Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall ... Who is the most corrupt of them all?

On June 3rd, The Star publised a survey result on Malaysians perception of corruption. The Star and Malaysia Insider report is publised at the end of this posting.

To quote from The Star report, Transparency International (TI) found below:

According to Transparency International’s 2009 Global Corruption Barometer, 42% of Malaysians viewed political parties, regardless of faction, as the most corrupt, followed by the civil service (37%), private sector (12%), judiciary (5%), legislative (4%) and media (1%).
A few observations can be made out from this quote.

In my personal view, the result of this survey does not reflect an educated and knowledgable sampling. If TI could get themselves a magic mirror and chanted, "Mirror, mirror on the wall ... who is the most corrupt of them all?", the magic mirror would answer, "None of the above."

All those answers are too general a description. In my book, it is not the politicians, civil servants, judges, etc.

The most corrupt are them corporate boys!

Since we are dealing with perception, it should be understood that the public forms the perception from the media, the frontline services, whisper and rumours spreading amongst the population, etc. Without the right information, it is natural for them to arrive to the conclusion that 42% of the public believe politicians and political parties, from both side of the divide, as most corrupt.

However, there is a contradiction. Only 4% believed that the legislative are corrupt. Does the public sampled by TI capable of distinguishing between politician and legislature? Politicians encompasses the executives, legislatures, party position holders, activist, party workers and perhaps non-member party volunteer.

To say that political parties as most corrupt, can the public differentiate the politicians with power and authority to undertake the act of corruption and those without?

Hardly 0.1% of people associated with political parties are in position of power and authority. How many out of 3 million UMNO members could be positioned as legislature, executive, local council, special committees, and appointees in government companies and agencies?

So they say that those with access to contacts and people in position are able to gain from corrupt act. That only means there are other parties involved and not the politicians per se. It could perhaps be a Minister or Exco member. For the Minister or Exco or other "politicians" to do the corrupt act, they need cooperative civil servants.

The portion of the public that viewed the civil service as corrupt is 37% but the portion viewing the private sector as corrupt is 12%. The difference is strange. The civil servant has the power but it takes the ways and means of the private sectors to make the corrupt act happen and to pay off politicians and civils servants.

The blast from the past should remind us that if it had not for the towkey enticing and dangling carrots for civil servants and politicians, they would not have turned corrupt. ALso, the businessmen and corporations get the choice meat but civil servants and politicians only get the bone soup.

The bulk of the bounty from corruption by private sectors and civil servants goes into their own pocket. For most of the politicians, it is to be funneled into their community and party activities. This is not denying that some politicians do evolve to an unnatural progression into richness and luxury.

Is the public reasonable and rationale in their corruption perception?

None of the survey categories were precisely zeroing on the right categories. Private sector is a describe as a broad segment that basically covers anything that is not political parties, civil servants, legislature, media, and judiciary.

Definately beyond the knowledge of the common folks are the corrupt act of corporate boys in the public listed companies, financial institutions, proxy shareholders, heading and board members of government linked companies, professionals, etc.

They are the crafty group with magic tricks capable of disappearing money by the billions.

Under the name of enhancing shareholders value, corporate boys are part of bulldozing of decisions at the detriment of minority shareholders by the majority shareholders.

Bank's top management can be heartless in imposing unreasonable conditions on entrepreneurs, vindictive in their persecution of common businessman and eager to send common folks to the poor house. With them corporate boys, they give them so much leeway. Simply because of the presence of Tan Sris and Datos. It doesn't matter that they are the biggest loan defaulters.

The exteriors of them corporate boys are most deceiving. Corporate boys are educated and good boys who attend to their school. They start work in professional field. For all intent purposes, they look honourable and respectable. They get Datoship with ease and the titles open more doors to the corridors of power.

Good boys may seem like wimp. They do fuck.

When they "fuck" a company, the "fuck" big time. The manner they skim off money from their own companies transactions and coffer is masterly, elaborate, and goes undetected. It is not easy for the not as bright police commercial crime division to investigate. In some cases, the Securities Commission cover them up.

Everything is usually done legally according to the due process, backed with proper documentations, and justified by professional second opinions and certified reports. Part of the modus operandi is nevertheless abuse of power, collusion, manipulating figures, intentional mistakes, political threats, use of gangsters, etc.

If the public feels Merchant Bankers and Investment bankers are respectable as your neighbourhood banker because they dressed up nice to work, they are wrong.

They do advise their corporate clients how to evade tax, legalise something illegitimate, cleansing dirty money, hide problems from being known by company stakeholders, and many other unsavory tricks.

Inspite of all the slimy shit that they do, corporate boys maintain their kaki among politicians, legislature, civil servants, judiciary, bankers and securities authority. This is to protect them in case if things go wrong.

For those corporate boys in government linked companies, they are as good as untouchable. They do all the shit but the politicans get the blame.

Politicians can get elected out, shortened their term in office, and shamed into resignation, but corporate boys in this country are seldom reprimanded for their wrongdoings. One hardly hear corporate boys or members of the board of directors resigning, if not en bloc, for bungling a transaction.

Some corporate boys are as described by the Malay nursery rhymes, "Enjit enjit semut, siapa sakit nik atas." There are those that get promoted even if they had fumbled big time.

Like a den of thieves, corporate boys protect each other. It is part of the comradeship of old boys of school chum, varsity mate, old fraternities, and former colleagues.

Put corporate boys to head powerful government economic agencies and in no time, they become instant corporate player amassing PLCs. What took the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong most of his life to build, these corporate boys can build it in just few years.

This blogger personally witnessed a former official of an economic recovery agency meeting with regularity shady chacters at an isolately located restaurant of a hotel. After few years in that position, he resigned to hold a majority stake in new market darling public listed companies. He now owns a private jet which he does not necessarily need.

One GLC top official used to be shareholders of a consultancy company. When he attain the position of undisputed power and influence, he conveniently get a bank to buyout his former consultancy firm. How do one value a firm when its asset is only specific people. Why can't the Bank offer them a lucrative contract instead of buying the firm?

He will not get caught. He is most likely not a shareholder anymore and have sold it. It is not easy to make a case against proxies. Observe, after he resigned from his present position. Will he suddenly own a big chunck of a PLC? Will he suddenly live a lavish life later?

For all the rhetorics spewed by Pakatan Rakyat, one of their Menteri Besar is a corporate boy.

The public can perceive all that they want. Corporate boys are not being called as korporat for nothing.

Mirror mirror on the wall ... let me tell ye, the most corrupt of them all are the corporate boys!


Survey: Political parties the most corrupt

The Star, June 3rd, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians perceive political parties as the most corrupt institution in the country followed by the civil service, according to a survey.

Meanwhile, 67% of Malaysians said they were unconvinced with the Government’s efforts to tackle corruption, calling their actions ineffective.

This was in stark contrast to the 74% of Indonesians who felt their government was effective in combating corruption.

According to Transparency International’s 2009 Global Corruption Barometer, 42% of Malaysians viewed political parties, regardless of faction, as the most corrupt, followed by the civil service (37%), private sector (12%), judiciary (5%), legislative (4%) and media (1%).

The survey also showed that 9% of Malaysians paid bribes in the last 12 months, compared to 29% in Indonesia and 6% in Singapore.

TI Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said more needed to be done to change the local public’s perception of corruption.

“It is a matter of political will. For example, the public still view political parties as most corrupt because of money politics and the lack of disclosure of political funding and financial statement.

“We must eliminate money politics and disclose where the funding comes from.

“In Indonesia, the public perceives their government’s anti-corruption actions as effective as there is a breakthrough in the fight against corruption,” he said when revealing the report yesterday.

Low said half of Malaysian respondents said they were willing to pay more to buy from a corrupt-free company. On the civil service, Low commended the Government for making the delivery service more efficient through Pemudah but called on further reduction of bureaucratic red tape.

More than 73,000 people in 69 countries were surveyed between October last year and February this year including 1,236 Malaysians.

Globally, 29% of respondents viewed political parties as most corrupt, followed by civil servants 26%, legislature (16%), private sector (14%), judiciary (9%) and media (6%).

Malaysians say politicians the most corrupt lot

By Shannon Teoh, Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — We may have voted them into office but the truth of the matter is, we don't think very highly of our politicians.

Malaysians believe that politicians are the most corrupt group, according to a global survey by anti-graft body Transparency International (TI).

In the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB), 42 per cent of Malaysians said that political parties are the most corrupt institution, followed closely by the civil service at 37 per cent.

They are also not optimistic that graft will be curbed as two-thirds of Malaysians have no faith in the government's efforts to fight corruption.

TI Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said that this was due to the fact that the public had no idea how political parties were funded.

"Corruption in politics is the mother of all corruption. Nobody knows how they are funded. They need to eliminate money politics as well as disclose their sources of funding," he said, adding that changes in electoral laws as well as compulsory audits would be needed to reverse public perception.

However, he felt that the results may not be accurate as the survey was conducted three months ago, amid speculation of monetary inducement that resulted in the Perak political crisis as well as vote-buying in the Umno party polls.

Low also called for better accessibility to information regarding government contracts and concession agreements as well as reviewing the Official Secrets Act as "these are not strategic interests" which could compromise national security.

Malaysia regularly scores close to five out of 10 on TI's Corruption Perception Index and last November's results left it ranked 47th out of 180 countries.

Despite the move to give further powers to the national anti-graft squad when it was converted from the Anti-Corruption Agency to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), 67 per cent of Malaysians still feel the government has been ineffective in dealing with corruption.

While Low said it was still too early to judge the MACC, he acknowledged public perception was that it practised selective prosecution and must instead "take the big fish along with the small fish." TI Malaysia would also attempt to conduct a public poll on its performance later this year.

Meanwhile, of Malaysians polled, only 9 per cent admitted to paying a bribe in the last 12 months, slightly below the global average of 13 per cent. Low noted that while three out of 10 Indonesians admitted to bribery, three-quarters felt their government has been effective in fighting graft.

"We can see that the Indonesian president has become more popular so it shows people value the intergrity of politicians," he said, referring to surveys showing Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's popularity has increased ahead of this year's presidential elections.

Globally, political parties were considered by 29 per cent to be the most corrupt followed by the civil service at 26 per cent, while on average, 56 per cent felt their governments had not tackled graft well.

Also, respondents indicated an 8 per cent increase in the perception that the private sector is corrupt. Low said that companies should take heed to the fact that 50 per cent of Malaysians said they would prefer to purchase from "corruption-free" companies.

"The private sector should introduce anti-bribery and whistle-blowing policies as well as integrity agreements," he suggested.

He also said that while he was disappointed that Malaysia has not improved its corruption index for over eight years, he was encouraged by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statements on graft so far as it was early days yet in his two-month-old administration.

Low said that TI Malaysia has been consulted by the government many times before and he would be submitting a copy of this year's GCB, its sixth edition and the first with Malaysian participation, to Najib and was hopeful of further discussions with the government on the matter.


Anonymous said...

A Voice:

All too true. It's usually the korporat boys that get away with murder. We really can't separate politics from business in Malaysia. Most of our projects are PFI and to get into the pants of the private sector, the government will have to play to the tune of the korporat boys.

My suggestion? We need a bigger private sector so that the government has a choice to pick the least korap of the korporat boys.

Kudos for bringing up the discrepancy in the figures.


bro brotherhood, said...

As-Salam Bro Voicey, on!,..ur time,..cudn agree more or ur article,.. dis is how d game is played,.. keep on exposing fer d sake of Malaysian,..heheh,..wat else can I say,..(,")

Husin Lempang said...

Your article could have been completed by naming a few sample.
And all said and done, none will ever top the keparat boys evolving into instant politician. One of infamy was nabbed last march, if not he could have gone on to become top echelon politician. Sigh of relief there...
And some of the bastards haram jadah master corrupters are even buying doctorates from some shady higher learning institution.
Even Doc M laments whether certificates fits for future employment requirements judging at how easily they are obtained nowadays.
On the political front, UMNO needs to to get rid of those pretentious but unintelligent aliens marauding as ketua pemuda, timbalan ketua pemuda, G2 etc, ... majority of them are part of the gang 304.
It is in the hand of this few that democrazic Malaysians trust their fate upon. OMG Let us pray ...

Avid reader of ABITW

Anonymous said...

Very impressive. Najib must act fast before the rakyat wake up. I propose Voice as corporate whip or chairman of PAC. Anybody second ?

Stim said...

Sdr A Voice,

You are quite correct in your observation, but its perhaps a misconceived perception that the civil service is more corrupt than the corporate sector.

I think anybody who works in a local firm quickly finds out that business ethics is lacking over here. Even small time purchasing managers can put away a small fortune by charging a 'fee' for their service. Imagine if one was in charge of an entire debt restructuring exercise, whats a RM 4 m payout for reducing your debt by RM 14 m, i.e. a net reduction of RM 10 m for free.

The answer has to do with 2 words:
Crony Capitalism.

I would like to offer a solution, but the problem is the solution was locked up by a tyrant in 1998. So eventhough we will be stuck hearing about corporate malfeasance, and the rich will get richer as the poor get poorer, we can always let off steam at your blogspot

Husin Lempang said...

A Voice,

below is good samples of those who sincerely think that Anak Mama should not be KP Umno.

Gang 304, RM30k (instead of a penny)for your thoughts????

Anonymous said...

Stim, would like to hear your suggestion.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Voice said...

Anon 12:02

Just say UMNO enough la. No need to call me names.

Hope you are absolutely right coz 1-year old Pakatan Rakyat have their stories too.

They do learn fast :)

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