April 4, 2017

Environmentalists and Anti-graft Agency join Forces to fight Corruption

Environmentalists and Anti-graft Agency join Forces to fight Corruption

Photo Credit: Flickr

Corruption is a blight on the environment. It undermines rule of law, aids a culture of impunity and corrodes trust in the authorities. Malaysia is a country with high levels of endemic corruption so it’s no surprise that it is also facing a variety of acute environmental problems.

But there’s always hope. Plenty of Malaysians don’t like the state of affairs in the country and are also willing to do something about it. Among them is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), a government agency tasked with tackling pervasive corruption in its myriad forms.

MACC has just has set up the Environmental Protection and Anti-Corruption Caucus (EPACC), whose aim is to enlist the help of NGOs and environmental experts for helping eradicate corruption and abuses of power in environment issues. “All parties involved agreed to set up a closer strategic cooperation network in information sharing effort and empowering enforcement action in curbing corruption and abuse of power on issues involving environment in the country,” MACC said in a statement.

The caucus involves a variety of prominent NGOs and environmentalists: the Natural Resources Protective Association Malaysia (PEKA); the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia; Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), Friends of the Earth Activist Association (KUASA); as well as experts from several university departments.

Members of the caucus will work “to ensure more serious attention is given to violation of the environment and ensure immediate action is taken by the MACC against those involved in corruption and abuse of power involving the environment,” MACC said. “[We believe] that integrated and continuous cooperation can eradicate illegal logging, pollution and illegal land-clearing.”

Such a holistic approach involving numerous stakeholders, from government agencies to NGOs, will be essential in getting rid of corruption in Malaysia and saving the nation’s world-renowned environment, both on land and in water, from any further harm.

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