C4 Center Pre General Elections Campaign : Kleptocrazy Malaysia: Declare Your Assets Now

Kleptocrazy Malaysia

Its been a trailblazing 8 months since the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad took office. His pledge to declare war against corruption has chalked up a staggering 23 cases thus far. We have seen some very high profile cases involving a series of arrests, charges and convictions on politicians, public sector officials, government linked companies, enforcement authorities and local councils. Many of these cases point to years of entrenched and systemic corruption and abuse of power, with misappropriation involving millions of ringgit. The Johore land conversion and Sabah Water Department cases, have revealed shocking details of the gravity of crimes committed over time, with no punitive action taken all this while.

The message is crystal clear. These systemic dangers that are eroding the country’s economy and development, and must require nothing, but a revoultionary structural change. The 1MDB grand corruption scandal, has shown beyond doubt that our very public institutions have failed to protect our public interests and bring to book the culprits behind such massive financial crimes, given the persons of the highest political office that are implicated in the case. Very few countries suffer from such a grand scale of corruption, and unfortunately Malaysia is amongst them. Executive intervention in obstructing MACC’s exercise of its statutory duties is unconstitutional and unlawful. Given this context the MACC’s new leadership and drive in traversing boundaries to combat corruption, must be commended. Its recent 3J campaign launch comes at a right time. The MACC must however urgently address the big elephant in the room, the 1MDB scandal in order to gain real public confidence.

Public Awareness and Asset Declaration

Malaysia sits at an important crossroads, and is ahead of the 14th general election. C4 Center, aims to push public participation in this battle to cut corruption at its roots, during this time before the general elections. For it is really Malaysians ourselves that are the best and most crucial check and balance mechanism that is so much needed to keep our political leaders to account.
An asset declaration framework is among the best ways to keep them in check. This General Elections must signal an important call that all candidates contesting the elections must pledge to be persons of integrity and commit to the highest standards of accountablity, regardless of which political party they represent.

We must collectively push off the culture of fear permeating society,that prevents us to meaningfully participate in public policy and tracking government performance. It is us, the people, that must insist on this radical shift for clean government. Thus C4 Center is introducing an interactive platform called “Kleptocrazy Malaysia” for the people to get engaged in tracking down unexplained wealth of public officials and politicians in public office. It allows the public to post pictures of wealthy public officials and their families onto a website that will allow MACC to then determine if there are cases that need further verification and investigations.

While it is a good start to see reports of PKR and of BN respectively claim that their parties practice declaration of assets these would mean nothing if there is no established framework and eventual legislation to see uniform disclosure and a push towards transparency. We are ready to work with all political parties and with federal agencies together with the MACC to push this framework forward, to enable a more informed and engaged citizenry that will be able to vote based on integrity and good governance.