Displaying items by tag: corruption

Saturday, 06 February 2021 10:36

Renew efforts to combat corruption

In the recently released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2020 by Transparency International (TI), Malaysia's rank fell to 57th position out of 180 countries.

Denmark and New Zealand occupy the top spot in the 2020 CPI, maintaining their same positions in 2019. Both countries attained a score of 88/100, indicating very low instances of corruption. It is an irrefutable fact that both nations are known for high levels of transparency in the public and private sectors.

Within the ten Asean member states, Malaysia (51 points) sits in third place behind Singapore (85 points) and Brunei (60 points). On another note, Singapore ranks third in the overall CPI, together with Finland and Switzerland.

Among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, Malaysia lags behind the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (21st spot, with 71 points), Qatar (30th spot with 63 points) and Saudi Arabia (52nd spot with 53 points).

We have to come to terms with the fact that Malaysia is struggling to reduce its corruption cases. Even as the country is preoccupied in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no respite when it comes to corruption.

In 2020, statistics from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) indicate that there were 998 cases of corruption involving public servants and the public in general. In 2019, there were 1,011 cases, and 894 cases in 2018.

Among government efforts to combat corruption was a circular on giving and receiving 'gifts'. The MACC No Gift Policy (Nov 14, 2014) was part of the circular, which forbids public officers from receiving or giving 'gifts' if they are related to his official public duty, and/or, the form, amount or worth of the 'gift' does not commensurate with the intent of the 'gift'. The objective of this policy is to prevent scenarios where 'gifts' are used as bribes and safeguard the integrity of public officers.

The National Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023, launched on Jan 29, 2019, was introduced by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to inculcate a sense of accountability and integrity within its administration.

The efforts made to combat corruption by the previous government is now continued by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government. An example of this initiative is the tabling of a political financing bill in Parliament, in line with the NACP 2019-2023.

This bill looks at local legal frameworks in terms of political funding by external entities. From here on, the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is tasked in preparing a report on the policy of political funding for the perusal and action of the government. This report is to be made available before the second meeting (of the third term) of the 14th Parliament 2021.

We will do well to remember that corruption will have an impact on a nation's economy. Malaysia needs to improve its CPI ranking for 2021 to attract more foreign investment. According to a 2020 report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Malaysia has decreased 68 per cent, totalling to a meagre US$2.5 billion.

In order to get our economy back on track, there is an urgent need to reduce corruption, if not eradicate it entirely. Those at the helm of leadership have to realise that corruption is a systemic issue.

It trickles down from the top to the bottom, where different strata of society will be adversely affected. The government's initiative to curb corruption has to address its causes rather than merely dealing with its effects.

It is the responsibility of all citizens, regardless of race, religion, and/or political affiliations, to come together in dealing with this cancer within society. There has to be renewed effort to combat corruption in all its guises; to ensure that 'integrity' is not just a word that appears in national slogans from time to time, but an actual practice in the lives of Malaysians.

Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil is Deputy CEO, International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia;

Published in: New Straits Times on Tuesday, 02 February 2021

Source NST: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2021/02/662426/renew-efforts-combat-corruption

Indeks Persepsi Rasuah (CPI) ke-23 bagi 2020 meletakkan Malaysia pada kedudukan ke-57 daripada 180 negara, turun enam anak tangga berbanding tahun sebelumnya.

Negara mencatatkan skor 51 daripada 100 untuk 2020 berbanding 53 pada 2019. Pada 2018, kedudukan CPI Malaysia naik 10 anak tangga pada kedudukan ke-61 dengan skor 47 daripada 100 mata.

Antara kriteria pengiraan indeks ini melihat kepada persoalan berkaitan rasuah sektor awam ialah amalan rasuah, penyalahgunaan dana awam, penggunaan pejabat kerajaan untuk tujuan peribadi, amalan nepotisme dalam perkhidmatan awam, kemampuan kerajaan menguatkuasakan mekanisme integriti, kewujudan undang-undang perisytiharan kewangan, konflik kepentingan diri dan peruntukan undang-undang yang mencukupi kepada pemberi maklumat, wartawan dan penyiasat.

Seperti 2019, New Zealand dan Denmark menduduki tangga tertinggi CPI pada 2020 kerana rendahnya amalan rasuah di dua negara itu dengan skor 88 daripada 100.

Pada 2019, kedua-dua negara berkenaan memperoleh skor 87 mata.

Dalam kalangan 10 negara ASEAN, Malaysia disenarai ketiga selepas Singapura (85 mata) dan Brunei (60 mata). Malah Singapura berada pada tangga ketiga dunia berkongsi kedudukan dengan Finland dan Switzerland.

Dalam kalangan negara Islam pula, Malaysia ketinggalan di belakang Emiriah Arab Bersatu (UAE) (tangga ke-21 dengan 71 mata), Qatar (tangga ke-30 dengan 63 mata) dan Arab Saudi (tangga ke-52 dengan 53 mata).

Presiden Persatuan Pemeriksaan Fraud Bertauliah Malaysia, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar memaklumkan ada banyak faktor kejatuhan Malaysia dalam CPI kali ini.

Antaranya berleluasanya amalan rasuah, ketidakstabilan politik negara, krisis dalam demokrasi, ekonomi yang lemah, kurangnya governan yang baik dan ketidaktentuan masa depan negara.

Hakikatnya, amalan rasuah masih berleluasa di Malaysia. Walaupun dalam keadaan negara dilanda pandemik, sejumlah 998 kes tangkapan membabitkan jenayah itu direkodkan tahun lalu.

Meskipun begitu, jumlah itu menurun berbanding 2019 dengan 1,101 kes, tetapi naik sedikit berbanding 2018 dengan 894 kes.

Memandangkan kes rasuah dalam kalangan penjawat awam agak tinggi, kerajaan mengeluarkan pekeliling bagi menjelaskan definisi pemberian dan penerimaan 'hadiah' yang boleh membawa maksud rasuah.

Garis Panduan Pemberian dan Penerimaan Hadiah dalam Perkhidmatan Awam melalui Pekeliling Perkhidmatan Bilangan 3 1998 menetapkan, "hadiah meliputi wang, harta alih dan tak alih, kenderaan, tambang percuma, tiket loteri, saham, kemudahan perjalanan, hiburan, perkhidmatan, keahlian kelab, apa-apa bentuk diskaun atau komisen, hamper, barang kemas, perhiasan, apa-apa pemberian, cenderamata atau apa-apa benda bernilai yang diberi kepada atau diterima pegawai itu, isterinya atau mana-mana orang lain bagi pihaknya daripada mana-mana orang dengan tiada balasan atau balasan yang diketahui oleh pegawai itu tidak mencukupi atau mencukupi".

Menurut Pekeliling itu, larangan menerima atau memberi hadiah kepada pegawai awam jika ia berkait dengan tugas awamnya, manakala bentuk, amaun atau nilai hadiah itu tidak sepadan dengan maksud hadiah yang diberi.

Larangan ini merujuk kepada subperaturan 8(1)(a) dan (b) Peraturan-Peraturan Pegawai Awam (Kelakuan dan Tatatertib) 1993 (P.U.(A) 395/1993).

Hasilnya, kementerian menetapkan dasar mengenai pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah dalam kalangan staf. Ini ditambah Pelan Anti Rasuah Nasional (NACP) 2019-2023 yang dilancarkan 29 Januari 2019 bagi memastikan ketelusan dan akauntabiliti pentadbiran kerajaan.

Ketika era pentadbiran Pakatan Harapan (PH) terdapat satu rang undang-undang (RUU) Pembiayaan Dana Politik sepatutnya dibentangkan pada 2020, tetapi kerajaan PH jatuh pada hujung Februari tahun sama.

Dalam memastikan amalan rasuah dalam kalangan orang politik juga dibendung, semasa zaman pemerintahan PH, beberapa bekas pemimpin negara didakwa di mahkamah atas tuduhan melakukan rasuah yang dikategorikan di bawah pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah untuk tujuan sendiri walaupun dikatakan ia bagi tujuan parti politik.

Langkah memerangi rasuah dalam kalangan orang politik juga digerakkan kerajaan Perikatan Nasional (PN) melalui penerusan usaha kerajaan terdahulu, supaya RUU kawal dana politik dapat dibentangkan di Parlimen sesuai NACP 2019-2023.

Cadangan ini melihat kepada dasar sumbangan politik dalam kerangka undang-undang bagi mengawal sumbangan politik seperti dinyatakan dalam 1.2.5 NACP.

Malah, usaha ini diteruskan Jawatankuasa Kira-Kira Wang Negara (PAC) bagi menyediakan laporan berkaitan dasar sumbangan politik kepada kerajaan sebelum mesyuarat kedua penggal ketiga Parlimen ke-14.

Bagi memastikan kedudukan Malaysia dalam CPI bertambah baik, usaha digerakkan kerajaan hendaklah disahut seluruh warga Malaysia.

Perancangan rapi harus dilakukan bagi menaikkan kedudukan tangga CPI bagi menarik pelaburan asing.

Laporan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu Mengenai Perdagangan dan Pembangunan (UNCTAD) 2020 dikeluarkan baru-baru ini, menunjukkan pelaburan langsung asing (FDI) ke Malaysia berkurangan dengan hanya jumlah pelaburan bernilai AS$2.5 bilion (jatuh 68 peratus).

Dalam kalangan negara ASEAN, Malaysia jauh ketinggalan berbanding Indonesia dengan jumlah pelaburan AS$18 bilion (jatuh 24 peratus).

Singapura berada pada tangga teratas dengan jumlah pelaburan AS$58 bilion (jatuh 37 peratus), Vietnam AS$14 bilion (jatuh 10 peratus), Thailand AS$11.4 bilion (jatuh 50 peratus) dan Filipina AS$6.4 bilion (jatuh 29 peratus).

Usaha kerajaan membasmi rasuah dengan pengenalan beberapa undang-udang termasuk RUU kawal dana politik amat dialu-alukan.

Peningkatan tangkapan kes rasuah membabitkan penjawat awam, orang awam dan ahli politik menunjukkan betapa seriusnya kerajaan melalui Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) menangani isu ini.

Adalah menjadi kewajipan kerajaan, orang awam dan ahli politik meningkatkan usaha bagi mencegah amalan tidak sihat ini.

Justeru, seluruh rakyat Malaysia sama ada penjawat awam, orang awam dan ahli politik mesti menjauhi amalan rasuah, musuh utama negara.

Penulis adalah Timbalan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Institut Kajian Tinggi Islam Antarabangsa (IAIS) Malaysia

Source: https://www.bharian.com.my/kolumnis/2021/02/781783/tingkatkan-usaha-perbaiki-persepsi-rasuah-negara

Isu pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah kepada penjawat awam dan ahli politik sering dibahaskan. Ia berkait rapat dengan “pulangan yang tidak sepatutnya”. Bagi penjawat awam, ia menjejaskan integriti seseorang sama ada ia bertindak berseorangan atau berkumpulan.

Kartel daging import yang kesahihan halalnya masih disangsikan kerana penipuan mereka dalam industri ini mungkin tidak berlaku sekiranya pegawai yang terlibat mengamalkan sifat integriti. Jutaan ringgit nilai kartel daging import itu menunjukkan betapa tinggi nilai sogokan “hadiah” atau rasuah mengikut kamus Suruhanjaya Pencegah Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) yang sudah bertahun-tahun bersekongkol di kalangan mereka yang terlibat. Mereka ini bukan sahaja hina di kaca mata agama malah duri dalam daging yang merosakkan keseluruhan sistem kehidupan manusia. Masakan tidak, ribuan malah jutaan orang Islam tertipu yang kononnya daging tersebut halal tetapi hakikatnya tidak.

Maka persoalannya apakah pemberian dan penerimaan “hadiah” ini juga satu amalan yang tidak menjahanamkan sesebuah institusi termasuk parti politik? Apakah “hadiah” ini tidak sama dengan “hadiah” yang dimaksudkan dalam Garis Panduan Pemberian dan Penerimaan Hadiah dalam Perkhidmatan Awam melalui Pekeliling Perkhidmatan Bilangan 3 1998?

Menurut Pekeliling Bilangan 3 1998 tersebut, “hadiah meliputi wang, harta alih dan tak alih, kenderaan, tambang percuma, tiket loteri, saham, kemudahan perjalanan, hiburan, perkhidmatan, keahlian kelab, apa-apa bentuk diskaun atau komisyen, hamper, barang kemas, perhiasan, apa-apa pemberian, cenderamata, atau apa-apa benda yang bernilai yang diberi kepada atau diterima pegawai itu, isterinya atau mana-mana orang lain bagi pihaknya dari mana-mana orang dengan tiada balasan (without consideration) atau balasan yang diketahui oleh pegawai itu yang diketahui oleh pegawai itu tidak mencukupi atau mencukupi”.

Menurut Pekeliling tersebut, larangan daripada  menerima atau memberi hadiah kepada pegawai awam sekiranya ia berkait dengan tugas awamnya. Manakala bentuk, amaun atau nilai hadiah itu tidak sepadan dengan maksud hadiah yang diberi. Larangan ini merujuk kepada subperaturan 8(1)(a) dan (b) Peraturan-peraturan Pegawai Awam (Kelakuan dan Tatatertib) 1993(P.U.(A) 395/1993. Hasilnya, kementeri-kementerian membuat polisi mengenai pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah di kalangan staf .

Ini ditambah lagi dengan Pelan Anti Rasuah Nasional (NACP) 2019-2023 yang dilancarkan pada 29 Januari 2019 bagi memastikan ketelusan dan akauntabiliti pentadbiran kerajaan. Malah semasa zaman kerajaan Pakatan Harapan (PH) terdapat satu Rang Undang-undang Pembiayaan Dana Politik yang sepatutnya dibentangkan pada tahun 2020 tetapi kerajaan PH jatuh pada hujung Februari 2020.

Semasa zaman pemerintahan kerajaan PH, beberapa bekas pemimpin negara didakwa di Mahkamah atas tuduhan melakukan rasuah yang dikategorikan di bawah pemberian dan penerimaan hadiah untuk tujuan sendiri walaupun dikatakan untuk tujuan parti politik.

Bagi mengelak amalan ini, menurut Profesor Dr Azizuddin Sani, metod untuk mendapat dana politik boleh diadaptasi dari negara lain supaya parti politik berkenaan tidak ketandusan dana. Mengambil contoh negara Jerman, Akta Parti-parti Politik memperuntukkan bahawa setiap parti politik berhak menerima dana kerajaan mengikut pecahan tertentu berdasarkan kepada jumlah undi yang diperolehi dalam pilihan raya. Dr Ainul Adzallie Hasnul pula mengambil contoh di Amerika Syarikat di mana sumbangan dana daripada mana-mana pihak termasuk dari swasta merupakan satu pendekatan yang bagus tetapi ia perlu telus supaya tiada salah laku. Pendekatan ini boleh dimajukan ke Parlimen agar satu undang-undang khusus mengenai sumbangan dana politik dapat digariskan.

Dalam hal ini, Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,  menegaskan bahawa beliau komited untuk memerangi rasuah dan akan meneruskan usaha yang dibuat oleh kerajaan sebelum ini agar rang undang-undang kawal dana politik dapat dibentangkan di Parlimen sesuai dengan Pelan Anti Rasuah Nasional (NACP) 2019-2023. Cadangan ini melihat kepada dasar sumbangan politik dalam kerangka undang-undang bagi mengawal sumbangan politik seperti yang dinyatakan dalam 1.2.5 NACP. Malah usaha ini diteruskan oleh PAC Parlimen bagi menyediakan laporan berkaitan dengan dasar sumbangan politik kepada kerajaan sebelum mesyuarat kedua Penggal ketiga Parlimen ke-14.

Keperluan kepada undang-undang kawal dana politik perlu diwujudkan segera kerana buat masa ini tiada peraturan sebegini diperuntukkan bagi ahli-ahli politik termasuk parti politik dalam mengawal selia sumbangan politik. Ketiadaan undang-undang ini boleh menyebabkan salah laku kuasa dan tiada kawalan terhadap apa yang disebut sebagai hadiah politik.

Perbelanjaan seseorang calon dalam sesuatu pilihan raya telah ditentukan dalam Akta Kesalahan Pilihan Raya 1954 (Akta 5). Seksyen 19 (1) Akta 5  menghadkan perbelanjaan RM200 ribu bagi Parlimen dan RM100 ribu bagi Dewan Undangan Negeri. Seksyen 27 (1) Akta 5 memperuntukkan hukuman ke atas mereka yang menyalahi undang-undang ini apabila disabitkan oleh Mahkamah Sesyen didenda tidak melebihi RM5 ribu dan tidak boleh didaftarkan dan disenaraikan sebagai seorang pemilih dan pengundi dalam mana-mana pilihan raya di bawah Akta 5 atau dipilih dalam mana-mana pilihan raya sehingga tamat tempoh 5 tahun dari sabitan itu. Sekiranya pada tarikh sabitan itu dia telah pun dipilih dalam mana-mana pilihan raya, kerusinya hendaklah dikosongkan dari tarikh sabitan itu.

Memandangkan Indeks Persepsi Rasuah ke-23 bagi tahun 2020 (2020 CPI) akan diketahui pada 28 Januari 2021, Malaysia menduduki tangga ke 51 dengan skor 53 mata pada tahun 2019 naik 10 tangga pada tangga  61 daripada 180 negara pada tahun 2018 dengan skor 47 mata. Perkiraan CPI ini ialah semakin kecil tangga yang diduduki semakin kurang amalan rasuah dalam negara tersebut. Negara yang kedudukan tangganya tinggi menunjukkan amalan rasuah sangat berleluasa di negara tersebut. Antara kriteria pengiraan indeks ini melihat kepada persoalan yang berkaitan dengan rasuah sektor awam ialah amalan rasuah, penyalahgunaan dana awam, penggunaan pejabat kerajaan untuk tujuan peribadi, amalan nepotisme dalam perkhidmatan awam, kemampuan kerajaan menguatkuasakan mekanisme integriti, kewujudan undang-undang perisytiharan kewangan, konflik kepentingan diri dan peruntukan undang-undang yang mencukupi kepada pemberi maklumat, wartawan dan penyiasat.

Denmark dan New Zealand menduduki tangga tertinggi CPI pada tahun 2019 kerana rendahnya amalan rasuah di dua negara itu. Skor yang diberi ialah 87 daripada 100.Kedua-dua negara ini memang terkenal dengan reputasi yang sedikit amalan rasuah di sektor awam dan swasta. Malangnya, negara yang dikatakan sebuah negara Islam, Somalia menduduki tangga terendah dengan menduduki tangga ke 180 dengan skor hanya 9 mata.  Sudan Selatan pula merupakan negara kedua terendah menduduki tangga ke-179 dengan skor 12 mata.

Ramalan bagi negara Malaysia untuk CPI 2020 akan jatuh kerana faktor ketidakstabilan politik, ekonomi yang lemah dan kurangnya governan yang baik.

Maka usaha kerajaan dalam membasmi rasuah musuh utama negara dengan pengenalan beberapa undang-udang termasuk rang undang-undang kawal dana politik amat-amat dialu-alukan. Ini kerana amalan rasuah adalah salah guna kuasa. Adalah menjadi kewajipan kerajaan dan orang awam meningkat usaha bagi mencegah amalan yang tidak sihat ini. Justeru itu, rakyat Malaysia terutamanya ahli politik dan pegawai perkhidmatan awam mestilah bertindak lebih kuat bagi mengekang amalan rasuah, musuh utama negara.

PROFESOR Madya Dr. Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil dilantik sebagai Timbalan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif di International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia

Bebas News 27 Jan 2021: https://bebasnews.my/?p=52771

Monday, 16 December 2019 09:29

Corruption should be on agenda

THE 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit), to be held from Dec 18 to 21 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, has received an encouraging response, with 52 countries confirming their attendance, and more than 400 participants, including more than 250 from abroad.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan are expected to join Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the summit, which he will chair.

Unfortunately, fighting corruption is not listed on the agenda of the summit.

It should, in fact, take the necessary steps to address flaws in the global financial system that allow the corrupt to siphon off funds from the public purse and hide the proceeds of their crimes.

Last January, Transparency International Malaysia, the global anti-corruption coalition, released its 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that drew on 13 surveys and expert assessments measuring the perceived level of corruption of public sectors in 180 countries and territories in the world.

A country’s rank indicates its position relative to other countries in the index .

The smaller the number of the rank, the less corrupt a country is perceived to be.

Based on CPI 2018, Jordan ranked 58th with a score of 49 compared with 59th with a score of 48 in CPI 2017.

Saudi Arabia ranked 49th with a score of 58, one score above its CPI 2017 ranking.

Oman ranked 53rd with a score of 52, compared with the CPI 2017 ranking of 68th with a score of 44.

Indonesia was in 89th position with a score of 38 compared with 96th with a score of 37 in CPI 2017.

The other Muslim countries’ rankings and 2018 CPI scores were: Turkey, 78th with a score of 41; Bahrain, 99th with a score of 36; Egypt, 105th with a score of 35; Kosovo, 93rd and with a score of 37; Pakistan, 117th with a score of 33; Yemen, 176th with a score of 14; Iraq, 168th with a score of 18; Sudan, 172nd with a score of 16 ; Afghanistan, 172nd with a score of 16; Syria, 178th with a score of 13, and Somalia, 180th with a score of 10.

Worldwide, Denmark stands tallest with 88 points, with New Zealand in second place with 87 points.

Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland shared the third spot with 85 points.

Among the criteria used to determine the rankings are a robust rule of law, independent oversight institutions and a broad societal consensus against the misuse of public office and resources for private interests.

The 19th-century Egyptian scholar and jurist, Muhammad Abduh, once said: “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I came back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”

Currently, corruption remains the main problem in many Muslim-majority governments.

Most of the core values of Western countries, such as transparency, integrity, accountability, freedom, human rights and justice, are universal values which do not conflict with Islam or any other religion and are even important constituents of Islamic teachings.

A country’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Thus, the countries with higher scores will rank much higher in position (as being less corrupt) compared with countries with lower scores.

It is interesting to note the trend in fighting corruption within Muslim and Muslim-majority countries.

The 2018 CPI results showed that no Muslim country ranked in the top 20 out of the 180 countries surveyed.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the 23rd place with a score of 70, topping all other Muslim countries.

Brunei ranked 31st with a score of 63, the second cleanest Muslim country followed by Qatar, which ranked 33rd with a score 62.

Malaysia is the seventh least corrupt country among Muslim nations but has moved up to the 61st spot — one notch higher than the previous year though it still retains a score of 47 points.

A study of 208 countries and territories by Professor Hussain Askari of George Washington University entitled, “How Islamic are the Islamic Countries”, showed that most countries which applied Islamic principles in their daily lives were not the ones that were traditionally Muslim.

The top countries in economic achievement and social values were New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg. Malaysia was in 33rd place, Saudi Arabia 91st and Somalia 199th, at the bottom of the list.

Hussain said we listened to religious lessons and sermons more than people of other faiths, but we were still not the best of nations.

In the last 60 years, we have listened to 3,000 Friday sermons. We must practise what we preach or hear being preached.

Since the UAE, Brunei and Qatar are seen to be the cleanest and most trustworthy of all Muslim countries, they should share their best practices to improve the CPI score and reduce corruption in other Muslim countries. Even the G20 included anti-corruption as an issue on the agenda of their summit.

It is strongly urged that Malaysia, being the chair of 2019 KL Summit, put the anti-corruption agenda at the forefront of its initiatives and play a leading role in fighting corruption in Muslim countries.

The writer holds a professorial chair at HELP University’s Institute of Crime and Criminology, and was a former president of Transparency International Malaysia

Published in: The New Straits Times, Thursday 12 December 2019

Source : https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/12/547048/corruption-should-be-agenda

Thursday, 25 July 2019 17:11

Fighting Corruption: An Islamic Perspective

Due to the numerous forms it can take, corruption escapes the idea of a comprehensive definition.

It knows no boundaries, applies to the rich and poor individuals, organisations and countries, and it is as old as human history itself.

Corruption can include bribery, unlawful gifts and donations, extortion, nepotism, buying influence, favouritism, fraud, embezzlement and the like.

They are all forbidden on the basis they seek to distort the course of justice.

Differences in interpretation of a particular hadith (words of Prophet Muhammad) on the validity or otherwise of the declaration of personal assets of government officials have recently been featured in the media.

In principle, syariah (Islamic law) accepts reasonable disagreement (iktilaf) in interpretation provided it is clear of bias and does not pursue questionable objectives.

One way to evaluate this is to refer to the higher purposes (maqasid) of syariah.

If an interpretation pursues a lawful purpose that finds support in the higher sources of syariah, it is accepted, but is set aside and rejected otherwise.

If asset declaration is meant to fight official corruption, then this is not only valid in syariah but highly recommended and meritorious.

Official corruption has undoubtedly become the bane of good governance in many present-day Muslim countries, Malaysia included.

Provided asset declaration itself is not motivated by a corrupt purpose, such as violating the privacy of others and conducting unwarranted searches to inflict harm on them, and it is intended only as a means of combating corruption, it is valid beyond doubt.

This is because all government employees have a duty to stay away from corruption.

For government in Islam is a trust (amanah) that must be faithfully observed (Quran Chapter 4, verse 58), and betrayal of trust is strictly forbidden (8:72).

The text also speaks in condemnation of corruption (fasad) and its perpetrators (mufsidun) (2:205; 26:151; 30:41).

Fighting official corruption also forms part of the Quranic principle of ‘prevention of evil’ (nahy ‘an al-munkar) which is a duty of the leader and those in charge of community affairs (uli’l-amr).

Iqbal and Lewis wrote in their (2002) work, The Islamic Attack on Corruption, that “there is zero tolerance for bribery in Islam, and Islam rejects any idea that bribery serves as ‘the grease that oils the economic wheels’.”

There is no scope either for legalising corruption in the name of commission, gift, donation, advances, soft loan, loan write-offs and the like.

Islamic history also records instances of anti-corruption measures taken by the government. The second caliph, Umar Al-Khattab, fought bribery and corruption of officials through expropriation of personal wealth accumulated during the tenure of office.

This was done to prominent figures among the Prophet’s companions, Abu Hurayrah, Amri Al-Aas, Nafi Amri, Saad Abi Waqas, and Khalid Al-Walid, the governors respectively of Bahrain, Egypt, Mecca, Kufa and Sham, among others, who were found to have accumulated wealth which they did not have prior to employment.

Some of them indulged in trading activities and careless handling of public funds.

The caliph ordered Abu Hurayrah to “take your own property and what is necessary for your living, and surrender the rest to the Baitul Mal (public treasury)”.

Amri Al-Aas was simply ordered to hand over one half of his wealth to the Baitul Mal as he had acquired goods, slaves, livestock and artifacts that he did not have before he was appointed as governor of Egypt.

Expropriation was not confined to government officials but also extended to merchants, contractors and dignitaries who conducted business with the government and accumulated disproportionate amounts of wealth.

An interesting incident on this, recorded by Abu Yusuf, involved the two sons of the caliph Umar, Abdul Allah and Ubayd Allah, who accompanied an army contingent to Iraq.

Governor Abu Musa Al-Asharı, said: “Here’s money as advance to buy goods from Iraq and then sell them in Madinah. Give the capital to the caliph and keep the profit for yourselves.”

This was agreed and the caliph’s sons made a profit. But when handing over the capital to the caliph, the latter asked:

“Does he give similar advances to everyone in the army?” The answer to this was “No”, and the caliph asked them to pay both the capital and the profit.

A man said: “O Umar, perhaps you could treat this as an instance of mudarabah on the analysis that if they had made a loss they would have been accountable.”

The caliph agreed and asked his sons to deliver the capital and only half the profit to the Baitul Mal.

Expropriation of assets of corrupt officials was eventually institutionalised under the Abbasid caliph, Ja‘far al-Mansur, when a department was established for handling expropriation matters in cases of unwarranted enrichment.

Reports also indicate that vast amounts of properties were retrieved.

The Abbasid caliph, al-Qahir, is thus reported to have expropriated the properties of the mother of his predecessor, al-Muqtadir, which raised the assets of Baitul Mal by a substantial amount.

Mohammad Hashim Kamali is founding chief executive officer of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia.

Published in: The New Straits Times, Thursday 25 July 2019

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/07/507029/fighting-corruption-islamic-perspective

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 12:34

Facing the challenges of corruption

CORRUPTION is the act of a breach of trust. The first sin of man was the breaching of trust, as told in verse 115 of Surah Thaahaa, which means: “And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination.”

The decree was contained in verse 35 of Surah Al-Baqarah, which means: “And We said, ‘O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers’.”

The oldest discovered document touching on the subject of corruption is the Arthasastra by Kautilya in India, in 300 AD. In China, in 220 AD, the Qing dynasty understood the concept of corruption, and meted out severe punishments upon those involved in corrupt acts.................Download Part One and Part Two for full article in pdf attachments (below)

 

Published in Media Articles
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 09:59

Regulate political financing

Global Movement of Moderates chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah says it is time for measures to curb political corruption in the country. He said the Malaysian Corruption Barometer 2014 released by Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) on Wednesday, which revealed among others that political parties are the most corrupt, confirmed another research done earlier, which showed that the most trusted people are doctors and the most distrusted were politicians.....................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Published in Media Articles
Saturday, 19 January 2013 16:22

Islam prohibits all forms of corruption

money

THE ongoing campaign Malaysia is waging against corruption has gained momentum.  Tunku Abdul Aziz called it an "All-Malaysian duty" in which everyone should take part, regardless of political affiliation (NST, Jan  5). I would also add that it is an All-Muslim duty and a calling on the religious conscious of   Muslims of this country to support it. Playing a proactive role in this campaign is a veritable amal (right moral action) that the Quran repeatedly impresses on   Muslims -- an act also of great social benefit that elevates the standing of the ummah and Malaysia in the international community........... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)


Published in Media Articles