Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and UN Secretary-Generalâ€™s Representative and Executive Director of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, honoured the winners of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, during a ceremony held in Putrajaya Square, in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, in his speech, congratulated the Government of Qatar on organising this important event and thanked the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for its support.
â€œI would also like to take this opportunity to thank the committee of the Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award for choosing Putrajaya, Malaysia as the venue for this yearâ€™s ceremony. This event being organized in Malaysia is an important recognition from the international community on our efforts in combatting corruption in Malaysia,â€ he said.
H H the Amir and the Malaysian Prime Minister also unveiled Anti-Corruption Monument in Kuala Lumpur. The monument, shaped like a hand of steel, symbolizes all countries around the world uniting to combat corruption. The geometrical configurations of the monument represent the combined efforts of all nations in stopping corruption. Spaces in the monument represent transparency. This, third monument, is the largest in size.
In his speech, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, said: â€œMalaysia and Malaysians made history in its May 9th election when the coalition that ruled since independence was voted out. Without doubt, it was the disgust for corruption that led the majority of Malaysians to stand up and vote out the previous administration.”
â€œIt is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure efforts to improve governance and introduce anti-corruption initiatives intended at bringing an end to corrupt practices and abuse of power,â€ he said stressing that the ceremony and the philosophy behind the Anti-corruption Excellent (ACE) Award emphasises that â€œwe should uphold with high regard values of integrity and good governance in our countries and in our organisations.â€
â€œIf we want to join the ranks of developed countries, to be the tigers of Asia again, then we need to take corruption seriously. We did not get there by taking shortcuts to success,â€ Malaysiaâ€™s Premier said.
Dr. Mahathir Mohamad voiced his government support for the initiative proposed by the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) to set up a special fund in support of the many incidences where the champions of anti-corruption had suffered in line of duties, some were injured and others even killed.
â€œFor this effort, we pledge support to the amount of RM500,000 to IAACA championâ€™s fund. We hope this small gesture will start the ball rolling for the foundation to raise more funds, in order to help the family of the fallen heroes.â€ For his part, Qatarâ€™s Attorney-General and UN Regional Special Advocate for the Prevention of Corruption stressed that H H the Amir has given this prize and hopes to strengthen this award on an international level through partnership with the United Nations. He added â€œThrough this prize, H H the Amir wishes to send a message to those who fight corruption everywhere in the world that there are those who stand with you, there are those who see your work, there are those who will take your hand to give you an example to follow. You are those who can save your country from falling into the trap of corruption.â€ He stressed that the war on corruption can be won only when those fighting believe that it can be won. â€œThe corrupt cannot fight corruption. Unless you find a leader that believes in the elimination of corruption, you will not win, no matter how hard you fight,â€ he said.
He pointed that the award is being presented in support of the United Nations, explaining the first award was held in Vienna in 2016 in the presence of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, and the second was held in Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters. He added that this year, this award is being held in Kuala Lumpur, in the presence of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, in recognition for his achievement through a long history of fighting against corruption, which has helped to bring this country to its present position and economic strength.
UN Secretary Generalâ€™s Representative and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov thanked the government of Malaysia for hosting the award ceremony. He said fifteen years ago, there was no global instrument to criminalise corruption. Now nearly every country in the world is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and they cooperate and provide mutual legal assistance to prevent and fight corruption, stressing that the conventionâ€represents the fundamental recognition that corruption is neither an acceptable cost of doing business nor a necessary evil. It is a serious crime, and simply unacceptableâ€.
He said: â€œ This year, the Security Council and General Assembly have held high-level debates highlighting the role of corruption in conflict, and the importance of reducing corruption and bribery and returning stolen assets to achieve the Sustainable Development Goalsâ€.
He added: â€œCorruption harms us all. It stifles growth and innovation, and enables many other crimes, from the illicit trafficking of drugs, arms and people to the poaching and pillaging of natural resources and cultural heritage.â€ Concluding his speech, The UNODC Executive Director commended H H the Amir for Awards to recognise exceptional efforts made by individuals, groups and organisations around the world.
H H the Amir left Kuala Lumpur and returned to Doha yesterday evening. H H the Amir and the accompanying delegation were seen off upon departure at Kuala Lumpur International Airport by Malaysia Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Qatarâ€™s Ambassador to Malaysia Fahad bin Mohammed Kafood and members of the Qatari Embassy.
H H the Amir sent cables to Prime Minister of Malaysia, expressing deep thanks and appreciation for the hospitality and honour accorded to him and the accompanying delegation during the visit, which allowed meetings, and the exchange of views on issues of common concern and means of strengthening and promoting the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in various fields for the good and the benefit of the two peoples. H H the Amir wished the President and the Prime Minister the best of health and happiness, and the friendly people of Malaysia further progress and prosperity.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar