PETALING JAYA: Everyone, including professionals involved in government projects, has a role to play in combating corruption and the abuse of funds, a political analyst said.
Bridget Welsh of the University of Nottingham Malaysia said professionals such as accountants, lawyers and consultants played important roles in safeguarding public funds that are allocated for government projects.
“I think professionals can play a more active role in self-regulating in these areas to make sure the gates stay locked.
“1MDB would not have happened without those (professionals) who allowed it to happen,” she said during an anti-corruption forum at Universiti Malaya (UM), which was organised by the Agora Society.
Other speakers at the forum were PKR’s Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung and Aira Azhari, a senior manager at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
Welsh said the hardcore poor and the B40 group were the biggest victims of corruption, as funds meant to empower these segments of society were taken away from them.
“Ironically, they are also among those who support corruption because they need the election ‘handouts’ as they have no other mechanisms (to get money),” she added.
Meanwhile, Lee said the middle-income group had a role to play by speaking out against graft and reporting such cases to the authorities.
Since the M40 were considered more financially stable, the PKR communications director said, they were less likely to bow to extortion or tolerate corruption.
Citing an example of how the corrupt worked, Lee said several residents in his constituency had previously claimed they had been “asked” by certain officers in the local council to appoint certain firms for home renovations for the plans to be approved more quickly.
“Such messages were always given in a subtle manner. There is no compulsion, but after a while, (if we don’t speak out) we might think it’s okay,” he added.