Sat, 21 Feb 2004

Show support for antigraft drive with concrete action

V.K. Chin, The Star, Asia News Network, Selangor

The public is encouraged by the government's determination to wipe out graft in both the public and private sectors. However, the endorsement must be matched by giving full co-operation in this campaign.

This is the only way by which such a battle can be fought effectively and even with such unstinting support, it will still be an uphill task to rein in corruption.

This is likely to be a long-drawn affair as it is not so easy to ensure that those who indulge in this anti-social practice will change their ways soon by following the rules.

The pickings have been so easy so far that it will take much more than a few statements, or even charging those suspected of corruption, to deter the determined ones in the long term.

It will take more than strength to deal with this menace, which can undermine confidence in the system if left unchecked for too long. To keep a sustained campaign going would require lot of stamina too.

It will take more than months or even years to discourage the dishonest ones from continuing with this vice. The Government will have to be vigilant until such time when its employees will realize that it does not pay to be corrupt.

The younger generation and the idealists will always welcome any anti-corruption campaign as they believe that it is wrong to use one's office to make dirty money.

However, if they can keep up with this way of thinking as they grow older, then there is hope that the nation will be less corrupt in the future. But unfortunately, some of them may be committing the same offense which they are condemning now.

The present campaign will not go down well with some civil servants, especially those who are on the take. No doubt some of them will try to sabotage it as the campaign's success will mean less income for them.

The public can contribute positively to the anti-graft drive by providing information to the ACA, which will require such assistance in investigating such cases.

But of course the people can do even better by refusing to pay bribes to those who demand them. If they can do this, then corruption can almost be wiped out since it takes two hands to clap.