting corruption, authorises the MACC Board of Directors to maintain and monitor this proposed Report Card on Integrity for all electoral candidates and elected officials. This good practice will enable MACC to keep track of the performance of all elected officials in regard to their accumulated assets and their integrity, as their Key Productivity Index (KPI).
This way corrupt Members of Parliament, State Governments and Local Authorities will soon be found out and the MACC can move in to stop the rot before it gets worse. Malaysia’s progress will be stifled if corruption increases from the top and we cannot afford this socio-economic and political decline.
Hence, the Rakyat should demand that the Government and the Opposition Parties as well should take action as soon as possible, before the 13th General Elections, to take up the challenge of the MACC to request vetting for all their Candidates and elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.
The Voters should also resolve that they will be able to fulfil their national duty to vote wisely, only if they vote for those who have been cleared by the Integrity Screening Division of the MACC. It should be a case of “No Integrity Clearance, No Vote”. Thus Voters should not vote for political parties and candidates who do not care to obtain “corruption clearance” from the MACC. That will be your major contribution to fight corruption!
I would also urge the MACC to advance their good initiatives to fight corruption by vetting all election candidates for “living beyond their means” and to ‘Red Flag’ them for political leaders to see red, even if the political leaders are reluctant to request the MACC do so. Then the MACC can take preventive action to avoid allegations of “selective prosecution”. The public too can then be persuaded that the MACC is doing its best but that the politicians are not supporting them fully in their fight against corruption.
I am also convinced that the public confidence will rise and the Transparency Index will improve considerably, if the Government and Opposition parties request that the MACC vet their candidates and monitor their conduct to fight corruption, after they are elected.
This laudable move by the MACC will certainly serve the public and the national interest, as it will contribute greatly to the real Transformation of Malaysia’s socio-economic position and political system, for a Better 1 Malaysia for all Malaysians to enjoy .
* Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam is chairman of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli)/Centre of Public Policy Studies.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.