PH lacks urgency to tackle culture of political patronage, says C4

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel says what’s more worrying is ‘the behind-the-scenes collusion with business personalities and wealthy persons, in an apparent move to push profits at all costs’.

PETALING JAYA: The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has yet to act on several institutional reforms that are important for combating corruption and promoting good governance.

C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said PH lacked the urgency to address the culture of political patronage, citing an increase in mega development projects which threatened the well-being of the people and the environment.

“More worrying is the behind-the-scenes collusion with business personalities and wealthy persons, in an apparent move to push profits at all costs, and generate revenue for our struggling economy.

“This wheeling and dealing directly goes against Promise 39 of the PH manifesto in particular and has been captured by the C4 documentation team on numerous cases across Malaysia,” she said in the anti-graft group’s report on PH’s progress on institutional and political reforms.

She said a meeting with several civil society groups also revealed that the trend of corruption and bad governance seemed to be driving the public-private partnership ecosystem.

She added that the combination of business and politics was still a major problem, leading to money politics and profit being prioritised over the well-being of people.

Cynthia said PH’s failure to enforce concrete systems to ensure transparency and accountability in business and politics meant that “business players and those in positions of power” had the ability to influence Putrajaya’s economic agenda.

She also slammed the opposition bloc for failing to play its role to provide checks and balances, saying they were more interested in racial politics.

“It is imperative that the government revisits its vision and commitment, which are urgently needed to fully implement the institutional and political reforms crystallised in the respective national policies.

“This is key to regaining the people’s trust and putting the reform agenda back on track.”