As part of Lenten Campaign 2014, the Office for Human Development (AOHD) of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur seeks to address a social issue in Malaysia that requires a ‘justice and peace’ solution. One such pressing issue is the increasing number of corruption cases especially in the business and political sectors. Accordingly, this signature campaign is to request the Prime Minister of Malaysia to fight corrupt practices in the country at all levels.
What is Corruption?
Corruption may be simply defined as dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery for private gain at the expense of others. It happens at every level and in every place. ‘Grand corruption’ involves misusing public funds, obstructing justice or taking and giving payments in return for favours while ‘petty corruption’ includes bribes given in return for a public service, or payments to get out of trouble.
Why eradicate Corruption?
Corruption affects a country’s economic and social growth and development, especially impacting the poor community.
• It is estimated that USD 1 trillion is paid in bribes per year worldwide.
• From 2001-2010, nearly USD 6 trillion was reportedly ‘stolen’ from poor countries globally.
• Illicit outflows from developing world totalled USD 859 billion in 2010.
• Transparency International’s study showed that 50 % of corporate executives in Malaysia said they had lost a business deal due to bribery.
• In 2007, the majority of 1,800 university students interviewed felt it was acceptable to give or take bribes.
Corruption and the Church
Pope Francis condemned corruption, saying that it robs people of dignity. He said it is a “serious sin” and described it as the “spirit of worldliness.”
Scriptures say that “Corruption is driven by greed and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5), and therefore robs God of His glory and rightful place in our hearts.
Thus, it is important to bring God’s light and hope to this global and local problem – starting with our own behaviour and attitudes, and getting the Church involved, and also taking action at the highest levels. We want the Churches in Malaysia to have an impact on policies aimed at eradicating corruption.
The government has taken initiatives under the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) and National Key Result Area (NKRA) to address corruption. Some of these efforts have resulted in the:
· Enactment of the Whistle Blower’s Act in 2012
· Processing of 249 cases in the 14 corruption courts in 2011
· Publication of more than 1,000 corruption offenders on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption
Commission (MACC) website
· Improvement of the political financing framework
· Reduction by 52 % of business licenses from 761 to 375
· Signing of the Corporate Integrity Pledge by 150 companies
· Publication online of 5,200 government contracts.
However, the general perception by many Malaysians is that corruption is rampant and increasing by the day. According to the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) of the Prime Minister’s Department, it is evident that a significant number of Malaysians do not believe that the problem of corruption has improved over the past three years.
Consistent with our love for Malaysia, and as a specific ‘justice and peace’ action for Lenten Campaign 2014, the Office for Human Development (AOHD) of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese earnestly urges you to support, endorse and publicize this signature campaign. If you agree that corruption should be eradicated in Malaysia, please add your name and NRIC number to the signature campaign list.
Thank you for your informed and considered support.
Rev. Mitchel Anthony Joseph
Lenten Campaign 2014