Raja Nazrin: Those With Shady Past Shouldn't Be Leaders
He said this was integral to good governance, one of the three major themes of the works of the late Prof Syed Hussein Alatas, a renowned sociologist and intellectual.
"Figures in authority must be chosen for their integrity first and qualifications second," he said during his inaugural lecture to commemorate the legacy of Prof Syed Hussein Alatas entitled "Towards a Decent Social Order for All Malaysians", at the Islamic Arts Museum here, Tuesday.
He said the battle against corruption had always been top priority for Prof Syed Hussein, who published four books on the topic from as early as 1968.
Also present was his wife, Raja Puan Besar Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim, Albukhary Foundation executive vice-chairman Datuk Ismail Yusof and Syed Hussain's son, associate prof Syed Farid Alatas.
Raja Nazrin said corruption was mankind's most deadly social disease, as it could undermine good governance, weaken institutional foundations, distort public policy, compromise the rule of law and constrain the economy.
He said corruption curbed competitiveness to the detriment of economic and social development, led to tremendous misallocation of resources, and made the cost of doing business become unacceptably high.
"Corruption exists because of man's enduring desire for personal gain.
"Once corruption becomes widespread, it will no longer seem immoral and unlawful - just business as usual," he said.
He said there must be concrete anti-corruption measures and management practices based on efficiency, transparency and accountability. more in Bahasa