I REFER to the report "MACC offers to help vet election candidates" (NST, May 25). Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull has to be commended for offering leaders of all political parties the opportunity to vet their candidates before the 13th general election.
The vital question in the public mind now is will political leaders and proposed candidates take up this challenge?
As a former president of Transparency Malaysia and a former chairman of MACC's prevention and consultation panel, I believe the public, especially voters, will welcome this initiative.
I would, therefore, urge leaders of all political parties, as well as party members, to cooperate fully with MACC to seek full vetting of their candidates before the next general election.
Elections will gain greater legitimacy and be generally regarded with a higher standard of transparency, integrity and accountability and certainly be seen as much cleaner, if all political party leaders request the MACC to vet their candidates.
In fact, the public has a real opportunity now to find out whether the candidates were free of corruption in the past and to ensure that in the future, the MACC monitors their wealth to check on their report card for malpractices and corruption.
It would be even better if the government, that is committed to fighting corruption, authorises the MACC board of directors to maintain and monitor this proposed report card on integrity for all candidates and elected officials.
This will enable MACC to keep track of the performance of all elected officials with regard to their accumulated assets and their integrity as their key performance indicator.
This way, the corrupt will be weeded out and the MACC can move in to stop the rot before it worsens. Malaysia's progress will be stifled if corruption increases from the top and we cannot afford this.
Hence, the people should demand that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat take action before the next general election to request vetting for all their candidates, elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.
Voters should also resolve to fulfil their duty to vote wisely by voting for those who have been cleared by the MACC.
Thus, voters should not vote for parties and candidates who do not care to obtain a "corruption clearance" from MACC. That will be your major contribution to fighting corruption.
I would also urge the MACC to advance its good initiatives to fight corruption by vetting all election candidates for "living beyond their means" and to "red flag" them even if political leaders are reluctant to act against them.