|Najib: Look beyond politicians, civil servants in tackling graft|
|Politics & Government 2012|
|Written by Tarani Palani of fz.com|
|Friday, 05 October 2012 14:43|
KUALA LUMPUR: The problem of corruption goes beyond merely prosecuting crooked public officials and politicians but extends to the core values of society, the prime minister said yesterday.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said people instinctively think of instances of abuse of power by government representatives when the subject of corruption is raised. This mindset, he said, must be changed. Societal values that promote selfishness and greed are equally responsible for perpetuating the problem.
“I am convinced it is this vapid self-interest and greed which is truly at the heart of that phenomenon we call corruption... Because I believe that if we see corruption as fundamentally a moral problem, anything that promotes selfish interest at the expense of the well-being of others is morally wrong,” he said in his speech when opening the 6th
International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities Conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
He added that cultivating appropriate social norms and values is important in the “war against corruption”.
Speaking to around 1,500 delegates yesterday, Najib said an ideal, effective system to tackle corruption must include a revamp of social values.
Quoting Indian nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Najib said a system of incentives and punishments alone ire not sufficient to tackle the problem.
Najib said a reprimand system based on incentives will only result in individuals performing based on who gives them the most rewards. A system which hands out severe punishment, on the other hand, may not be entirely effective as a means to tackle the problem.
“We must look at the bigger picture to see how we can instill a natural abhorrence of corruption into the very conscience of society,” he said adding that this must be done in addition to current efforts to curb corruption.
Anti-corruption experts from 181 countries are attending the four-day international conference, themed Technical Assistance and Information Exchange.
Najib contributed RM1 million to the International Anti-Corruption Academy for its various endeavours.