PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has accused the government of being mainly responsible for the slide in Malaysia’s reputation as a country that was once considered a democratic model for the Muslim world.
“No question about it,” he told FMT. The government leadership had much to do with the blows to the international image of the country, he added.
He was responding to an article recently published by Al Arabiya News Channel’s online service. The article, written by Azeem Ibrahim of the Centre for Global Policy, warned that Malaysia could end up becoming the “perfect case study” for domestic corruption besetting the Islamic world.
Azeem, citing developments surrounding 1MDB, claimed that Malaysia had been betrayed not so much by its institutional traditions, but by the leadership.
Zaid said corruption happened everywhere but became a major problem when it grew from inside the government and its institutions.
“Corruption becomes difficult to overcome when it is in-house. If the government and institutions had very strong ethical values, then it would be easier.”
Commenting on another aspect of Azeem’s article, he said the “so-called Islamic countries” were Islamic in name only.
“It’s a contradiction,” he said. “If they were Islamic, they would not be corrupt. Yet, the problem with these countries is that there is always poor governance, and there are no ethical principles.”