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Those involved in graft feel no shame, laments Mahathir

 | October 16, 2017

Former PM says Malaysians should look to countries like Japan, where thousands of soldiers committed suicide out of shame when they lost the war.

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PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged Malaysians to look east to understand what it means to feel shame.

He said in other countries, people took pride in themselves and were ashamed if they were involved in corrupt practices.

“In Japan, for instance, if they feel ashamed by something they have done, they will commit suicide. This was the case when thousands of Japanese soldiers committed suicide after they lost the war.

“They did it because they had failed in their duties.

“But in Malaysia, people smile even when they are openly involved in corruption. Those who go to jail, don’t feel ashamed. They also don’t feel anything wearing the prison uniform,” he said in a Facebook Live question-and-answer session today.

Stressing the need to nurture good and noble values in society, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said if Malaysians knew what it was to feel shame, they would not cheat or do unlawful things.

“It is about the value system. If we are raised to understand that corruption is wrong and is something despicable, then we will stop ourselves from committing graft.

“A society that has this culture will be able to eradicate corruption, but a society that smiles when it is involved in corruption will only get worse.”

Mahathir also urged Malaysians to be proactive and make the effort to topple the government if they truly believed the current administration was not good for the country.

He said if the people did not show their displeasure and were not “fired up”, they could not hope to eradicate corruption.

In other countries, he said, the people have brought down leaders who committed crimes.

“Just look at Brazil and South Korea. Their people protested every day, even when they got tear-gassed.

“Here, we are not asking our people to be violent. We are asking them for support. If we don’t voice our objections and expect others to do it for us, then there is the possibility that we will fail.

“If we fail, all that we have planned in order to eliminate corruption, will not materialise.”

Mahathir has on many occasions spoken about how government officials involved in graft were devoid of shame.

He said such individuals, guided by their insolence and greed, were not affected by criticism against their acts or bothered about the effects of their acts on the nation, as long as they were rewarded in some way.

PH, in its manifesto, has vowed to set up an independent body to return all assets and money belonging to the people taken through corrupt means.


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