This call to better governance must be met with meaningful access to information, strict enforcement, regardless of rank and titles
by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre) has called for the new prime minister to stand firm in addressing the grave injustices of corruption and abuse of power by taking on important structural reforms.
In a statement yesterday, C4 Centre urged for the incoming government to focus squarely on fighting the pandemic and assisting small and medium enterprises and people who have lost their jobs with more financial support; as well as strong and equal enforcement standards and upholding the law through independent institutions.
“This new government, the third since 2018, in its advent must commit to addressing the injustices of the previous administration and confront corruption as the greatest injustice, in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
The NGO also seeks vigilance and accountability in the procurement of medical supplies necessary in fighting the pandemic; protection for reporting persons or whistleblowers in calling out corruption, including allowing a more vibrant media to function without fear; and data transparency on pandemic management across state governments.
C4 Centre lauded the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah’s call for all leaders to prioritise governance based on the principles of justice and should be entrusted to acknowledged experts.
“This is a serious responsibility that new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must heed with utmost urgency.
“Any form of corruption that happens in the middle of this national emergency is a reprehensible crime against the rakyat, where thousands have become jobless and countless more have died.
“This call to better governance must be met with meaningful access to information, strict enforcement, regardless of rank and titles,” it said.
C4 Centre said in upholding the rule of law, there should be no discrimination between offenders, adding that it is only with this equality in enforcement that there will be equality and the rakyat can find its trust in the government again.
As the reminder comes for leaders to prioritise good governance, in running the country and in managing the battered economy, there must be tighter rules and accountability around the procurement of medical supplies, testing kits and vaccines.
A clear lack of data transparency and half-baked information dished out by health officials have rendered Malaysians even more powerless, said the NGO.
“Potential conflicts of interest must be reported and swiftly investigated with whistleblowers protected against any repercussions.
“This is especially so if any persons in power were to capitalise on the pandemic to make a quick buck at the expense of the rakyat,” it added.