Cancer of corruption can destroy society

There are underlying similar principles in the two commentaries last Saturday ("Fighting the cancer of corruption" and "A violation of doctor-patient trust") which ought to be highlighted if we desire to establish firm healthy foundations in the development of families, communities and nation-building.

Honesty, integrity, dependability and reliability are essential, particularly for those in positions of authority or those with the power to influence the lives of individuals and society at large. Justice, proper behaviour and positive character are expected of people in such positions.

Failures or compromises, such as injustice, corruption and nepotism, undermine the trust given to those in these roles.

It is right to term such developments "cancer" and "violations".

The damage done can be deep and irreparable; those who placed their trust in these individuals but were "violated" and exploited may suffer long-term negative consequences and despair. They may also end up disillusioned and no longer able to trust those in positions of authority.

Societies have to combat the cancer of corruption, dishonesty and immorality and not let them pass off as "norms".

If societies fail to make a stand and condemn such practices and behaviour - whether it be in sports, business, politics, religion or governance - the foundations of families, societies and even nations will slowly but surely be eroded and destroyed by the "cancer" that has taken root.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'Cancer of corruption can destroy society'. Print Edition | Subscribe