Hornbill Unleashed

October 4, 2014

Stop being in denial, pay gap causes graft, Perak Sultan tells Putrajaya

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Sultan Nazrin Shah, said that Putrajaya must tackle income inequality as it is the root of poverty and corruption. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 1, 2014.MUZLIZA MUSTAFA

Putrajaya must stop being in denial about wealth inequality and realise that hardship and poverty are also fuelling corruption, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, said today.

In a speech, he cited figures that showed the low earnings of a vast majority of households and noted that those struggling to make ends meet were exposed to petty corruption.

The sultan’s speech at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) 47th Anniversary event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today follows debate over Putrajaya’s recent announcement that average household incomes have surpassed RM5,900.

While noting that corruption was present among high-ranking officials in public and private sectors due to greed, the sultan mentioned the struggle of those in the lower-income groups who wanted to avoid corruption by taking up second jobs to sustain their families.

This will eventually affect their productivity at their workplace, he added.

“This is the reality. The number of them will increase if the effective formulas to address housing, transportation and medical assistance are not introduced. The country has to wake up and realise what is happening.”

He cited the New Economic Model report which showed that 80% of households earned less than RM5,000 a month, and of this, 40% were earning less than RM2,000 a month.

The data also showed that 78.6% of Employees Provident Fund account holders were those earning less than RM3,000 a month.

While investment power among majority Bumiputera was manifested in the Amanah Saham Bumiputera, 75% of account holders only had an average of RM611 in savings.

Sultan Nazrin said the data was worrying given Putrajaya’s efforts to be a high-income nation with a target of RM48,000 income per capita by 2020.

He said the situation was like a disease that needed serious treatment.

“This is not a temporary sore throat which can be cured by taking a Strepsil. This is a serious social illness that needs intensive treatment from ‘social doctors and surgeons’ to structure a comprehensive and holistic social policy.”

He said besides the low-income group, corruption was also prevalent among high-ranking officials in the private and public sectors because of greed.

Sultan Nazrin said this group of people led wealthy lifestyles and were sleek in committing graft. They are also smart by associating themselves with top-ranking officers.

To tackle this, Sultan Nazrin said MACC needed to be firm and non-selective in carrying out its duty.

“Act firmly and being non-selective is a must. It is not an option.”

The sultan said this was one way to combat corruption while another was to have proper preventive measures and come up with measures to educate and increase integrity.

He said the government had enough past examples which it could use as a reference and motivation to act against the corrupt without fear or favour.

He took an example of a case several years ago where a magistrate was fired because of corruption.

Another case involved a former Perak menteri besar who resigned in February 1970 after it was revealed he had more than RM1.1 million in his bank accounts. At least one third of it was later confiscated.

Sultan Nazrin also said in the same year, a Terengganu menteri besar was instructed to take two months’ leave over graft allegations and in September 1970, a minister was asked to step down from his ministerial post because of alleged corruption.

He said Malaysia was not the only country facing corruption problems as other Asian countries like China, India, Japan and the Philippines were also affected and tainted by graft.


  1. We must have no fear or favour. If it is wrong we have to deal with it appropriately. No fear of being sideline by our superior or politicians. MACC must be seen as being fair, effective and also impartial.

    Comment by Ali bin Abu — October 6, 2014 @ 9:08 AM | Reply

  2. They are many little Napoleons in civil service who act like civil servant and live like businessmen. They are the agents for leakages in our economy. The PM must have the will to stop this.
    Learn from Indonesia. They performed better than us.

    Comment by Ali bin Abu — October 6, 2014 @ 9:01 AM | Reply

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