There is no reason to celebrate but many grounds to rue over Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2012 which ranked Malaysia 54th as compared to 60th last year as least corrupt country in the world.
The total number of countries assessed in the TI CPI 2012 have been reduced from 183 countries last year to 176 countries this year and TI has used a new methodology, declaring that country scores of the CPI 2012 cannot be compared against those of 2011 or previous editions.Year to year comparisons will be possible from 2012 as the baseline year for subsequent years.
Under the new methodology, the the CPI score will be on a scale of 0-100 where a 0=highest level of perceived corruption and 100 = lowest level of perceived corruption as compared to the previous CPI score from 0 to 10.
Although Malaysia’s 2012 TI CPI score of 49 out of 100 cannot be compared with the past TI CPI scores of the past 17 years from 1995 to 2011, one inescapable fact is that Malaysia has been fighting a losing battle against corruption in the past decades, which saw Malaysia’s TI CPI ranking falling to the lowest level of 60th place last year as compared to 23rd ranking in 1995, and the CPI score plunging to an unprecedented low of 4.3 last year as compared to the highest score of 5.32 achieved in 1996.
Even though the 2012 TI CPI score cannot be compared to past years, Malaysia is clearly below average in international rankings and scores. Since 1995 Malaysia has been overtaken by South Korea and Taiwan while many countries are closing the corruption gap, especially Turkey which was ranked No 29th with a CPI score of 4.1 in 1995, but which has caught up with Malaysia with both equally ranked at No. 54 with a score of 49 in the 2011 TI CPI.
What is Malaysia doing to ensure that we will not be left behind by Turkey and many other countries in ASEAN, Asia-Pacific and OIC countries in TI CPI in coming years as they have demonstrated greater seriousness and political will to combat corruption when compared to Malaysia.
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