Fight corruption on all fronts

IN the ongoing war against corruption, we tend to distinguish between major and minor cases, even though the principle elements are the same.

We get excited over the cases where big names and big sums of money are involved because that is an indication that the graft busters are really going after the big fish.

Smaller cases, the so-called ikan bilis, rarely excite us because we think they are too commonplace and not worth the time and resources spent to nail them.

Two cases reported last week exemplify this scenario.

The first case, which hit the front page of this newspaper, was about chartered arbitrator Yusof Holmes Abdullah being charged with soliciting RM6mil from a businessman in George Town.

Entrepreneur Datuk Siaw Teck Hwa was charged with abetting Holmes. Both pleaded not guilty.

It is reportedly the first corruption case involving an arbitrator and the arbitration community is reeling from shock that one of its practitioners has been charged with such a serious offence.

Further inside the newspaper, there was a report about a Malaysian lecturer being sacked by his university after he had pleaded guilty to corruption charges in a magistrate’s court in Perth.

Foong Tuck Cheong admitted to taking bribes of A$1,500 (RM4,340) and A$3,000 (RM8,680) to raise his students’ marks.

The RM6mil in the first case and the small sums in the second are poles apart, but the fundamental reasons for the giving and the taking remain the same to manipulate the outcome of a decision.

The Star Says.

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