Corruption – don’t get mad, get even

When Idris Jala told Malaysians that if we continue to use the taxes we paid to defry our own living expenses in fuel, education, healthcare and what not, we will bankrupt the nation to pieces, while Khazanah dabble in foreign acquisitions like the Parkway group.

First time I hear people get bankrupt by paying taxes.

Jokes aside, it is not the rakyat that are gobbling up more than the taxes we paid.
Malaysians do not enjoy world class public amenities like well lite streets and great public transport system (bullet train, efficient buses), free tertiary education, 1st class medical service, unemployment benefits, adequate aid for the disable etc that are found in those well managed developed countries.

Reducing subsidies means the people are getting back lesser what they have paid while the gravy train goes churning on

Where did our money go? The Auditor General can tell you a story or 2, the silent and lonely PKFTZ speaks volumes echoing even among the deaf, the collapsed stadium in Terengganu may give you a hint, Tun Mahathir, Sammy V and Tun Ling might be able to share a memory or 2 (if they remember), Eric Chia, Daim Zainuddin, Ting Pek Khing, Tajuddin Ramli …. bless their soul.

All this nice sloganeering and court room drama means very little to those in desperate need. Comestic Corruption Combat echos like an empty tree stump.

RM100 or RM200 increase in cost of living may mean a lot to many who do not hold office in Putrajaya. There are those Orang Kurang Upaya in Kuala Lumpur who get RM300 a month or less from Jabatan Kebajikan, those parents who are paying more and more for their children’s formerly-free primary and secondary education expenses etc…..

Do we not have any recourse?

There is this UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC or ‘The Palermo Convention) which was opened for signature on 12 December 2000 and came into force on 29 September 2003.

Article 12 of the Convention requires a State party to adopt measures, to the greatest extent possible within its legal system, to enable confiscation of proceeds/the equivalent value of proceeds and instrumentalities of offences covered by the Convention

The Convention went on to explain as follows

Why is it needed?

1. Post-conviction asset recovery, by a confiscation or forfeiture order, is, in reality, a prerequisite for any State that wishes to address acquisitive crime (including corruption, organised crime and trafficking) effectively. Indeed, for those States that are parties to such international instruments as UNTOC or UNCAC, having in place a conviction-based system of asset recovery is a requirement.

2. The rationale is obvious: Criminalising the conduct from which illicit proceeds or profits are made does not adequately punish or deter an offender. Even if arrested and convicted, an organised criminal or other offender will be able to enjoy the illegal gains, either personally, or through their families or associates. Without post-conviction confiscation, the perception would still remain that crime pays in such circumstances and that the criminal justice system is ineffective in removing the incentive for acquisitive crime.


Do we have such recourse in Malaysia?

The answer is YES and NO

YES - we have a legislation on that;

NO - I have yet to see an enforcement, e.g. Zakaria Place been auctioned off and some poor desperate deserving people getting the hospital treatment/education/job placement assistance sought

According to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2008, and I believe was approved swiftly in the last days of Badawi's premiership:-

Forfeiture of property upon prosecution for an offence

40. (1) In any prosecution for an offence under this Act, the
court shall make an order for the forfeiture of any property which
is proved to be the subject matter of the offence
or to have been
used in the commission of the offence where—

(a) the offence is proved against the accused; or
(b) the offence is not proved against the accused but the
court is satisfied

(i) that the accused is not the true and lawful owner
of such property; and
ii) that no other person is entitled to the property
as a purchaser in good faith for valuable

(2) Where the offence is proved against the accused but the
property referred to in subsection (1) has been disposed of
, or
cannot be traced, the court shall order the accused to pay as a
penalty a sum which is equivalent to the amount of the gratification

or is, in the opinion of the court, the value of the gratification
received by the accused, and any such penalty shall be recoverable
as a fine.

Simply put
- if you are proven guilty in court, the court rampas your ill gotten gain;

- if not proven guilty but the court is satisfied, the court also rampas (not sure if this goes against the Constitution or the natural rule of justice or even ajaran agama Islam)

- if you already sold off the ill gotten gain, you pay an equivalent sum of money.

Which such powerful and seemingly rakyat first legislation, the question left is implementation as well as the integrity of the judges who have considerable discretionary power it seems.

The Bill even move beyond instances of no prosection, reads to me like that the prosection can avoid presenting a case in court and yet apply to court within 18 months to have the assets seized, subject to certain conditions. (Again, I am not too sure about the outcome if this is allowed to carry on)

Forfeiture of property where there is no prosecution for an offence

41. (1) Where in respect of any property seized under this Act there is no prosecution or conviction for an offence under this Act, the Public Prosecutor may, before the expiration of eighteen months from the date of the seizure, apply to a Sessions Court Judge for an order of forfeiture of that property if he is satisfied that such property had been obtained as a result of or in connection with an offence under this Act.

(2) The Judge to whom an application is made under subsection

(1) shall cause to be published a notice in the Gazette calling
upon any person
who claims to have an interest in the property
to attend before the Court on a date specified in the notice, to
show cause as to why the property should not be forfeited.

(3) Where the Judge to whom an application is made under
subsection (1) is satisfied

(a) that the property is the subject matter of or was used in
the commission of an offence under this Act; and

(b) there is no purchase in good faith for valuable consideration
in respect of the property,

he shall make an order for the forfeiture of the property.

(4) Property in respect of which no application is made under
subsection (1) shall, at the expiration of eighteen months from
the date of its seizure, be released to the person from whom it
was seized

Can anybody remember any high profile asset recovery cases in Malaysia? I can't recall any.

I remember hearing a comment that Bruce Lee's film was popular in the 1970's because he hit back at symbols of oppression, represented in his films by arrogant caucasians or Japanese in a bygone era, effectively a release of tension for those hard pressed Hong Kongers then.

Malaysians also need to see some kicks in the nuts at this economically challenging times.

Mahu seribu daya tak mahu seribu dalih (with desire there are thousands of enery ;without desire there are thousands of excuses)

Our neighbour has taken up the challenge, no matter how hard it is, or how bad the situaion of theirs still remain, but an example has been put before Malaysians:-

In the opinion of the Government of the Philippines, it faced a difficult task in recovering the assets on account of the highly intricate and secretive nature of the Marcos network of accounts. It was lucky to have the so-called Malacañang documents 2 to guide it to at least a part of the stolen Marcos assets. The Swiss Government decided in principle to block Marcos' assets. It mandated the Swiss Banking Commission (EBK) to ask the banks what Marcos assets they were holding. This led to a precise overview of Marcos funds/accounts. When the international mutual legal assistance request arrived, the relevant accounts were effectively blocked. They could then be compared with the information supplied by the EBK.
- Page 1 ... remember the office clean up in Selangor, Penang and Kedah after March 08 2008?

Just over 17 years after the Marcoses' flight from the Philippines, a part (USD 658
million) of the alleged Marcos billions was returned to the governmen
t. More than
20 years after the end of the Marcos presidency, many of the assets believed stolen
from the Philippines by the Marcos family have still not been returned to the
government. The latter is again said to be open to an out-of-court settlement to
finally lay the Marcos era to rest.

- page 16



    written by red1, August 09, 2010 17:43:45

    I do want to get even. I want my 20% also.
    +0 ...
    written by Angela Ooi, August 09, 2010 17:31:24

    And the Stupido Monster Analfart wonders why people keep comparing MsiaBolehBodohland to Zimbabwee????
    +2 ...

    written by Pegasus, August 09, 2010 00:29:27

    We have been been paying a lot kinds of taxes under barang naik besides real income, there is tax for purchase goods, every day cooking items, clothes, pay fines, pay land assessment, even now parrots do need license! I rather vote them out of power, rather then continued misery pay more taxes and yet they waste the tax payers money like their grandfather money especially those whom in UMNO!
    +11 ...

    written by educationist, August 09, 2010 00:18:55

    Yes, we can get even , provided PR manages to boot the UMNOputras from power, come the next general elections.
    And, and this is a very big if, PR makes it part of their election platform to go after the ill-gotten gains of corrupt public offocials.
    But, yes, this is a very tempting idea!!

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