Corruption : So What is The Role Of Religion In Malaysia? Does Religion Curb Or Promote Corruption? Is Religion Free From Corruption? Is Religion Part Of Corruption?

Here is a quick video of Tan Sri Prof Kamal Salleh introducing his book about corruption.

Here is the book cover. Do get your copy. It is also available Online. Just search the book title.

My question is what happened to religion? Isnt religion supposed to curb corruption? Way before that isnt religion supposed to strengthen the morality and the ethics of the society so that they do not get corrupted so easily?

  • So What is The Role Of Religion In Malaysia? 
  • Does Religion Curb Or Promote Corruption? 
  • Is Religion Free From Corruption? 
  • Is Religion Part Of Corruption?

Because the world makes comparisons. And when the world makes comparisons, the so called ‘Islamic countries’ are at the bottom of the heap in corruption.

And the least corrupt countries in the world today are the non-Islamic countries. Our neighbour Singapore is a super shining example of a corruption free society – to a very high degree. 

In Scandinavia, local government contracts are posted online for the public to scrutinise in every detail. In Malaysia even the contract to repair the toilet in the masjid can be an Official Secret under the OSA. 

So the ‘non-Islamic’ countries have already internalised and harvesting the benefits of higher moral values, the type of moral values which can only be dreamed about by the so called Islamic societies. 

Corruption is a consequence. Corruption is the effect, it is not the CAUSE. What is the cause of corruption? The cause of corruption is poor ethics and a lack of morality. 

Prostitution is a consequence. Prostituion is the effect, it is not the cause. The cause of prostitution is also poor ethics and a lack of morality.

Not only in Malaysia but for the past thousand years the Islamic societies in general have been ravaged by corrupt leaders and corrupt societies. The corruption of the Islamic societies is legendary. The last caliphate ie the Ottomans for example were never free from corruption. The Ottoman caliphate finally collapsed in the early 1900s under the weight of its own corruption.  Kamal Ataturk merely kicked the chair from under them. They had already tied the hanging rope around their necks.

So what did the Ottoman’s do? Did they bribe the traffic policemen too often? There were no cars and automobiles during the Ottoman age. 

Is corruption only distinguished by bribing the traffic policemen? 

What about the caliphs passing power through hereditary rule? 

Or the clergy having the power of jailing and killing critics of the religion? Or critics of the clergy like the muftis and imams?  This is a feature of “Islamic societies” even until today.  Is this part of what is termed “high ethical and moral values for an Islamic society”?  

Or that only a Muslim can be a good leader – ignoring the fine example of the non-Muslim Queen of Sheba in the Quran.

In “corrupt” Malaysia the generally accepted view among “political Islam” is that only Muslims should be vice-chancellors of the public universities. What is the morality or good ethics here?

If this is considered part of high ethical and moral values then the more pertinent question to ask is what exactly do you mean by morality? What is your definition of morality?  Because your definition and understanding of morality will determine how corrupt you will or will not be.

Then there are the contradictions. During the time of the Abbasid Caliphate (8th to 13th centuries AD) they set up the famous Baytul Hikmah or House of Wisdom which came to be the greatest seat of knowledge and learning perhaps in the entire world at that time. The fact was many of its scholars were Christians including its most famous “Rector” Shaykh Hunayn ibn Ishak, under whose tenure the Baytul Hikmah reached the heights of fame for its scholarship and publications.     

In Malaysia we have spent billions of Ringgit building up Islamic institutions – the Islamic courts have been elevated and expanded, the JAKIM gets over a billion ringgit in allocations each year, the various state religious departments are almost fiefdoms by themselves, we have a whole ecosystem of islamic educational institutions from nurseries all the way to colleges and universities, and we have armies of religious gatekeepers, interpreters, holier-than-thous, know-it-alls, we have the Halal mafia, the Islamic banking cartel and on and on.  The list of “Islamic this and that” is endless.

Yet there is the corruption that seemingly affects the Muslim Malays more than the non Muslims who share the same space and time. Hence the title of the professor’s book “Corruption and hypocrisy in Malay Muslim politics”.

Corruption is nothing more than taking something that does not rightfully belong to you. It is thievery by another means. Money, power, position, the right to rule, the right to govern can all be part of corruption when it is taken by unfair and unjust means. All that is corruption.

Corruption is just a symptom. It is not the cause. It is an effect, a byproduct. Just like prostitution. 

The underlying CAUSE of both corruption and prostitution is a lack of morality. A lack of good ethical standards.

We cannot fix corruption if we do not fix the underlying lack of morals and good ethics. –

Perlis mufti calls for MACC overhaul after senior officers defend Azam

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has called for an overhaul of the MACC after what he described as the “strange” conduct of senior officers defending chief commissioner Azam Baki even though an investigation has yet to be conducted.

“Considering the letter of support the MACC officers have issued for their boss, I’m of the opinion that in the interest of justice and transparency of the national administration, the entire MACC leadership should be reviewed and reshuffled.

“How can they make a premature statement that their boss is a political victim when an investigation has not even been conducted,” he said in a statement.

Earlier today, all three MACC deputy commissioners came out to declare their support for Azam, who is facing questions over his ownership of millions of shares in two public listed companies in 2015.

Asri said they should have called for a fair and transparent investigation without jumping the gun by defending him in an issue that has a lot of public attention.

“It is very unfortunate if the highest body tasked with combating corruption acts unprofessionally and strangely on matters of corruption, which is supposed to be their main duty.

“Their boss’ defence that the (the shares were bought) by his younger brother using his account is very strange.

“The MACC should be the most sensitive. They should have been firm in calling for a thorough investigation,” he said.

Asri said it is the duty of every Malaysian to make a stand against corruption.

“Religious leaders should also rise up on this matter rather than occupying themselves with issues of personal sin that are between Allah and man,” he said.

For example, Asri said while drinking alcohol is considered haram in Islam, it is a matter between the individual and Allah.

“But corruption is a sin that wrecks the nation and causes injustice and oppression of other people. We have a duty to rise up together,” he said.

Asri said failure to address the issue will prove the dire state of corruption in the country. MKINI  MKINI