Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Corruption in Sabah: Abuse of power not good for the country

Secara Rawak

Oh what a story we had in the news last Thursday, and I think you know that I am referring to the seizure of RM112 million, luxury vehicles and other valuables from 2 senior civil servants in Sabah.

The amount of money involved is unbelievable. For income earners, even the highest paid among them would not have amassed that kind of money in their entire career. For civil servants in Malaysia, this amount is just beyond comprehension. It is just mind-boggling.

This is Hollywood stuff in a sense that only actors and entertainers have the potential to make that kind of money.

Ordinary mortals can only dream about the privilege of having that kind of money and what it can do to their image and ego.

It is hard not to talk about this seizure among friends and associates. How is it possible to be not encouraged to participate in the discussion on this matter if one had read or heard about the news?

This is the kind of story that should elicit strong reaction from the public, and from those who believe in fairness, justice, and equality. It should have sparked an outcry from the concerned citizens.

Is this a reflection that there exists a clear-evidence that corruption does pervade the public service?

Is it sufficed to say that the pictures of the money seized as pure proof that a lot of the things that the government has done failed to accomplish the intended tasks and reach the target audience?

What can the people do to ensure that the public money is well-spent-and-accounted for? Who should be responsible in ensuring that the public money is not swindled or use for the purpose it is not meant to be?

What can the people do in this situation bearing in mind that it is them that is going to lose the most?

Civil servants have always been accorded with high honour and respect by the people. They have always been highly regarded.

But will corrupt activity among them blemish the already tainted image of the civil service. How rampant is this activity within the civil service in the country? Is this a deep-rooted problem that the country needs to address sooner rather than later?

Is it possible to tackle the moral deficits among the civil servants? How should they be prevented from straying from the moral standard that is required of them?

Can fraudulent be thwarted and stopped once and for all?

The country can lay down the law on corruption and abuse of power within the civil service. But there is always a way if someone is going to dodge following the rules and procedures on public service delivery and on how public money should be utilised appropriately, fully, and meaningfully.

Just the other day, one public university was organising its integrity day. Integrity maybe defined to encompass issues like accountability, competent, and ethics.

Can integrity among the people be achieved through integrity day alone? Is the country not better equipped to deal with this menace of corruption if it has a holistic education on integrity, corruption and abuse of power?

What is the reason for committing a corrupt act? Is it pure avarice? Is it the love of money?

A lot of people measure success by the amount of money and other material things that they have.

Money changes everything. Is this the impetus that can lead to the degradation of moral value among the people?

There can’t never be equality and equity if corruption persists. It can have far-reaching consequences on the development and the progress of the country. It can hold them back.

Corruption operates against the interests of the masses that demand better efficiency in public service delivery.

Devious use of privilege, misuse of position, and abuse of power and authority cannot be good for the country.

But of course the bulk majority of the civil servants are trustworthy, love their jobs, and not self-serving. Their focus is entirely on serving the people and the country.

But corruption is kind of a culture. It won’t go away easily. The onus to tackle this problem lies with both the elected and the appointed branches of the government, as well as the people at large.

Creating tightening law will help, but integrity can be better achieved if the civil service system does acknowledge good deed (of its members) and not punish it. – Sarawakvoice

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