Harapan’s unacceptable tolerance of corruption


Kua Kia Soong, Malaysiakini

A disturbing pattern is emerging. Pakatan Harapan leaders are so involved in their internal bickering they do not seem to realise what they are exposing about themselves.

What is emerging appears to be a pattern of an unacceptable level of tolerance of corruption within the Harapan coalition itself.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli’s most recent expose of corruption involving money and “women” for those wanting to deal with the Selangor government was made with the standard proviso that he “might take action unless…”.

He said he received the complaint from a “bona fide person that apart from money, now there are also requests for women when dealing with the state government”.

This is not the first time we are witnessing such a tolerance of corruption by Harapan leaders in which the alleged corrupt person involved is given a choice of following a course set out by the accusers in the coalition.

We saw such a strategy at work during the gambit to get rid of the former selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim when PKR leader Saifuddin Nasution waved a file of alleged corrupt practices over the Khalid’s head to force him to step down as menteri besar.

However, since the day Khalid did indeed step down as menteri besar, we have heard nothing more of the alleged corruption scandals on which his removal was apparently based.

Does the former menteri besar not have to face these allegations of corrupt practices anymore and does he not have to accept the consequences if found guilty?

Did the tax payers of Selangor suffer any loss of their state revenue as a result of the alleged wrongdoing?

If so, should he not have to pay these back to Selangor tax payers?

On the other hand, if the alleged corrupt practices are found to be concocted and untenable, do the Harapan leaders who were responsible for such irresponsible ruses (including the frivolous Kajang Move) not have to face the consequences of their actions?

Zero tolerance of corruption

So what does this tell us about the attitude by the Harapan leadership to corruption?

They have shown us that they are prepared to tolerate corrupt practices as long as the guilty ones follow the coalition’s wishes. This is totally unacceptable.

In the reformed Malaysia that Malaysians yearn for, there must be zero-tolerance of corruption.

We expect every case of corruption to be reported to the relevant authorities including the police, and nothing less than that.

Corrupt leaders and civil servants have to be accountable to the people.

Furthermore, they have to pay back what they have corruptly obtained from the people and atone for their indiscretion.

And this is irrespective of whether the amount of money involved is RM2.6 billion in your personal bank account or RM2.6 million that you paid for a house.

And just as the recently  proposed ‘anti-corruption’ module in education is unlikely to work unless it is taught by exemplars of integrity, all those in power would do well to remember that children will always model behaviours over words.

So watch your thoughts for they can become words, watch your words for they become actions.

DR KUA KIA SOONG is the adviser to Suaram.