Zahid: Corruption probes should also focus on 'givers'

December 4, 2017 @ 7:01PM
By Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should focus on both the “giver” and the “receiver” when it comes to graft cases.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the givers of bribes were equally to blame for the existence of corruption in the country.

“If you see, most of these people who lodge reports with the commission are those who had given bribes for gratification. But when the ‘favour’ was not returned as expected, they report the recipient for bribery,” he said.

Zahid urged MACC to conduct thorough investigations on both the receivers and givers when reports were lodged.

“Why should only one party be thrown the book, when its also a crime to give? Call it ‘wang pelincir’, call it what name you want, but a bribe is a bribe,” he said.

Zahid reminded everyone that corruption was a “two-way transaction” and the public must not judge a corruption case before the courts delivered its judgment.

“We have to look into the giver and receiver equally. The receiver is regularly associated with the civil service. But the worst part is, these civil servants are already judged by the court of perception even before a formal investigation is done or punishment is meted out,” he said in his keynote address at the Millenials Empowerment Summit 2017 (MES) organised by the Umno Overseas Student Bureau and titled “Nation Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security”

Zahid said the commission should look into the destruction of permanent forest reserves, converted for other purposes, in a few states, including those governed by opposition parties.

“These pieces of land were supposed to be natural resources which cannot be converted or simply changed, but somehow this has happened. Perhaps these exist elements of abuse of by those in charge. The integrity in these cases is questionable,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zahid reminded the students who had just returned from overseas to always uphold integrity and never back down in the fight to eradicate corruption.

“We all must be together with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his vision. We must admit that we have to do something to reduce our rankings in terms of corruption and change the international perception about us.

“We must do away with our differences, and develop this country with the PM’s vision, especially in eradicating corruption. We need your full commitment against corruption. I have full faith in all of you,” he said.

MES is a programme under Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican. Present at the summit were MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Zulkifli Ahmad, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the givers of bribes were equally to blame for the existence of corruption in the country. (File pix)