C4 explodes amid kangkung and whistle-blowing

A new body calling itself C4 was launched with much kangkung waving, whistleblowing and singing of songs.

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism declared that it is not just another non-governmental organisation (NGO) and it will make sure that the people become the whistleblowers (the reason for the whistles) on corruption and cronyism in the country.

"It is really difficult to prove corruption especially among the powerful and wealthy. The only answer lies within us and we have to depend on ourselves.

"The launch of the centre is a drop in the ocean of what we have to do. You and I have the responsibility to fight corruption," said C4 founder and co-director Cynthia Gabriel.

C4 boasts high profiled directors such as Richard Yeoh, formerly of Transparency International; Tan Sri Simon Sipaun (former Suhakam commissioner) and Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Deputy Head of Bersih and founder of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF).

Gabriel said that while ministers and public servants continue to spend lavishly, the rakyat is being told to tighten their belts.

"They are mocking us," said Gabriel, waving a kangkung stalk.

The stalk of water convolvulus refers to a recent news trend in which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak came under fire for having claimed that when prices – like kangkung – is reduced, no one praises the ruling Barisan Nasional government.

C4's guest of honour, former Bersih head Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasen, launched the NGO stating that despite all the hardware that Malaysia has set up to combat corruption, we were devoid of software.

"We lack the most important element – we have zero political will. We say we want to get rid of corruption but we do not mean it," said Ambiga.

She pointed out that Hong Kong managed to eliminate corruption by setting up ICAC, which the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) claims to have been modelled after.

She also took MACC to task for claiming it cannot investigate anyone living beyond their means.

In particular, Ambiga was referring to the case of the PM's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's son, Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, being able to own an RM110 million apartment in New York City.

"Why can't MACC have a robust approach and pursue asset declaration?" asked Ambiga, urging for leadership by example and asking leaders to realise that they are dealing with taxpayers' money.

"I heard someone say that the strongest selling point to do business in Hong Kong was its zero tolerance for corruption. Before 1974, HK was plagued with corruption," said Ambiga.

The event was attended by about 200 people, among them legislators from the opposition.

Source: http://www.fz.com/content/c4-explodes-amid-kangkung-and-whistle-blowing