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Sunday, February 20, 2011

THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FOR CORRUPTION STUDIES

I think we finally have that rare thing - an honest minister with business acumen, foresight, vision and practical ability.  I am in a celebratory mood ! Just give this a thought : the minister has taken a much maligned national failing out of the shadows and brought it center stage with the avowed aim of making a clean  profit out of corruption !

His speech in Parliament introducing  “The Bill For The Setting Up Of The International School For Corruption Studies” merits being quoted:-

“ We Malaysians did not invent corruption. On this matter we proudly say “Malaysia Ta’Boleh “. We make no apologies for that. Corruption is as old as Adam and Eve. Like prostitution, it has withstood the test of time. Anything as old as that cannot be all that bad. Our real failing as a people is in not recognising that there are two distinct species of corruption. In evolutionary terms we can say that the common ancestor of the animal we call corruption branched out into two distinct lines -government sanctioned corruption and bad corruption. The former is many a splendid thing. Without it how could we have achieved progress, development and modernisation in a mere 22 years? The latter species is of course vile and despicable. Our task now is to recognise the good from the bad. We must not get over-emotional or irrational about corruption. What happened in Tunisia and Egypt stays there. Above all we must not panic. There is enough of it to go around “.

To loud applause he went on to explain that the nation was scoring a world’s first in setting up such a school. He noted that the Chinese whose dazzling economic success is a brand in itself had these past few decades established very specialised universities. These centers of learning focused on a particular discipline. He named a few - University of Foreign Languages, University of Urban Development, University of Ocean Studies, University of Foreign Trade and University of Flight Studies. He said  it was time we established The International School Of Corruption Studies here in Kuala Lumpur and beat the Chinese to it. Besides he said we have the right environment for such a school.

In passing it was explained that such a school will us increase our understanding of why we have one of the highest outflow rates of illicit funds. It would start off like many of our universities, housed in another institution or facility until a proper campus is located and the infrastructure build-up to reflect in his words ‘a world class institution second to none’. Parliament itself had offered to set aside a vacant part within its complex  with a leaky roof  for the use of the school. Likewise an offer had been received from an old and illustrious political party. “These are now being considered. It is important to avoid any conflict of interests situations”, said the minister.

He also outlined that the school will have 4 fully fledged faculties - the Faculty of Political Corruption, Faculty of Corporate and GLC Corruption, Faculty of Police Corruption and the Faculty of Judicial Corruption. The last named faculty will house the privately funded ‘Tun Mahathir Chair of Research On Judicial Appointments’. “ Zimbabwe is considering sending at least a hundred students for training in the school in the first academic intake. We have received inquiries from the world over. Only four countries have not responded to our marketing efforts - Denmark, Finland, Norway and Singapore “, said the minister.

As for me,  it is better we have this International School for Corruption Studies than have a National School for Scandal !  The way things are now, there is every danger that one day soon we will become  a pariah state with or without the introduction of a book that hardly rates as literature.

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