We are all familiar with petty corruption in our everyday lives, but what is this grand corruption we have been hearing about?
This is the definition provided by Transparency International:
Grand corruption consists of:
– acts committed at a high level of government
– that distort policies or the central functioning of the state
– enabling leaders to benefit
– at the expense of the public good.
How do you translate grand corruption in Malay to convey the serious and scale of the theft of funds. When I asked this question over Twitter, I received the following suggestions: rasuah besar, rasuah unggul, ibu segala rasuah, datuk segala rasuah…
TI president Jose Ugaz gives us three examples of grand corruption:
If we see what’s happening in the region, we will see a very difficult panorama. I’m coming from Panama. The former president of Panama, who just left the government, and is now being investigated, has taken at least 1.2bn dollars from the public budget. Investigations are on-going, and probably this will scale up to five billion dollars stolen by that government.
If we see what’s happening in Argentina, this government and the past ones (Menem and others), have been always questioned for corrupt practices and stealing money from the people.
Brazil – I just mentioned the Petrobras scandal, but Brazil has been going from one scandal to another. More than 12 ministers had to resign in the past two years because of corruption.
And of course, Ugaz claimed recently the RM2.6bn ‘donation’ had all the elements of ‘grand corruption’.
TI also has a definition for political corruption.
Political corruption is:
– a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure
– in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers
– who abuse their position
– to sustain their power, status and wealth.
According to Ugaz, corruption needs to be fought because:
– it undermines development.
– it is not only a moral issue; it has an impact on economy and
– because of corruption, people have less education, less access to water, and less access to health and housing.
How many billions of ringgit in Malaysia have been lost due to political corruption and grand corruption – on top of the illicit outflow of funds from the country totalling over RM1 trillion over the last decade?