Although the ‘giving’ factor in the issue of corruption is entrenched in the country’s anti-corruption laws, seldom has much light been shone upon this vital premise.
If the scourge of corruption is based on race and ethnicity, history will show how rampant the crime has become ever since these bounteous shores of Malaysia welcomed stocks of people from lands afar.
We have Indians streaming in from India to work the plantations, Chinese to work the mines as well as way before that, the Arabs to partake of the generous trade upriver in areas such as Merbok in Kedah, and Melaka.
According to records things were civil then when much honesty and integrity abound in the mercantile sector.
However, with the coming of the foreign powers in the likes of the Portuguese, Dutch and British, things had, however, taken on a more sinister dimension. Corruption suddenly reared its ugly head to cast its evil spell on the locals, who had for so long held on to trust and honesty in their lifestyle.
Reading the historical treatises of the British administrators in old Malaya, we can’t but help notice how corruption had crept into almost every nook and cranny of society. It sold out our self and soul.
Today, we hear so much recriminations and complaints directed at the Malay-dominated civil service for the allegedly rampant abuse of power and obscene practice of corruption.
It is mostly about the ‘acceptor’, although there has been quite a smattering of ‘givers’ taken to the book of law.
Lately, many have been questioning: “wither corruption without then giver?” Verily, it will die a certain death if there is a dearth of givers of corruption. In this sense, perhaps a line such as ‘corruption stops when the giving ends’ may be appropriate.
The givers in the corruption factor can be thickly traced to one particular race. It runs the spectrum from the super-rich conglomerates, who do so to lock in choice contracts to the lowest denomination of mercantilism.
This is one factor that needs to be brought to the fore. Fighting this part of the equation may win us a great portion of the war against corruption.