Anti-Corruption movement RasuahBusters is rallying an entire nation to the shocking realities before us.
It started as a personal awakening. Driven by a sense of hopelessness that is enveloping our beloved country. A disease that was eating up the country and robbing it of its deserving future. The scourge of corruption at all levels had the Chairman of Kumpulan Karangkraf up so many nights he stopped counting them anymore.
Malay media mogul and publishing veteran Dato’ Hussamuddin Haji Yaacub was not having it anymore. Enough is enough he declared.
… MALAYSIANS EXPRESSED FAITH THE MACC WAS DOING A GOOD JOB IN CURBING CORRUPTION, WHICH IS SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THE ASIAN…
And a few months on, he has galvanised a think tank of doers and experts from multiple domains, “A coalition of the Willing” he calls them, to help him to drive this dreaded dishonesty to the grave. The campaign aims to tackle all manner of corruption from bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage,
influence peddling to graft and embezzlement.
He shares, “During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I realised how helpless we were and told myself we should do everything from experiencing a similar disaster to as Malaysians and our country as a whole. That’s when I realised that CORRUPTION of all kinds at all levels was the next catastrophe and worse still, we had already crossed the tipping point!”
Bribery, corruption, inflated costs, closed tenders, flawed procurement, financial leakages, greasing the wheels, duit kopi, call it what you will. Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) says, “71% of Malaysians think that Government corruption is a big problem, with Parliament, the police and Government officials ranked the highest for the perception of corruption among public institutions.”
This was according to the Global Corruption Barometer for Asia 2020 survey, which covered 20,000 people across 17 countries. In Malaysia, the survey was conducted between July 2019 and June 2020, covering both the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and current Perikatan Nasional (PN) administrations. TI-M said 36% of those surveyed felt Members of Parliament to be corrupt, and 39% strongly believed that corruption was on the rise.
However, 67% of Malaysians expressed faith the MACC was doing a good job in curbing corruption, which is slightly higher than the Asian average of 63%, and 68% still believed ordinary people can make a difference in fighting corruption, which is higher than the average in Asia of 62%.
Destroy it before it destroys us
To Dato Hussam and his team, corruption starts with the individual. If the individual is true and honest, the corruption culture does not stand a chance. It starts with saying NO.
A behavioural change, a return to our core belief system. Values and moral principles imbued in us since we were young.
In seeking out the message that would resonate best, the team journeyed back to the time when we were taught about the shared values of respect and love for each other. The search brought them back to “Mother” the symbol of all things, real and right. “Pulang ke pangkuan bonda” or a return to the wholesome and selfless values every mum wants her child to have. From womb to tomb.
Mak Kata Jangan
Hence was born the war cry “Mak Kata Jangan” or “Mum Says No”. Using Mum as a moral compass in the anti-corruption campaign, three films were produced which depict mums being disgusted when they discover their children are “on the take”.
“MAK KATA JANGAN” OR “MUM SAYS NO”. USING MUM AS A MORAL COMPASS IN THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN, THREE FILMS WERE PRODUCED WHICH DEPICT MUMS BEING DISGUSTED WHEN THEY DISCOVER THEIR CHILDREN ARE “ON THE TAKE”.
While mum’s love can melt hearts, a Mum’s fury is like a speeding train on a fearless rampage. The PSA films evoke the guilt of corruption close to home, and shows how corruption can stain a family made by a loving homemaker. It amplifies the sin committed, and exposes shame and dishonour to the family.
Dato Hussam is quick to point out that while the team is racing against time to get the message out onto various media platforms (both offline and online), he confesses that this movement belongs to the people.
In that context, he and his team are reaching out to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLS), community leaders, associations, caring brands, and NGOs to take ownership of this campaign and drive it forward into the national consciousness.
“AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE HOPE TO MEET YOU AT THE SAME FINAL DESTINATION AND HUG YOU FOR A JOB WELL DONE, NOT JUST FOR ALL OF US BUT FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME.”
“We are happy to provide our collaterals and support materials for them to adopt this campaign as the same and interpret it according to their own objectives. RasuahBusters can provide the startup kits for this movement to take root and expand to all corners of Malaysia and across all walks of life. The rest is left to creativity and imagination.”
He also says the movement is non-political, non-religious and non-profit. “We are guided by the principles of the Rukunegara, the Federal Constitution and shared religious and traditional values.”
“At the end of the day, we hope to meet you at the same final destination and hug you for a job well done, not just for all of us but for our future generations to come.”
Apart from RasuahBusters’ current social platforms and digital channels, an App is also in the making which is designed to allow whistleblowers to identify, report and play a role in citizen policing on the go.
An encouraging observation in the Global Corruption Barometer for Asia 2020 report shows that 53% of Malaysian citizens say that they can report corruption without fear.
“Ours is not an enforcement agency, as we will work closely with government agencies dedicated to fight corruption. Our role is to reflect what the people think, provide constructive feedback, and highlight the gravity of the situation. Corruption is both about the giver and the taker. If we are sincere, we can fight this together and not shortchange ourselves of the amazing future we can build together.”
According to Transparency International Malaysia, corruption has cost Malaysia about 4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) value and this report was almost three years ago. The Deputy Prime Minister then also announced that Malaysia lost RM47 billion in GDP value to corruption in 2017. Imagine what could be done with all that money!
“We want modern services and a better standard of living; we want up-to-date medical facilities at par with the world’s best, available to every Malaysian. We desire strong and efficient infrastructure and support systems for a superior quality of life. But corruption is taking these away from us!” he adds.
As the conversation on corruption grows, RasuahBusters has held regular televised discussions on the topic.
Film Production House Directors Think Tank • Director Aiman Aliff • Executive Producer Pat Singh • Producer Don Wong • DOP Julian Oh • Editor Aiman Aliff • Post house DTT Post • Colourist Katelyn • Online Lim Lynn • Audio TWOAM audio
One senior police officer commented at one of the sessions, “If going to the courts to face corruption charges appears like a media circus with an entourage of hero-worshippers, one has to wonder how far we have to go to reverse this alternative reality, which is now rooted in populism.”
Dato Hussam admits, “This journey of course-correction will take a long time, maybe even a generation-long. But let’s stay the course and steer it to its rightful place. I urge all Malaysians to lend their voice, talent and time to driving out this menace from our society. It is our responsibility to stop this. We cannot wait for others. If we do not do anything, our value system will collapse further.”
“THIS JOURNEY OF COURSECORRECTION WILL TAKE A LONG TIME, MAYBE EVEN A GENERATION-LONG.”
Malaysians can start their own RasuahBuster movement by registering here.
The objective is to empower individuals from every strata of society to fight corruption within their circles.
Participants can also track their graft busting activities with the group using the hashtag #RasuahBusters.
Participants keen to volunteer can WhatsApp 019-3823635, while those who wish to file a legitimate complaint can WhatsApp 019-6680920.