C4 reminds Putrajaya on combatting corruption

KUALA LUMPUR: The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) today reminded Putrajaya to quit harrassing civil society. Issuing a statement in conjunction with World Anti-Corruption Day, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said the forums and events held to commemorate this day, in Kuala Lumpur for example, all seem so limp, feeble, and surreal. “They lack the courage to speak the truth on where we are heading as a nation.” The statement referred to the steep rollback in government accountability and respect for the rule of law.

The NGO urged the government to respect the freedom of the people to express, and not lose sight of the pulse of the nation. “We remind the Malaysian Government, as signatories to the UN Anti Corruption Convention (UNCAC), to adhere to the tenets of the convention, and respect international obligations to fight corruption at every level,” added Gabriel. She noted that Malaysia has blocked requests for mutual legal assistance (MLA) by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and Swiss authorities. Elsewhere, Gabriel pointed out that there were civil society proposals to make the MACC independent.

“The MACC should be lifted as a commission, under the Constitution. There should be a review of the laws needed to fight corruption.” The NGO chief pointed out that it was no secret the last two years has seen the integrity and good governance sink to the bottom. “Civic participation, the work of civil societies and the independence of democractic institutions have all come under severe beating,” she said. Gabriel blamed the trust deficit on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s alleged corruption scandals, rising prices of goods, subsidy cuts and the goods and services tax (GST).