THE fight against corruption continues with men of integrity having had to pay a heavy price. The discovery of the remains of the late DPP Anthony Kevin Morais who served in the Appellate and Trial Division of the Attorney General’s Office has brought home the reality of what it takes to eradicate this menace.
Two years ago, another senior government officer attached to the Customs Department was fatally shot on his way to work by hired killers, almost similar to the most recent incident. Both cases appear to relate to underlying issues of standing up to corruption.
It is easy to pass unflattering and hurtful comments that bribes paid in the right amounts and at the right levels would literally allow one to break the law with impunity. Government officers in particular face such disparaging remarks which are most demoralising.
The presumption that everyone has a price and the challenge is to find the right price is an insult to those serving both in the public and private sectors. We must remember that the head count inevitably includes those who serve with integrity.
Much effort has been expended in bringing those who receive bribes and guilty of corruption to face the full force of the law.
These include efforts by the officers of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers. The journey continues to be an uphill task.
Those who have had the privilege and opportunity to work with the late Anthony Kevin Morais have acknowledged his principled character and disciplined approach to undertaking his assignments, especially durng the 10 years that he worked with the MACC to prosecute cases related to corruption.
His case is similar to the case involving the senior Customs officer. It is opined by various quarters, based on current investigations and without prejudging the issue, that all it required of both of these gentlemen was to succumb to the “acceptance of bribe” culture and they would still be alive today.
What sets them apart is that both were men of integrity and honesty – a virtue which is sadly lacking among some Malaysians.
While we continue to gripe about the state of corruption in the country, we conveniently forget that those who offer bribes are equally to blame for this cancer in our society.
The building-up of the virtues of integrity and honesty, coupled with leading principled lives, is what it takes to combat corruption.
Sadly, what we have perfected is the culture of criticising the enforcement authorities for not being independent enough and not executing their duties diligently.
There continues to be the tendency to perpetuate the notion that it is acceptable to bribe as it is expected of us and will make life easy all around.
This line of corrupted thinking is an insult to our innate senses of good and evil, right and wrong. No doubt these two individuals had strong religious values.
In this respect, religious leaders should focus on inculcating positive values with respect to morality and ethical behaviour as enshrined in their respective religious doctrines. It is sad that some have taken a political stand and focused their efforts on criticising instead of nurturing values which will act as a natural defence to corrupt practices.
The death of both the above individuals should not be in vain.
Fighting corruption needs support from all quarters; not cynicism and innuendos.
We need to build up our values of integrity and honesty – this is the best and most effective way to rid our country of this scourge. Walter Sandosam Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 19 September 2015
Kevin was not just a DPP, he was family too;