C4 wants citizens to sniff out kleptocracy trails

PETALING JAYA: The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) has mooted an idea to get Malaysians to follow a “trail” of kleptocracy involving any political leader as a way to better scrutinise those holding power in government.

“We need to start getting more active about monitoring and scrutinising our political leadership. You can’t take a passive stance,” said C4 Executive Director Cynthia Gabriel.
Speaking at a forum on 1MDB organised by C4, Cynthia said following the trail of kleptocracy meant “following the money”.

“Follow how rich they (political leaders) are, follow the unexplained wealth. You might have politicians living in your neighbourhood, for example, and when they open their gate you might see a Lamborghini.
“I think we need to actually start becoming citizen journalists. We need to start posting pictures of unexplained wealth.”

She said it was important to look at those in power and their salaries, and ask whether they could actually afford huge houses and other luxuries.
Cynthia said this is was what urban citizens could do best and should undertake more actively.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) recently nabbed a number of civil servants suspected of being involved in graft, seizing luxury items from them in the process.
Among the high profile cases was the arrest of seven men, including a senior Johor executive councillor, his son and special officer.

The suspects were believed to have played a part in the reduction of premium for land approved for housing and industrial projects, as well as over conversion of various property in Johor from Bumiputera to non-Bumiputera status. The MACC also seized 21 luxury cars, five high-powered motorcycles, cash of RM500,000, including foreign currency, and documents.