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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just catching corrupt officials is not sufficient

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has made great strides in catching corrupt officials who stash their cash and valuables at home.

MACC started off 2017 with a bang and seized RM2.6 million in cash and gold bars from a Rural and Regional Development Ministry official and his two sons.

No one is above the law and government officials who are living beyond their means have been under MACC’s watchful eye.

Last month, MACC visited the Malacca chief minister’s office to gather information on one of his officers.

It also detained five people over Felda’s fish-breeding technology transfer project worth RM47.6 million.

MACC is leaving no stone unturned in ridding the civil service of corruption.

According to a report by the chief secretary to the government, 30 government servants have been found to be involved in corruption and bribery by MACC since 2010.

The Sabah Water Department scandal involved cash and assets totalling RM300 million.

Corruption is eating deep into the fabric of society, and threatening the security and financial stability of our nation.

It is sickening and heart-breaking to hear about top government officials being involved in corruption.

MACC says more than 50 per cent of those arrested in the past three years were below 40.

This is an alarming situation because people in this age group are supposed to be the future of this country.

What makes corrupt officials think that they can get away with it?

MACC has been relentless in catching corrupt officials, but how many are charged in court?

And, more importantly, when charged, what punishment has been imposed on them?

Just catching corrupt officials will not put an end to corruption. A severe sentence will deter corrupt practices. The usual punishment is jail, fine and assets frozen.

In Thailand, it has been proposed that corrupt officials who embezzle huge amounts be hanged, while in Indonesia, an ulama suggested that wives of corrupt officials be punished too.

Judging from the number of expensive handbags recovered from corrupt officials, the wives could have been accomplices in the crime.

There have been suggestions to whip corrupt officials, apart from jailing them.

Maybe the faces of corrupt officials could be splashed all over the media.

Most of the time, their faces are covered when they are caught.

Corruption among high officials is a crime of greed and they need to be punished for it.

Whatever punishment is accorded must commensurate with the crime.

Justice must not only be seen to be done, but carried out effectively.

By Samuel Yesuiah

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