The new Malaysian government has been taking the mandate it inherited—the fight against corruption—very seriously, and it recently announced a concerted effort in changing the multilayered, inter-industrial ecosystem of corruption that Malaysia has become known for.
Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad addressed the corruption charges that plagues his infamous predecessor in the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), an ambitious five-year concerted strategy that will attempt to weed out corruption by focusing on six sectors: politics, public procurement, law enforcement, public sector administration, legal and judiciary, and corporate governance.
This ambitious and concerted effort, while very noble, also serves as a reminder of how deeply-rooted the issue is in Malaysia, and how it covers nearly every aspect of everyday life in this country. One cannot blame the average Malaysian for being cynical about the chances of weeding such wrongdoing out, much less transforming the country into a “corrupt-free nation”.
It will be interesting to see the strategies that will be in place to address corruption on both the individual and organisational levels, as it means reducing—if not eliminating entirely—the opportunity and the temptation to commit such crimes. International bodies such as Transparency International and the World Bank have outlined such solutions as reducing international loopholes within the financial systems, encouraging and protecting citizen whistleblowers, as well as encouraging access to information for all.
The use of relevant and current technology is also a highly recommended strategy by experts, and this includes tech that increases transparency in an organisation. Sanctioned screening of members of companies and organisations in every sector is one such method, especially as it creates widespread accountability and transparency, especially across sectors. Leaders are able to better monitor for suspicious behaviour, and to also be impartially screened for their own possible discretions. Monitoring employees also allows for more stringent enforcement, which is a proven deterrent for corruption.
Financial institutions have led the way by implementing screening as part of their organisational strategy, their roles having some of the highest stakes and the highest security risks of any industry. If Malaysia is serious about being corruption-free, shouldn’t we be treating every organisation as seriously, too?
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