Transparency International Malaysia presented Aliran, The Integrity Award, in 2005 “for its continuing fight for justice, freedom and solidarity and for fearlessly promoting transparency, integrity and accountability.”
The Malaysian Society for Transparency and Integrity, the Malaysian Chapter of Transparency International, (TI-M) presents the Integrity Award annually to an individual or institution who satisfies one of the following criteria:
- has demonstrated a determination to fight corruption in all its manifestations;
- whose actions have contributed in some significant way to the development of a cleaner ethical environment;
- maintains a constant vigil on the institutions that underpin our democratic systems and values against business abuses;
- who fight public service corruption and promote uncompromising standards of public behaviour;
- are members of civil society, professionals, serving and retired public officials who have clearly demonstrated their personal integrity, sense of public duty, and active involvement in the fight against corruption.
This year the Integrity Award goes to an institution that satisfies all of the above criteria, Aliran, a Reform Movement dedicated to Justice, Freedom and Solidarity.
Aliran was established in August 1977 as Aliran Kesedaran Negara, to fill the need for a multi-religious, multi-cultural group, with the principal objective of reform of Malaysian society guided by universal spiritual and moral values.
Three years later, in 1980, Aliran organised a conference on Corruption and also launched its publication Aliran Monthly. Twenty five years later, the magazine for “creating free spaces and alternative ideas” is still being produced. There may well be other publications that have lasted even longer, but Aliran’s is a remarkable achievement because it has had to overcome tremendous odds to continue its work.
First there was an attempt to deregister the society in the early 1980s and then there was the detention under the Internal Security Act of some of the leaders including Dr Chandra Muzaffar, the founder President, in 1987. This threat of detention without trial alone would have scared off all but the most committed and selfless of individuals, but in Aliran, there were many who persevered in the cause.
The printing of Aliran Monthly has been hindered by the need for a constant change in printers who are subject to the Printing Presses and Publishers Act. After one printer did not have his licence renewed, the threat of losing their licences results in printers ceasing to continue printing after a few issues. There was a period when Aliran had to change printing firms eight times in less than two years. It is no wonder therefore that the twenty fifth anniversary issue is regarded as something of a miracle.
This issue carries a rather poetic description of Aliran:
ALIRAN represents a consciousness,
A certain trend in thinking,
The flow of its ideas is like the flow of water,
Water is soft, it is gentle,
And yet it is water that erodes stones and rocks.
It is the flow of ideas that will eventually overcome the
Boulders of Oprression.
Transparency International Malaysia is proud to present to Aliran, The Integrity Award, “for its continuing fight for justice, freedom and solidarity and for fearlessly promoting transparency, integrity and accountability.”
9 December 2005