KUALA LUMPUR — Corruption begins at the top, where power is concentrated in the hands of a few in which it becomes an “addiction”, said the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.
Corruption then becomes hard to root out because powerful elites will do anything necessary to maintain their lavish lifestyles, including through “foul means”, he said.
“It is partly because of their addiction to this lifestyle that some members of the elite resort to monumental acts of corruption,” Sultan Nazrin said when launching a book titled Reflections on Malaysian Unity and Other Challenges by academic Chandra Muzaffar yesterday.
He said corruption by the upper class set a bad example for the rest of society.
Sultan Nazrin said the lack of governance, corruption and abuse of power has led to inequality in the distribution of wealth which has widened the fissures in society.
“Elite corruption is the most difficult to combat because of the power at the disposal of the elite unless there is a major political upheaval,” he said.
The Ruler pointed out that after 60 years of status quo, Malaysians have voted in a new government which has promised to address the inequalities in society after decades of corrupt practices perpetuated by the elite few.
“There is a sense of euphoria and expectations are high,” he said.
“However, we must remind ourselves that such evolution has and will always take place in any society with the new beginning in Malaysia part of that evolution process.”