Ti: Politicians lured by ‘carrot and stick’ approach

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PETALING JAYA: Handouts and bribes are sometimes prevalent among politicians and government officers in Malaysia, an MCA leader revealed.

He claimed the main reason for this were the businessmen.

Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ker said businessmen would “start dangling the carrot” immediately after a lawmaker is elected to a seat.

“This is to boost their businesses, to get things done more easily or to expand their businesses.

“Politicians who do not entertain handouts are given the stick approach.

“Sometimes, politicians are trapped into honouring their role as lawmakers and gaining support from the business circle. And sometimes politicians are tempted into greed. These things are difficult to prove,” he told FMT.

Another reason was that some Malaysians view politics as a shortcut to making money, with the perception that politics gives them the opportunity to do networking and eventually gain wealth.

He said there were a lot of party workers who sincerely joined in the party’s pursuits to help members of public but there were a lot who signed up for business purposes.

“That is why politics becomes very attractive for academicians or even some activists. Perhaps in their career they were earning much less.

“Sometimes, the position of chief minister, minister or Exco member is seen as lucrative.”

He said those days, it was said to be a prevailing problem among some members in the ruling Barisan Nasional, but now those in the Pakatan Harapan governments in Selangor and Penang, and also Kelantan, had probably also experienced this as well.

One of the ways to overcome this was by offering a higher remuneration to politicians and better enforcement.

He noted that illegal businesses, such as human trafficking, gambling and get-rich-quick schemes, were mushrooming in certain places as these were seen as lucrative businesses.

Ti said those days, it was all about honour.

“Just like in Japan… people do things for honour there. We are not there yet. Here, it is still about money and power.

“We need to bring back the greatness of honour.”

In the latest 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Malaysia dropped to 54th place among 168 countries from the 50th placing among 175 countries in 2014.