Declare and Observe October 14 as Anti-Kleptocracy Day in Malaysia until the world stops regarding Malaysia as a global kleptocracy
Today is the day Pakatan Harapan has chosen for the “Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptocrasi” rally in Padang Timor, Petaling Jaya for Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender to show their love for and loyalty to Malaysia through an united opposition to Malaysia being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.
Befitting the occasion, October 14 should be declared and observed as Anti-Kleptocracy Day in Malaysia until the world stops regarding Malaysia as a global kleptocracy.
For 13 years, the world had celebrated 9th December as the International Anti-Corruption Day to commemorate the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31st October 2003.
The Convention states, in part, that the UN is:
"concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law"
and delegates to the Convention the power to:
"promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively... promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption… [and] promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property…"
Malaysia is one of the countries of the world where the Government of Malaysia has refused to officially recognize, observe and celebrate the annual Anti-Corruption Day on Dec. 9 every year.
In fact, Malaysia is probably the only country where its head of government pulled out in the last minute from delivering a keynote opening address of a long-scheduled major international anti-corruption conference in Putrajaya because of Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy as a global kleptocracy.
In May 2015, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for good governance and integrity, Datuk Paul Low, was still boasting about the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) themed “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action” to be held in Putrajaya from Sept. 2 -4, 2015, that it would be the world’s largest anti-graft conference to be opened by the Prime Minister and closed the Deputy Prime Minister.
But neither the Prime Minister nor the Deputy Prime Minister appeared at the 16th IACC as Datuk Seri Najib Razak was advised by Low not to attend as the IACC participants might not welcome him following recent developments over the 1MDB scandal, while Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had by that time been summarily sacked as Deputy Prime Minister for questioning Najib over the 1MDB scandal.
Malaysia also had nothing to show in efforts to fight corruption in the 13 years since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2003.
In the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2003, Malaysia was ranked No 37 out of 132 countries with a score above midpoint of 5.2 out of 10; but in 2016, Malaysia’s ranking has fallen precipitately to No. 55 out of 176 countries with a score below the midpoint of 49 out of 100.
South Korea was behind Malaysia in the TI CPI in 2003, but overtook Malaysia in the last 11 years; while China and Indonesia made great strides in the war against corruption while Malaysia had regressed in the battle against corruption in the past 13 years!
This is the reason why “tigers” are being caught, jailed and even executed for corruption in China, “crocodiles” brought to justice in Indonesia, but “sharks” in Malaysia swimming freely and merrily in the South China Sea.
What is even worse for Malaysia – we have “graduated” to become a “global kleptocracy”.
It is to Malaysia’s eternal shame that we are singled out and named in the new book, “The Corruption Cure” by Robert Rotberg as the nation which the United States government is combatting in the fight against global kleptocracy.
This is to be found in Page 288 of the book, which reads:
“Under President Obama and his two attorneys general, the U.S. has intensified its attack on corporate, sovereign wealth fund, and individual corruption because it is wrong, but also because the Department of Justice believes that such corruption is a major cause of global instability, a severe hindrance to economic development everywhere, a major creator of poverty, and a critical abuse of national social contracts. Funds pilfered abroad – as in the Malaysian government sovereign wealth fund case, where more than $3 billion was misappropriated – also distorts real estate markets and the overall American economy (witness Miami and New York). For all those reasons and more, corruption is a ‘threat to American national security’”.
Reading this paragraph, Malaysians will find it most ironical and indignant that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could speak about Malaysia strengthening the American economy when he visited US President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 12!
One important point made in this new book is that Anti-Corruption Commissions are no panaceas to end the problem of corruption. In fact, in many countries, Anti-Corruption Commissions have been worse than ineffective as they have been “weaponized to punish opponents of corrupt regimes” instead of fighting corruption without fear or favour.
Let Oct. 14 be declared and observed as a Anti-Kleptocracy Day in Malaysia until we have succeeded in wiping out Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy as a global kleptocracy.