Sunday, July 14, 2013
Integrity Unit in All Government Agencies...
At one time the Anti Corruption Agency or ACA as the central government agency dealing with corruption was known, was reputed to take action only on the small time law breakers - the little fries. The big sharks holding prominent positions in government or in the Malaysian society, were never brought to court. Why? Nobody knew for certain because sharks have the whole ocean to run around and hide while the ACA was only a small government agency. On becoming a full scale Commission with wide powers and investigative capacity the MACC had succeeded in recent years to pull in some big names in the government, including an ex-chief Minister. But as usual when the big fish are found guilty of a crime, the ocean of legal processes offer a lot of whirlpools and eddies to prevent them from receiving the full blast of the punitive waves. The big fish always escape from being caught and dried up in the sun like the small fries.
The Integrity Unit will offer a CCFTV effect within the agency it is set up. Provided the officers operating the Unit are really 'clean individuals' and free of any suspicion or protected against charges made by their compatriots within the same agency or outside of it, the Unit can certainly become a big scare - the fist thing in any preventive move. The second part of the scare is in the punishment accorded to those found guilty. We must take into account the general knowledge that intelligent criminals do no work alone. So, if all officers involved in a certain case were to be dismissed, government agencies might run the danger of losing many officers with every case brought up for investigation. Nevertheless, it is better to run a smaller agency with no corruption than a huge one with a lot of money going 'under the table'.
Now comes the big question. If all government officers have been cured of the disease through fear and the CCTV effect, yet corruption goes in national and international monetary transaction involving huge sums of money, whom must then be blamed? On must remember than governmental bureaucracy nowadays is not ruled by officers chosen and selected through the bureaucratic processes. Public Officials include those who come through the elective processes, elected by the people and the parties in power. Is the Malaysian public ready to take action on those that it has elected into power if they are found to be guilty of corruption? Especially when the legal processes are so intricate that the public cannot understand how the legal department works,such that many suspected officials cannot be brought to court for lack of 'substantial evidence'.
Clearly, integrity is an ethical thing. A crime against it cannot be enforced just at the agency level. It must be enforced at the national level involving officers both selected and promoted through the bureaucratic processes as well as those installed through the elective processes at both the State and party level.