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The Election Integrity Pledge calls for more integrity in the local political realm

Source: The Star
APRIL? June? Or March next year? When we have the 13th general election matters little to Transparency-International Malaysia (TI-M). More important, advocates the Malaysian Chapter of the worlds leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation, is that the people and the political candidates themselves are mentally prepared. As TI-M president Datuk Paul Low lays it down bluntly, voters need to know how to choose the right person into office and the political candidates need to know why they are standing for office. The issue of integrity is extremely important and we would like to see that people who stand for election are those who uphold this principle regardless of their political affiliation. Who we choose will affect our economic growth and prosperity in the long run, Low stresses. To push for more integrity in the local political realm, TI-M yesterday launched the Election Integrity Pledge for the upcoming 13th general election.

It is part of the bodys overall effort to safeguard the integrity of Malaysias democratic political processes by countering the abuse of entrusted political power and stemming the undue influence of money and private interests in politics.

Low highlights that Malaysias 2011 Corruption Barometer shows political parties are one of the top two agencies that are widely perceived by the public to be the most corrupt institutions.

Corruption in the political system fundamentally undermines all other anti-corruption efforts.

It also erodes peoples trust in the democratic process, says Low.

Too many politicians have been swept to power on anti-corruption platforms, only to see promises of reform replaced by grand corruption.

And how can the public trust them if elected leaders fail to comply with the laws they themselves have designed and passed, and when they show a lack of respect for oversight institutions they have established, Low argues.