The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is ectastic that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has been recognized as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams by United Kingdom’s innovation foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta in its publication on Monday.
He said in his latest posting on his Facebook and Twitter accounts today that
he had established Pemandu in 2009 to support the implementation of the National Transformation Programme with its accompanying Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.
It is a crying shame that despite having Pemandu named as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – to contradict former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership from 1981-2003.
This is a great pity for “Fighting Corruption” is one of the seven National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) pistons for the GTP engine, which cannot succeed or perform in tip-top condition if the piston to fight corrupt falters and fails.
This was already obvious in May when the Prime Minister launched with great fanfare the GTP Annual Report 2013, covering not only the first three years of GTP1 but also the first year of GTP2, and although Najib claimed “stellar success” for GTP in “surpassing overall targets”, he could not point to any BFR or achievement for the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA.
The only consolation for the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA in the GTP Annual Report 2013 was Malaysia’s rise from 54 to 53 in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013.
This was the best TI CPI achieved by Malaysia under Najib’s premiership since 2009, as the country was ranked No. 56 in 2009 and 2010, No. 60 in 2011 and No. 54 in 2012.
However, what is undeniable is that the TI CPI placing achieved during Najib’s premiership were the worst, both in ranking and score, as compared to the five years under Tun Abdullah and 22 years under Tun Mahathir as Prime Minister.
When Mahathir stood down as Prime Minister in 2003 after 22 years as Prime Minister, Malaysia was ranked No. 37 in the TI CPI 2003.
Is Najib or Pemandu prepared to state when Malaysia is expected to regain the 37th placing of TI CPI – before 2020, after or never again?
Just for information, at present two countries shared the 36th ranking in the TI CPI 2013 – Taiwan and Israel, with CPI score out of 61 out of 100, compared to Malaysia’s 50 out of 100.
It is instructive for Najib and the Ministers in charge of NTP/GTP and the anti-corruption portfolio to study the TI CPI 2013 ranking and score for the 177 countries we well as the 19-year series of TI CPI from 1995-2013.
Firstly, the initial 1995 TI CPI shows that there is great stability in the first top ten “least corrupt” nations in the past two decades, as the top ten countries listed in 1995 TI CPI are the same as the top 10 in the 2013 TI CPI – although with some changes of placing and score.
The first “top ten” countries in the 1995 TI CPI are:
1. New Zealand
The “top ten” countries in the 2013 TI CPI are:
1 New Zealand
Secondly, in the last 19 years, Malaysia achieved the dubious distinction as one of the few countries which had been downgraded both in TI CPI ranking and score, losing out to countries which had lower CPI ranking and score in 1995 and is also now at risk of being overtaken by countries including China and Indonesia which had been at the bottom of TI CPI in 1995, ranking No. 40 and 41 respectively.
Malaysia ranked No. 23 with CPI score of 5.28/10 in 1995, was ahead of Taiwan (Rank 25 Score 5.08), Spain (R26 Score 4.35), South Korea (R27 Score 4.29) Hungary (R28 Score 4.12) and Turkey (R29 Score 4.10) but in the 2013 TI CPI, with a ranking of No. 53 and score of 50, we have lost out to Taiwan (R36 Score 61), Spain (R40 Score 59), South Korea (R46 Score 55),Hungary(R47 Score 54) and been caught up by Turkey (R53 Score 50).
Unlike Malaysia, which has achieved a lower percentile score in the past 19 years, i.e. 5.28/10 in 1995 to 50/100 in 2013, all other countries in Asia have improved on their percentile score in the past 19 years from 1995 to 2013, eg. Thailand from 2.79/10 to 35/100; India from 2.78/10 to 36/100; Philippines from 2.77/10 to 36/100; Pakistan from 2.25/10 to 28/100; China from 2.16/10 to 40/100 and Indonesia from 1.94/10 to 32/100.
From these trends, Malaysia runs the risk of being overtaken by both China and Indonesia before 2020 in the annual TI CPI both in ranking and score unless Malaysia quickly bucks up and show its seriousness on the anti-corruption front.
How are Malaysians going to hold their heads high when the world perceive Malaysia as being even more corrupt than China and Indonesia before the end of the decade?
What Big Fast Results (BFR) has Pemandu in store for the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA, particularly in the battle against “grand corruption”, as to justify Pemandu to be included as one of the world’s top 20 government innovation teams “to create innovative solutions to their most pressing problems” by breaking the back of corruption in Malaysia?