Fighting for zero corruption
By Patricia Hului
Building financial literacy is an important step in combatting corruption, stressed panellist Syed Nizamuddin Sayed Khassim during the one-day Anti-Corruption Seminar for Youth on Nov 5.
The Youth Parliament Malaysia member was speaking to a crowd of 50 or so undergraduate students at the seminar themed ‘Together we fight for zero corruption’ organised by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) in collaboration with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“It is normal for you to want something but you must achieve it the right way. Always bear in mind that poor financial literacy can lead to bankruptcy,” said Syed Nizammudin, who is now pursuing his postgraduate studies in Masters in Public Administration at Universiti Malaya.
He also cited how the Singapore government offered competitive salary to its civil servants, explaining that “with higher pay, there is no space for corruption.”
When asked if he still believed in the country’s current system in fighting corruption during a QnA session, Syed Nizammudin answered in the affirmative, adding that “we need to give a chance for the system to prove itself to be working.”
Meanwhile, MACC superintendent Mohamad Azhar Abang Mentari spoke on the role of the anti-graft agency in his talk, saying that “people sometimes misunderstood what we are doing at MACC – our role is to investigate but not act as a prosecuting authority or judicial body.
He explained that corruption could be combatted with the full cooperation of the public, urging people to come forward if they encountered any cases of corruption.
“We would not able to do our job without the help of the public. The public can personally come forward to the nearest MACC office or ring a toll free number at 1800 88 6000.”
The public can also log on to www.sprm.gov.my or write a snail mail to MACC, Peti Surat 6000 even without a stamp.
Meanwhile, MACC Sarawak chairman Datuk Badrul Shah Norman said that the agency aims to increase its public confidence ratings from 65.8 per cent last year to 80 per cent this year.
“Fighting corruption is not easy work but requires the help of all parties, especially members of the public,” Badrul said during the closing ceremony , describing corruption as an epidemic which can spread throughout the community.
“There are many challenges we face in MACC, including gaining the trust of the public,” he said, adding that MACC needed more proactive effort to fight corruption.
“With that, anti-corruption education is important to instil especially through seminar like this,” he said.
The event held at Batu Lintang Teachers Training Institute (IPGBL) included a panel discussion featuring youth members of Azam including Syed Nizammudin, head of The Anti Corruption Secretariat in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Sia Ka Hong, chairman of Anti Corruption Malaysia Foundation Sarawak (YARM) Muhammad Afiq Rahim and chaired by Azam Integrity Ambassador Khabiruddin Pulaver.
The programme also featured a group dynamics session which had youths producing short films and creating publicity posters on fighting corruption as well as role-playing in sketches centered on anti-corruption.
The seminar was the second in a two-part series of anti-corruption activities under the MACC-AZAM collaboration this year. The first event was a forum attended by NGOs held here on May 24.
Also present during the event was Azam general manager Rosalind Misieng.