Although history has very few examples of successful anti-corruption campaigns, I do not want the all-out war against corruption to fail because I would like Malaysians to be able to stand tall and proud on the global stage as one of the few countries in the world and in history which could address and conquer the scourge of cancer.
There are two vital prerequisites if the all-out war against corruption is to succeed: firstly, Anwar must be able to fulfil the pledge he made in Sandakan last Sunday that "Now is the time to act…we will catch the big ones and we will catch the small ones."
So far, the Anti-Corruption Agency has only caught the small ones and recently a few middling ones - but not a single "big one" has been caught. Until and unless "big ones" are also caught, it would not be possible to convince the people that the government is serious in wanting to declare war against corruption regardless of position or status.
Secondly, radical changes in public administration and public service to strengthen the system of national integrity with zero tolerance for corruption and all forms of abuses of power, creating a national partnership between the government and the civil society including the private sector, professions and religious organizations to make corruption a "high-risk" and "low-profit" undertaking.
I am very impressed when I heard the Friday khutbah telecast by RTM 1 yesterday, which was devoted to the scourge of corruption and the need for the people to be determined to eradicate this cancer from the nation.
All religions should also play their part in this all-out war against corruption and it should be the subject of the sermons of all religions in the next few months until the all-out war against corruption is won.
I would propose that a Royal Commission for a National Integrity System to make a comprehensive study and wide-ranging recommendations to promote a culture of public integrity with zero tolerance for corruption be established under the Chairmanship of Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas.
I believe all Malaysians can agree that Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas has established himself as the Malaysian who had been the first since the sixties to consistently speak and write about the dangers of corruption.
His recent appointment to the governing board of Transparency International, the Berlin-based international non-government organisation specialising in the war against corruption, is an international tribute not only to Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas but also to Malaysia as well.
There is no other person who would be more qualified to head a Royal Commission for a National Integrity System to promote a culture of public integrity with zero tolerance for corruption to put Malaysia on the world map as one of the ten cleanest countries in the world.