Global anti-corruption movement, the Transparency International (TI), which is starting its annual meeting today in Putrajaya, calls on the Malaysian government to respect the right of civil society to demonstrate peacefully against corruption.
The anti-graft body in a statement issued on Saturday by its media office and signed by Chris Sanders, noted that this is in line with Article 13 of the United Nation Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which explicitly calls for civil society participation in anti-corruption efforts: “Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations, in the prevention of and the fight against corruption and to raise public awareness regarding the existence, causes and gravity of and the threat posed by corruption.”
“People everywhere should have the right to peacefully demonstrate, without provocation and without fear of reprisal,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International. “The government of Malaysia should listen to the concerns of its people.”
The government has so far failed to tackle the corruption scandals it faces and people in positions of responsibility are acting with impunity, most notably over allegations concerning the prime minister. The recent removal of the Attorney General and the ongoing manipulation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have turned the clock back on fighting corruption in Malaysia.
Transparency International calls on the government to mandate independent investigations and to hold accountable all those who are found guilty, irrespective of their positions.
Further, Transparency International calls on the government to ensure that the MACC and the Attorney General are allowed to carry out their work without government interference.
“The government is trying to control the news. Malaysia needs robust right to information laws. In addition, the MACC must be allowed to carry out independent investigations. This will help restore faith in the government and in the MACC.
“Only when corruption is tackled will you have the means to help society flourish and build needed schools and hospitals,” said Ugaz.
From 2nd – 4th September, the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), jointly hosted by the Government of Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Transparency International Malaysia will take place in Putrajaya.
The IACC brings together more than 1000 anti-corruption activists from around the globe to discuss ways to fight corruption.