PUTRAJAYA: Fish rots from the head and that is why when it comes to combating corruption, it has to start with those at the top, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Calling for a joint effort by both the government and the opposition leaders to eradicate corruption, Zahid said even the latter had been implicated in allegations of graft.
“There is a political organisation formed to get rid of corruption, but when they obtain power, we see several individuals from that party being accused of graft.
“So don’t just point fingers at the federal government. We must set aside our political differences as corruption is a problem faced by all of us,” he said, in a speech at the home ministry’s monthly gathering here today.
At a press conference afterwards, Zahid, who is also the home minister, said he wasn’t referring to any particular individual in the speech he gave.
But he also pointed to a state where a 28-year-old in possession of a “really big house” has been accused of graft.
Zahid didn’t mention any names, however it was believed he was alluding to Ampang PKR Youth chief Adam Rosly, who was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in April, to assist investigation into his “unusual” wealth.
Although Adam had denied any wrongdoing, saying he earned his money from business ventures and an inheritance, the MACC had proceeded to also seize his RM1.2 million castle-styled bungalow and five luxury cars.
“That is why I have also invited all political parties and organisations to join forces in combating corruption. Because all of us, the government or the opposition, hate corruption,” Zahid said.
“But we have to translate this into action, and give it our full commitment.”
He also vowed to make the home ministry a graft-free agency, saying that those found to have committed this offence would have stern action taken against them.
“We want to focus on combating corruption which has placed Malaysia at a level that is still not quite satisfactory, as far as the international graft index is concerned.”
The first step, is to get all government agencies to make a pledge against corrupt practices, with the MACC, he said.
Asked about opposition states that have yet to sign the pledge, Zahid said he believed these states would eventually do so.
“I think it will take some time, as they claim to have their own strategies to curb corruption in their states.
“But I believe eventually they too will commit (to the pledge with the MACC).”