Get tougher on corrupt: Bahraini MPs


Delegation members presented papers on corruption and ways of combating it, through their role as legislators.

Al Wefaq MP Dr Jassim Husain said that anyone might be tempted into some form of corruption.

"To ensure that people stay away from corruption, we should have tough punishments, which will keep people away from such acts," he said.

"In the Arab world, punishments in regard to corruption are not severe and whenever those convicted are freed, they can benefit from the money or property they have stolen.

"In Singapore, corrupt employees get between 15 and 20 years in jail, which means what he has stolen doesn’t benefit him, unlike serving just a year in jail."

Dr Husain said the biggest challenge in the Gulf was to enforce anti-corruption measures.

"We have weak legislation at the moment, which doesn’t directly deal with corruption and at the same time we have problems with execution of the law, so combating corruption on a wide-scale is still in need of development," he said.

MPs, as representatives of the people, were wide open to corruption, said Dr Husain.

"I don’t know about any case in Bahrain, but in Kuwait there are MPs who are being bribed and this why we have to come up with precautionary measures to ensure that the same doesn’t happen in Bahrain," he said.

"It is a very bad when those entrusted to protect the people’s money try to steal it."

Shura councillor Rashid Sabt said that corruption was one of the biggest problems facing nations.

"Even though there are government efforts to combat this, the problem is that there are many who manage to get away from being punished," he said.

"The problem is that we don’t have a proper mechanism to locate sources of corruption, so prosecuting the offenders is difficult."

Mr Sabt said that court cases could take years and even if someone was convicted, the punishment was not enough.

"Because punishments are light, corruption won’t stop and this is why tougher action is needed," he said.

The International Parliamentarians Organisation to Combat Corruption was formed in 2002 and its members are from 90 countries, with more countries signing to join.

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