Imagine you’re a regular, normal, tax-paying citizen of a sovereign country that practices constitutional democracy.
Imagine that ever since its independence, your homeland has had the same political coalition in power, and has never known any other government.
Imagine that one election day, literally overnight, it all changes, and you find yourself with a government you never quite imagined to be possible.
Welcome to Malaysia, where after decades of rule, the political coalition known as Barisan Nasional lost power in a sweeping political upset. And all because the leader at its helm was accused of corruption to the tune of billions of ringgit, and mired in an international scandal the likes of which has even inspired Hollywood.
After years of whispers, allegations and even a civil complaint lodged by the U.S. Department of Justice, what was once thought unimaginable by the average Malaysian finally happened — its former Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak was charged with multiple counts of graft and abuse of power.
It seemed like the start of a new era, like the beginning of a new dawn of accountability and trustworthy politics. But it wasn’t long before old worries returned to the public’s thoughts, and we wondered: How do we prevent this from happening again?
While there are no steadfast guidelines to preventing corruption in any workplace, government employees are widely considered to be vulnerable to abuse of power, especially due to the privileges of civil service and there being no shortage of invested parties keen to benefit from government connections. With such a huge network of employees and countless departments to monitor, there are few methods in place to prevent future cases of graft beyond whistleblowing — but here is where active screening may provide an answer.
While the new Malaysian government has announced its new five-year comprehensive plan to fight widespread corruption in the public sector, it might also benefit from reviewing current efforts by established institutions, such as Bank Negara Malaysia, which utilises an ongoing employee screening process for its staff, as well as the Fit & Proper Criteria, where the stringent vetting of employees becomes standard practice in the recruitment process.
Regular and proactive screening of employees in sensitive workplaces should be standard practice, and is perhaps one of the best tools in maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of the civil service. This, alongside tighter laws and even more vigilant enforcement, is perhaps our best chance at making sure history doesn’t repeat itself.
For more information on employment screening and how it can help your workplace, stay tuned to www.verityintel.com.