A Synthetic Gift That Poisons Civilisation
Giving a gift to show appreciation is a norm in business relationships particularly among Malaysian. However, a gift may be a deadly poison that potentially collapses a country and civilisation. This is true in the case of an authority who receives a gift for favour of doing something against entrusted responsibility and beyond truth or justice.
Five Roman classic poisons ever recorded are nightshade (berries from Atropa Belladonna), hemlock, strychnine, curare, and arsenic. In the post-modern era, poisonous plant such as opium, mandragora, henbane, aconite, cannabis sativa and mushroom have been synthetically modified to a mix of venomous powder, liquid or gases. Throughout evolution, the plants used to kill people instantly or slowly have being enacted under the purview of law to control its uses. Corruption, dishonesty, fraud, bribery, breach of trust and misuse of power for the sake of getting a gift or a return in kind for personal interest is now been synthesised to a complicated structure and means.
For where selfish ambition exists, there will be disorder and every vile practice. Public service shall not extort money of any kind from anyone by threats or false accusation or malpractice, and be content with own wages and predetermined benefits. Once an authority is poisoned by a greedy motivation, they will be infected with cancer cell which is hard to cure. It will only be naked at a critical stage and the remedies are deemed to be meaningless due to the huge damage done to the nerves of good governance. Therefore, prevention is always better than cure.
Breach of trust is totally against religious teaching. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH mentioned that breach of trust is one of the signs of a hypocrite. The norm of receiving a price for a favour in false judgement or unjust decision is condemned in al-Quran in many verses. The authority who misuses power is a human-masked devil. The Bible quotes that “Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live” (Proverbs 15: 27). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14: 34). Unfortunately, the corrupter may also misuse religious teaching to legalise their deeds. They are not the servant of God, but the slaves of corruption.
Al-Quran also said that those who are in a state of denial will continue to proclaim that they are doing righteous but in fact doing harm. It is a shame to a people of dignity when a high-rank government official has been named for corruption and kleptocratic cases at the Department of Justice (DOJ). We are afraid this disease is infectious and will be followed by lower public officer at every level to do the same whenever they have the opportunity. This is what we observed as a country and civilisation catastrophic.
History has shown us that countless nation glitch to the knee of corruption. Long-run data on corruption suggest that corruption has been a persistent feature of human societies over time and space. Although precise corruption measurement is difficult, there is a clear correlation between perception and behaviour. The data from perception surveys (the Transparency International–Corruption Perception Index) suggest that corruption correlates with human development. A number of studies have shown that education and family environment is an important element in curbing corruption. A struggle to combat this cruelty demands a greater and holistic effort.
We are moving from a business norm to a synthesised corruption, be it in knowledge, authority or power. Corruption is forever a curse to a civilisation. Everyone should instil in their mind that human civilisation is built on justice, trust and truth. The duty to protect these noble virtues must be preserved at all costs. For corruption to be eradicated, enforcement needs to be strengthened and at the same time, a silent witness to wake up and stand against the irresponsible party who ruin our beloved country.
In a new industrial atmosphere, justice, trust, and truth must not be a price for extreme capitalism. A boundless trade dealing opens up an opportunity for the flow of illegal and harmful products. Position and power are not privileges but they are a trust that needs to be exercised unconditionally with just cause and excuse. If an authority entrusted to protect the country from this threat fails, the country will be in devastation. The year 2018 and the first half of 2019 exhibits many corruption cases for us to ponder on the consequence towards civilisation. Business associations and chambers of commerce must be alert in the agenda against corruption. Both receiving and giving bribes shall be put to an end. Giving a gift to officials is not a business norm but crime to humanity.
A collective struggle is crucial especially among authorities, religious bodies, and business allies in marching corruption battle. An indicator should be developed to detect and measure mismanagement or misappropriation at the very earlier stage of long-held deadly poison. We need to count on a seed planted not on a crop harvested. Considering the severity of damage done by corruption, a mass and fast cleansing from every angle shall be the concern of every individual be it in business, private, or public services.