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Anwar: Corruption is the 'main cancer' affecting the country, people

Publish date: Wed, 22 May 2024, 09:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Corruption is the "main cancer" affecting the country and the people on the ground, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

He said corruption has weakened the nation's economy and brought down the morale of the people.

"From the very first year, I had said we needed to put a stop to negotiated tenders and move towards an open tender system... (these are more) transparent and we avoid the practice of commission-taking, which wastes the people's money.

"There are some who ask, if it's true that corruption is still so widely prevalent... why is it action is not taken against those who are involved.

"I want to stress that there is a process. Investigations carry on, there is a court process... what is important is that this practice must be stopped.

"The process takes time and sometimes, it can be exhausting. I, myself, and many of my colleagues, sometimes feel impatient (and question) why no action has been taken against past practices, which tremendously enrich (certain quarters).

"But, let's leave things to the enforcement agencies, the prosecution teams and, finally, the judiciary," he said in a special address carried live on television and social media sites.

Anwar said space should be given to enforcement agencies such as the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and even the National Audit Department.

He emphasised the need for support and decisive action in ensuring a public service free from corruption, inefficiency and laziness.

"Maybe there are some who will not take this seriously and say these are all mere political slogans. I consider this (criticism) normal in the game of political chess.

"But, be confident, insyaAllah, that we will be able to end corruption if we act consistently, bravely and firmly from the highest level to the lowest."

Anwar cited the example of flood mitigation projects, saying an open tender process could save RM2 billion for the people.

A further RM2 billion, he said, was saved in enforcement raids against smuggling syndicates since 2017.

Anwar said it was estimated that the country had lost RM2 billion in subsidies to smuggling syndicates over the past few years.

This, he said, was why the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry had launched the nationwide Op Tiris, aimed at putting a stop to subsidised fuel smuggling.

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