Kleptocracy violates the human rights of all M’sians
MP SPEAKS | The United Nations observes International Anti-Corruption Day on Dec 9, followed by International Human Rights Day on Dec 10.
We are used to understanding human rights problems in Malaysia as issues of life and death, such as treatment in custody, or matters of fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression.
However, we must recognise corruption as a human rights issue. Corruption impinges on our human rights when the wealth that should be used for the betterment of the people – to improve their health, their education, their well-being – is instead diverted by powerful individuals for their own private enjoyment.
In order for corrupt politicians to cling to their ill-gotten gains, or avoid facing justice, a torrent of human rights abuses may be perpetrated by these white collar crooks.
Those who criticise their deeds may be locked up or face punishing fines; think of the abuse of Sedition Act against Malaysians who dared to speak out.
Worse still, those who threaten to expose their misdeeds may even lose their lives.
In order to escape the reach of justice corrupt politicians may compromise the very institutions of the law; judges may be coerced, attorneys-general may be sacked.
This is what kleptocrats do. They use the institutions of state to plunder the nation's wealth. In order to keep on looting they pervert the very institutions of our democracy.
1MDB is the corruption issue, the human rights issue, that is wrecking our beloved country.
Speaking on Monday at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery, the US attorney-general Jeff Sessions said that, “1MDB was created by the Malaysian government to promote long-term economic development for the benefit of the Malaysian people.”
Instead, corrupt officials used these funds to splurge on personal luxuries. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on real estate, artworks, entertainment and a yacht.
US$4.5 billion in funds were laundered through fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts across the world. Sessions concluded, “This is kleptocracy at its worst.”
Kleptocracy rests on corruption and violates the human rights of all Malaysians, and all those yet to be born, because the wealth that should be theirs has been smuggled out of Malaysia.
In Selangor, we have strived to be totally accountable to the people, to be transparent in financial dealings and to practise good governance to return the wealth of the state to the people so that they may enjoy a better future for themselves and their children.
Mohamed Azmin Ali is the Gombak MP, PKR deputy president and Selangor menteri besar.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.