Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr. Tun Mahathir Mohamad has had much to say about corruption in his country lately, from declaring in a television interview October that corruption is a thing of the past, to saying last week that corruption has become part of Malay culture and that those who participate in it do not care at all for the future of the country.
Today, Dr. Mahathir talked about corruption again. After the launch of the “Empowering Local Councils” convention at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, the Prime Minister spoke to the media.
He said, “At present, it (corruption) is very, very low. We have not really received reports about corruption since the new government took over.
As you know, in the old government, all talked of government corruption.”
At one point he was asked if new statistics regarding corruption had been released lately, and the Prime Minister simply replied in the negative. “No,” he told reporters.
Dr. Mahathir did acknowledge, however, that acts of corruption may still be going on, but undetected.
His words today echoed his sentiments a few months ago, when he said in an interview that was broadcast live, “We don’t hear about corruption anymore. People can deal with the government without having to pay bribes.
And if we go abroad, no one asks us what’s going on in our country anymore. This is because when we replaced the (previous) government we also curbed corruption.”
Fighting corruption was one of Mahathir’s campaign promises when he ran for office in this year’s elections, which were held last May, pointing the finger at his predecessor, Najib Razak, for the country’s considerable debts, as well as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund scandal.
The Prime Minister also said in the interview that his government’s endeavors to combat corruption have been effective. “Corruption is almost no more as there is a fear of the law. This is a major success, we don’t get government officers looking to make profits through corruption.”
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