The move by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to engage the Chinese business community in its anti-graft efforts by recruiting members of the  Chinese NGOs into its various committees couldn’t have come at a better time!

The government’s anti-corruption drive will not succeed without the support of the Chinese especially its business community who are among the key players in the nation’s business sector.  For Malaysia’s economic plans to be viable and fully materialise, the integrity of its business community must be intact. And the most important indicator of the the nation’s claim to integrity is the transparency and corruption index. The MACC’s success or failure in  prosecuting the members of the public charged with corruption will make or break the nation’s reputation in the global arena.

However, on the local front government  enforcement agencies  – even the law courts – are beset with accusations of practising selective and biased prosecution. Because the civil service, government enforcement agencies and the law courts have a majority of Malay staff,  they are rightly or wrongly perceived as being biased.  A predominantly Malay staff will be perceived as being biased towards the Malays and against the other races. If the MACC does not change to  reflect a more racially- balanced composition, they will be perceived as being biased towards or against particular racial groups.

Datuk Abu Kassim is spot on in wanting to understand the views and aspirations of the Chinese business commnity and in determining why they feel  they are obliged  to give bribes when dealing with the government agencies. They will in turn learn that it is no longer acceptable to give coffee money or ang pows in order to expedite their business ventures. Giving inducements in whatever form is considered as graft which is not only unethical but illegal. Bribery and corruption in the public and private sectors have become national abominations which must be wiped out by effective enforcement and a strict adherence  to the country’s laws.

It is high time all the races in Malaysia contribute towards building up a truly integrated nation that is progressive and  abides by the highest ethical standards and practices. There is really no point in standing on the side and pointing fingers at the government, its ministries and its agencies when we ourselves are the biggest culprits and abusers of law and order!

The Chinese community must come to the fore and take up the challenge posed by the MACC!


17 Responses to “”

  1. 1 Gopal Raj Kumar
    February 11, 2010 at 11:02 am


    This is an important and significant development indeed in challenging corruption in Malaysia. However one must realise that the Chinese who comprise the bulk of the busness community are unlikely to take up the challenge for lack of motivation.

    One does not enter the public or civil service to become rich. It is the same reason Lee Kuan Yew minister mentor in Singapore, ascribed to mediocrity in the public service in Singapore in its formative years.

    People who value wealth (financial and material wealth) remain outstide of the civil and public service. They prefer the challenge of the wild. Where it is dog eat dog. And one of the key requisites to advancing in that sector is the ability to soften regulation, regulatory requirements and to overcome red tape. The payment of bribes is but one way of achieving all of this and getting ahead in the queue.

    In order to end corruption ( which is itself an impossible task) we have to identify corruption and define it. Incompetence is the worst form of corruption. And our legal sector suffers from it in pademic proportions. From them flow the police and other sectors who take their cue from the legal sector who are meant to define and identify these social ills that bedevil society. And sadly they are unable to do just that.

    Gopal Raj Kumar

  2. 2 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 8:47 am


    The MACC has taken a long time to identify an important source of corruption. It is better late than never!

    Corruption has always been part of the Chinese history and culture. They have a long tradition of “paying their way” and will think nothing of greasing a palm or two, first having done a careful cost benefit analysis. They will not change their attitude to corruption unless they have no other choice.We have to first produce ethical,social and economic conditions that make corruption a high risk and low return business for both the fivers and the takers. Like everything else, uncompromising political will is at the heart of any anti-corruption regime.

  3. 3 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 8:49 am


    Kudos for your pragmatic approach to topical public issues, in this case wiping out corruption! For me, the rot has always begun from the top. MACC must surmount enough courage to crack down on what the organisation’s boss refer to as the ‘whales’. And yes, the Chinese community need to play a significant role, especially when graft is accepted as more of a cultural rather than a moral phenomenon.

  4. 4 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 8:51 am


    “selective prosecution”, yes!. I fully agree with you. I am not sure it is appropriate to use the word “perceived”!

    I don’t think we can say ” the law enforcement and judiciary (who made up of Malays mainly) are favoring the Malays and biased against other races”. In fact, in most instances they come hard on “dissent Malays” more than other races.

    Also, I firmly believe that they are tied up or too happy associating themselves with the greed and power….by the way (except segelintir number) all politicians in power over the last 50 years and most senior government servants are big time millionaires!

    This will not change because most of us are not ready!!! OR “Blindly Loyal and in Love”.

    The move by MACC will NOT have any positive impact from all perspectives of “doing the right things” including PR.

    May be we can live better lives if we were to stop worrying what will tomorrow be for our future generations. Use our time to effectively cari makan and/or berzikir and pray to God Almighty.

    Very few cares. God bless us and all Malaysians.

  5. 5 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 8:54 am


    Abso-blooming-lutely spot-on.

  6. 6 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 1:27 pm


    I agree 100% with your views that all races must contribute but first they must clean up UMNO !

  7. 7 ninitalk
    February 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm


    I share your views completely. If I can add, in order to attract Chinese into the civil service. they have to believe that there is a career prospect of going up on the basis of meritocracy.I know of a capable and very senior Chinese officer in the EPU who decided to quit upon reaching the optional retirement age because as he said. he didnt think he could go higher. Those who believe of unfair treatment in promotions in govt. service are not likely to encourage their children or friends to join.

  8. 8 halimah mohd said
    February 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    At last from a Chinese AA:

    1) Most of us agree fully with both your views & comments. We should not be embarrased to follow ( with certain modifications) the successful S’pore model. Even Deng SP basically followed the S’pore model & the rest, as they say, is history. Fortunately, China also had 2 good leaders groomed by Deng. 2) All can see the horrendous deterioration of our very important education system since our time. We “churn out” an increasing number of varsity graduates from our local universities, many of whom are “unemployable” in multi-national co.s. This is exacerbated by the “brain drain”! 3) On corruption, it has to come from the very top. Let us forget about the “ugly past baggage” & work on the present & the future. Our human species is basically weak, greedy & like to take the “easy way out”, both in politics & in business. The Chinese business community is often just as guilty & sometimes even teaches/encourages their Malay brothers how “to cut corners” & make “easy money so that they can also share in the “unclean spoils”! All this has to change! 4) Fortunately, our current world is full of problems & the “one-eyed”, like Malaysia, can still do moderately well, if we change & improve modestly, by say, up to 50-60%. 5) Most of the non Malays are realists & pragmatic & accept Malay political leadership simply based on demography. 6) Most right thinking & sensible Malays, like your goodselves, also realize that we need peace, good governance, meritocracy & the cooperation of all Malaysians & FDIs, for wealth creation. The Malays will be the main beneficiaries of a bigger “economic cake”. 7) All is not lost, if most patriotic & loyal Malaysians think & act rationally & force the govt. to change. Malaysia is a blessed country & there is enough for all if we can change for the better. God Bless Malaysia.

  9. February 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Dear Mdm Nini,
    I don’t know who to turn to, but I feel you can help me with my current predicament. In a way it is related to your post, in the sense that lies are allowed to propagate, and some lies are the result of corruption.

    I understand that you are known to Tun Dr. Mahathir, and have even taken pictures with him. I am a just a humble individual, of no social standing in this country. My opinions are never sought nor taken.

    But in his latest posting titled, MV Augusta Again, Tun challenged his readers to point to him the logic of selling Proton’s share of MV Augusta for RM 4, when it was subsequently bought by the Harley Davidson Corp. for RM 340 million ringgit.

    I quote:
    “7. I am still trying to figure this out. Maybe those who read this blog might be able to enlighten me.”

    This challenge was issued specifically to me. It is very clear when we read a comment by one of his loyal readers, again from the same post.

    By jimi on February 12, 2010 12:24 AM
    dearest Tun,
    Surely Tun would like to hear advice n views of Wenger J khairy on the subject.He seems to know more on many subjects than Tun.I personally would love to read comments and advice from Wenger J Khairy of the wisdom the previous administration in selling MV Agusta. I could have bought it at RM10 and ask them to keep the change.
    Nway,thanks Tun for sharing updating and educating us Malaysians. Tun, you are our most valuable asset.

    After finishing a heavy day’s of work on Friday, I logged onto to the Internet and read the said comments. I was infuriated, as I, Wenger J Khairy, “pantang dicabar.”.

    I spent a lot of time until the wee hours of the morning, digging through every single report available to piece together the truth.

    Furthermore in keeping with my patriotic spirit, I made the posting in Bahasa Melayu, as according to the wishes of the Minister of Information.

    I then gave a short reply to Tun’s article, full of the good graces one should have when talking to a person accorded Tun status. I merely mentioned that the challenge had been answered, and the link was on my blog.

    The link is <a href="http://wengeratwar.blogspot.com/2010/02/menjawab-tomahan-tun-berkenaan-mv.html&quot; here

    The matter was settled in my mind. I was vindicated.

    This issue took a huge toll on me, and I was unable to adequately prepare for Valentines day. My companion left me high and dry. Alas, I am now a single and lonely all because of my belief in the fight for truth, justice and the integrity of the US. GAAP requirements.

    Imagine to my horror, when Tun engaged in censorship. He refused to publish my comments.

    I was devastated.

    How can the leader, I had adored for the last 2 decades do such a thing? Wasn’t he the one who confronted Soros? Called George W. Bush a liar?

    I am now a wreck of a man.

    My only hope is if some kind soul, like yourself will forward this question to Tun and to tell him that if he issues a challenge so openly, he should be decent enough to give people the right to reply.

    Thank you for your kind assistance.

    Wenger J. Khairy

  10. 10 ninitalk
    February 16, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Dear Wenger J Khairy – It’s better if you just use ANONYMOUS instead of this fanciful pseudonym!

    I’m afraid I’m not in a position to forward your grievances to Tun Mahathir or any other person. Like you I’m just an ordinary citizen with some thoughts about the way her beloved Malaysia should go. I do this earnestly and honestly but not so humbly in my blog. You should establish a blog yourself and invite readers, some of whom will share your views! Good Luck!

  11. 11 halimah mohd said
    February 16, 2010 at 9:53 am


    I should be proud whenever I step into a government office in Malaysia to see familiar faces running the outfit. On the other hand I do understand how the non Malays feel whenever they walk into places where I had been earlier. Full of apprehension is how they felt. I was in school in the 60s and the environment then was one of 1 Malaysia …a good… See More mix of teachers and students of various races! Rightly, if we persist on talking about 1 Malaysia we would like to see more familiar faces whenever we walk into a government department and more pertinently, with qualified officers to handle our problems. Government departments should handle all matters brought to their counters with diligent and speed not withstanding their races. Today, going into government offices can be quite a challenge on your patience (even for the Malays) as those with friends in that offices get to be attended first. In hospitals especially, though numbers were given to patients the nurses called in patients by their names!

    My Chinese and Indians friends had proven to be very intelligent, smart and outgoing from school to university levels. I am amazed and astonished when these friends of mine just disappeared into oblivion upon graduation from the university and joining the government service. When I met them again, about 15 years later, my non Malay friends had not progress in their careers. I feel guilty because deep down inside me I know they were better than most of us…the Malays who were given the chance to further improve their careers by pursuing higher degrees (Masters and Doctorates)! Without going into details when we scrutinised the various government departments and agencies in Malaysia we are astonished at the small number of non Malays heading these departments or agencies. The standard answer is that very few non Malays join the service. Why? The KSN, with due respect, will not be able to answer this but the PM probably could. 1 Malaysia must be translated into reality not just a rhetoric slogan.

    The Chinese business community is perceived as readily willing and able to give bribes and indulged in all forms of corruptions in pursue of self betterment. If there are no takers there will be no corruption. It is a queston of survival.The government should seriously look into this. If we have incorruptible leaders and politicians we can today enjoy ‘zero free’ corruption! The Chinese business community did what they had to do as they knew the policy is ‘no money no deal!’ So if MACC is seriously committed to end corruptions in this country then sit down face to face with our PM and DPM and with their blessings end this scourge once and for all. The Chinese business community will then definitely comply with the guidelines by MACC as it would be much cheaper to do business in Malaysia then. If MACC is unable to do that then MACC is wasting public money.

  12. 12 ninitalk
    February 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm


    At first I thought of just reading what is in here and go next to something else. But your rhetoric’s
    ( “Let us forget about the ‘ugly past baggage’ & work on the present & the future”, “All this has to change”,
    “All is not lost , if most patriotic & loyal Malaysians think & act rationally”, etc.) make it all sound so simple.
    They cannot go unchallenged.. So here is my 2-sen worth, although I take the risk of sending this note to
    some of your friends here who may not like it. But say I must as a concerned Malaysian who has
    contributed in his own small way for a better Malaysia.

    As of now, the whole country is rotten in all things important. In our political parties and other important
    institution, they are headed by people who are clearly racial and/or truly unsuitable to be there in the first place. .
    If the Malay leadership is as good and effective as you always say, the situation should not be as bad as it is now.
    Yes, our Malay brothers and sisters of course know what is good for them and for other Malaysians.
    But their high tolerance level and courteous nature is such that they generally accept things totally unacceptable without much
    as a protest. I believe It is too late now to change things.without drastic action. And again because of their gentle
    nature and culture I don’t believe the concerned and well-meaning Malays will take drastic action. Their own race will not allow the
    enlightened ones to change the status quo in any case, because they are used to their way of ‘good and easy’ life fortified in the
    last 40 years. Also, to a large proportion of the Malay polity the current practice is ‘too good’ to be messed up by
    anyone. Their ill-conceived insecurity is another factor.

    It is sad for me to say that the scenario will be that we will carry on going down in the years to come to the level that
    all Malaysians cannot tolerate anymore and hopefully by then a truly clean, leve-lheaded and daring superstar will emerge
    to pull us away from the abyss. Yes, Thong Beng, having said all this Malaysians must not give up. We must try to improve thngs all the
    time in spite of seemingly insurmuntable odds.

    Long Live Malaysia !,

  13. 13 ninitalk
    February 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I was hoping that my Chinese readers would offer critical analyses of Chinese culture and the giving of how coffee money, ang pow and bribes have become entrenched in it, especially among the business community. I was hoping this would bring about a better understanding of the phenomenon and how the society as a whole can take steps to address corruption and how it can be effectively contained.

    It looks like the Chinese are not so forthcoming when it comes to analysing themselves and prefer instead to delve into the Malay psyche and look for cracks within it.

    I really hope the MACC fares better with the Chinese guilds and NGOs because without Chinese cooperation and responsibility the fight against corruption is meaningless!

  14. 14 ninitalk
    February 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    …analyses of Chinese culture and how the giving of coffee money…has become entrenched…

  15. 15 Gopal Raj Kumar
    February 18, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    The disease of corruption is clearly not understood by the majority of your posters. It has little to do with bribery and graft. Those are but two of the most commonly identifiable areas of whats termed corruption. They are not the only nor are they the most sinister or dangerous forms of corruption.

    Corruption is also a state of mind. If you like, a bit like what infects your computer operating system or your hard drive which unless properly managed (meaning sometimes being isolated from the mainstream in order not to infect or corrupt the entire system)will bring the whole system down.

    A foreign logic to an established system already in place, like in your computer, to make it otherwise operate efficiently is not normal. That foreign logic in the form of a “virus” (for want of a better term) is like a foreign culture not “bad” but only “bad” when inducted or introduced into your already established and formatted system. Viruses are after all carefully and intelligently created programmes.

    Likewise God (if you believe in him) created Malays for Malaysia, Chinese for China and Indians for India. When each of these people are introduced for one reason or the other into the “systems” of the other, they tend to “corrupt” the host system. The consequence is “corruption” or an incompatible input into the host system.

    Unless managed or controlled, and in this case limiting the functions of the imported system in order that the basic and the host system is able to function normally or close enough to normally for the purpose for which it was created, there will be conflicts within the system as they will be in the computer example I use.

    The patronising analogies and examples used here to describe Malays and non Malays belie a deeper malaise in the social structure and mindset of Malaysian society. Malaysians may have acquired developed nation status with all the trappings that go with it. Howevever they are unable to cope with the intellectual and social development that goes is compatible with that status. They remain largely dysfunctional because of that.

    Malaysians today embrace the social ‘graces’, the cosmetic nonmenclature of the western or developed nations without the depth or the meanings that go with it. Freedom of expression through the media without understanding the need for responsibility that goes with that freedom is but one example of the point I make here.

    The attacks on the Malays under all sorts of euphemisms like UMNO and the BN are shallow and demonstrate a deeper and racist (kurang ajar) mentality that flat screen plasma TV’s
    , foreign university degrees, the second car in the garage and the Anglicised name will not cure or conceal.

    There remains a chasm which will not be bridged till people can accept their basic positions in any community and work from thereon. Who says there is a brain drain? what brain what drain? an academic orientation is not an education. Degrees are worth a dime a dozen these days. And you don’t have to be smart but opportunistic to take up a position abroad. It is all relative. Going abroad is no brain drain. It is a demographic change. Thats all.

    Migrating is not because of an inequity within the system in Malaysia. Greeks emigrate from Greece to Australia, Indians and Chinese emigrate in larger numbers from their homelands aborad. None of these three groups emigrate because of bumiputeras or NEP’s in their homelands. It is purely economic reasons and opportunities that drive people to move. There is not one nation in the world that is free from that phenomenon.

    In Malaysia there is a level of disappointment amongst non Malays that they have not managed to displace the Malays politically and economically. That of itself has had a devastating effect on the psyche of the non Malay population who have been raised to believe the Malays could never achieve anything without their domination of the Malay socio political and economic landscape.

    I think we all need to look forward and jettison the baggage of the colonial era and create new opportunities for ourselves through intergration rather than to look for the pettiest opportunities to create divisions.

    Thank you for the opportunity to address this topic by responding on your blog Halimah.


  16. 16 ninitalk
    February 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you GRK for your analogies and arguments!

    I agree that bribery and graft is but one aspect of the deeper malaise of corruption. It is perceived as the most serious because it affects and can potentially cripple institutions and the government.

    I also agree that it has developed in Malaysia and in some other countries to this extent because of the inequalities and inequities, the deeper motive being the desire of certain groups to maintain their business and commercial lead in the country, and their inability to accept that others are claiming their share of the economic cake.

    Why do people think that the Malays have to remain in the backwaters and continue being “gentle” and compromising while the whole world is surging forward? Why do Malaysians think that the Chinese model of doing business is the most viable when other models are doing better and are relatively less prone to corruption?

    Granted law and enforcement must be in place, there must be growling watchdogs, piercing whistleblowers, clean civil servants, corporate executives , businessmen, petty traders and consumers, committed political and government leaders – all in all the political will you refer to- before we can hope for a corruption-free Malaysia.

    But as long as the races continue to bash and implicate each other instead of doing some soul- searching within their own communities, not much will change. The Malays seem to be more forthcoming in critically assessing themselves, so much so that while we are baring our hearts and souls (and our pockets)for others to know and take advantage of, others remain furtive.

    And I agree – if people want to migrate and look for greener pastures please go. That’s what animal and human groups have been doing forever!

    And I agree – Malaysians are millions of light years away from being well educated, enlightened, intellectual and wise. We have superficial knowledge but little depth!

  17. 17 Gopal Raj Kumar
    February 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    There is a need and a time for all Malaysians (and all people everywhere) to be introspective and “contemplate their navel” in the interests of self improvement if for nothing else.

    I do agree with you that the general Malay populace has reached that stage and are demonstrating a more mature political and social attitude towards change and are re assessing their own positions in a rapidly changing world.

    I am a keen observer of every step that Malays take in Malaysia. The mould was broken when one Dr. Mahathir Mohammed did the unthinkable and moved in a direction no one believed possible. Forward!

    What followed in the aftermath was the impact on non Malays of the actions of one dynamic Malay. His example was a catalyst and a perfect role model other Malays followed into business, politics,academia and the professions with astounding success.

    It also disenfranchised the other groups who believed they had inherited an exclusive right or some divine gift to succeed in business, the professions and in academia. Many have not yet come to terms with the change or recovered from the shock of witnessing Malays achieve what they had been dineid for years. A seismic shift in perceptions and prejudices.

    You can hurl as much abuse and unfounded allegations of improper conduct whilst in office at Tun Dr. Mahathir. What you cannot do is to deny him his rightful place in history nor deny his unrpecedented and unparalelled achievements in taking Malaysia from the once benign glorified malarial swamp to a sophisticated 1st world nation.

    We speak to each other in terms we never dreamed possible before. We villify each other in an abuse of that right he gave us and argue about our religious beliefs, our sexuality, our race and almost everything else under the sun thanks to the great gift of freedom of speech all of our neighbours can only dream of (behind bars).


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