Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Forget Not...

My Diploma in Business (DIBS) students are organizing ‘Forget Not Christmas’ in December; the ticket is priced at RM10. And SNHU students have been invited to put up a performance. Well…?

Newspapers this morning have reported that Malaysia’s ranking on the corruption perception index (CPI) has declined – backsliding to 56th position this year from 47th last year, out of 180 countries surveyed. (e.g. The Sun, p 1; The Star, p 12; New Straits Times, p 10; and The Malay Mail, with a pathetic 2-line mention on page 9).

We do not need to read Transparency International’s press release posted November 17 to know that “when essential institutions are weak or non-existent, corruption spirals out of control and the plundering of public resources feeds insecurity and impunity. Corruption also makes normal a seeping loss of trust in the very institutions and nascent governments charged with ensuring survival and stability”.

Turning to Asia, TI noted that the global financial crisis and political transformation in many Asian countries last year “exposed fundamental weaknesses in both the financial and political systems and demonstrated the failures in policy, regulations, oversight, and enforcement mechanisms”. These factors contributed to a drop in the scores of 13 countries, and a reduction in the number of nations that scored above 5 in this year’s index.

When we examine Malaysia’s own performance, we see how pervasive and widespread corruption is – hence it is not surprising to see the decline in Malaysia’s score from 5.1 to 4.5. Who will cleanse this country of this abomination that is spreading like cancer in our much-maligned society? Who has the political will to exorcise the demons of corruption from our midst? Dare we summon our individual and collective courage? Shall we do battle to defeat this nefarious enemy called corruption? Do you still have faith in BN?

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