Slain DPP Morais is first anti-corruption award winner

Indonesian anti-corruption agency officer Novel Baswedan (left) and Richard Morais, brother of murdered DPP Anthony Kevin Morais (right), after receiving the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion 2020 Award from Dr Mahathir Mohamad. With them are National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption director-general Abu Kassim Mohamed. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Slain deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais was today named the first recipient of the Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion 2020 Award by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Murdered in 2015 while investigating a corruption scandal, Morais was found stuffed inside a sack and cemented in a drum, which was then dumped into a swamp in Subang Jaya.

The award, handed out by the newly launched Perdana International Anti-Corruption Champion Foundation (PIACCF), is meant to recognise the sacrifices officials have made in the fight against corruption.

Novel Baswedan, an officer with Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency who is partially blind from acid thrown on him during the course of an investigation in 2017, is the award’s other recipient.

“Tonight we are here to honour two brave officers who have paid heavy prices in their efforts to combat corruption,” said Mahathir.

Anthony Kevin Morais was murdered in 2015 while investigating a corruption scandal.

“Indeed, there are many other brave officers who had suffered in upholding their integrity. The awards to Mr Morais and Mr Baswedan symbolise our appreciation of all of them,” he added during PIACCF’s launch at a hotel here.

PIACCF is responsible for the International Anti-Corruption Champion Fund, which acts as a support system for anti-corruption officers who have been victimised and subjected to persecution in the line of duty.

Malaysia has contributed RM500,000 to the fund which is open to former heads and officials of anti-corruption agencies who have been victims of unfair dismissals, threats or intimidation – both against them or their families.

The fund is also meant to implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), in particular to provide protection to anti-corruption agency practitioners from abuse and arbitrary action by their respective governments.

“We know that combating and exposing corruption is very dangerous and the world has witnessed many of those who attempted to do so pay dearly, even with their lives,” said Mahathir.

“Obviously, those who involve themselves in corruption are rich and powerful, and their objectives are for more power and wealth – and they have the means and resources to punish and stop those who attempt to put an end to their shenanigans.

“We are here to tell the world that all the anti-corruption officers who had paid heavy prices in the course of their duty are our champions and our heroes.”