Fight graft by showing good example, govt told

The education system should not be blamed if politicians continued to encourage corruption.

(FMT) – Two groups representing parents have criticised a government decision to introduce an anti-corruption course in learning institutions, saying it is better for those in power to lead by example.

Mak Chee Kin of the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education said students were already burdened with too many subjects that he described as “unnecessary”, and Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim of the Parent Action Group for Education said politicians should stop interfering with the education system and let educators decide what courses to teach.

They were commenting on the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption’s decision to implement a mandatory integrity and anti-corruption course in all higher learning institutions from next year, and Parti Bangsa Malaysia secretary-general Nor Hizwan Ahmad’s suggestion that the course be introduced instead at the primary school level.

Mak said the responsibility of curbing corruption should not fall on students but on the authorities, who should demonstrate that corruption in any form was wrong.

“No matter how much it is studied, it will go down the drain if the precedent is there and corruption remains the norm in our country,” he told FMT.

“If we are concerned and serious about eradicating corruption, we must severely punish those found guilty, irrespective of their public standing.”

Azimah urged the government to deal with high-profile corruption cases involving politicians in accordance with the law and jail those found guilty.

She said this would be the best lesson for students since “children learn by example”.

She said the education system should not be blamed if politicians continued to encourage corruption.

“Look at the amount of cash thrown about at every election,” she said. “It is the rakyat’s hard-earned money taken from us as taxes and leaked through rent-seeking and government contracts, ending up in the hands of political parties to buy votes.”

She urged the government to strengthen the law, protect whistleblowers and create fear as a deterrent to ensure success in the fight against corruption.