Archive for category Corruption

TI CPI 2014 nothing for Najib to crow about when he has done worse in TI CPI rankings in his five years as PM than Abdullah’s five years and Mahathir’s 22 years

There is nothing for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to crow about for Malaysia’s improvement in Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2014, moving up to 50th spot among 175 countries from the 53rd position last year.

Although any improvement is to be welcomed, there is no ground for Najib to be ectastic to talk about “not rest on our laurels”, as Malaysia has yet to achieve any laurels on the anti-corruption front under his premiership.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Najib premiership (2009-2014) has registered a lower TI CPI ranking than under the two previous Prime Ministers, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

This is illustrated by the following chart on TI CPI 1995-2014:

Prime Minister Best ranking Best score Worst ranking Worst score
Mahathir 23(1995) 5.32/10 (1996) 37 (2003) 4.8/10 (2000)
Abdullah 39(2004) 5.1/10 (2005/7/8) 47 (2008) 5/10 (2004/6)
Najib 50 (2013) 52/100 (2013) 60 (2011) 4.3/10 (2011)

No wonder of Mahathir had always boasted that corruption is worse now than during his 22 years as Prime Minister (although Abdullah can also make the same boast about his five-year premiership).
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World’s most corrupt industries

By Ivana Kottasova
CNNMoney
December 2, 2014

LONDON – Drilling for oil and digging for minerals can be dirty, in more ways than one.

Known as the extractive sector, oil and mining tops a new list of the world’s most corrupt industries. Construction and transportation make up the top three, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The OECD analyzed 427 cases of bribery in international business.Two-thirds of the cases occurred in just four industries: extractive (19%); construction (15%); transportation and storage (15%); and information and communication (10%).Senior executives were involved in more than half the cases, with chief executives playing an active role in 12%. They either paid the bribes themselves, or authorized them, the OECD found.

Public sector employees and those working for state-owned companies were most likely to be the target of corruption. They were promised, offered or given bribes in 80% of the cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hong Kong Gold Sales Fall as China Tackles Corruption

By BIMAN MUKHERJI and JOYU WANG
The Wall Street Journal
Dec. 1, 2014

HONG KONG—For years, Wo Shing Goldsmith has warmly ushered in eager buyers from mainland China, with customer traffic peaking at year-end. But shoppers are few and far between this year as Beijing’s anti-corruption drive damps spending.

“There was a sudden drop in gold price last year, which fuelled high demand from China. So we sold a good amount last year,” says Cheung Wai Nam, the 68-year-old co-owner of Wo Shing. “But this year…there is not too much demand.”

The store, opened in 1892 in Yau Ma Tei , part of the shopping district of Kowloon, displays chunky gold jewelry, with an old work bench scattered with tools and an ancient-looking metal vault in the back. The shop, next to a dried-seafood store on a busy street, deals mainly in accessories such as rings, bracelets and golden-pig necklaces.

On a recent afternoon, fewer shoppers than normal could be seen entering neighboring stores. Read the rest of this entry »

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How corruption abroad threatens U.S. national security

Doyle McManus
Los Angeles Times
Nov 29, 2014

When the militants of Islamic State swept across Iraq last June, they numbered no more than 12,000 and they faced a U.S.-trained, U.S.-equipped Iraqi army that boasted some 200,000 troops.

And yet it was the Iraqi army that collapsed.

What happened? It was more than simply incompetence among Iraqi generals and ethnic tensions among the ranks. The hidden factor that gave Islamic State its victory was Iraq’s rampant corruption. The Baghdad government’s army had 200,000 troops on paper, but many were “ghost soldiers,” fictional troops whose wages went into their officers’ pockets. The unfortunate troops who showed up often lacked equipment and ammunition because their officers had sold it on the black market.

“I told the Americans, don’t give any weapons through the army — not even one piece — because corruption is everywhere, and you will not see any of it,” Col. Shaaban al-Obeidi of Iraq’s internal security forces told The New York Times this month. “Our people will steal it.”

We often look at corruption as a secondary issue in international affairs: as a moral problem that allows Third World governments to steal from their people and gets in the way of equitable economic development.

But the lesson of the collapse of the Iraqi army, an army built with $25 billion in U.S. aid, is this: Corruption isn’t only a moral issue; it’s a national security issue, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Its Malaysia under threat – not Malays or Islam – if we aim to be one of the top countries in the world in terms of competitiveness, good governance, rule of law and crackdown on corruption

The Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked yesterday: “Where have we gone wrong?”

He lamented that whether UMNO had built mosques, set up parent-teacher associations, or provided housing, none of these efforts had translated into political support because UMNO leaders hoarded handouts for their own supporters instead giving it to the community.

Najib asked: “Where have we gone wrong? Is Umno too busy with its internal affairs until it is more important to defend our branch chiefs or higher positions, than to find supporters for Umno?

“Or is it that when we do something – whether to give houses, condominiums, or kind of aid – we give it to our lieutenants rather than our community.”

Najib struck a responsive chord as he received a loud applause and shouts of “”Yes” when posed these questions in his speech at the opening of the Federal Territories Umno convention yesterday.

These are pertinent questions although Najib avoided the real problem plaguing UMNO rule in Malaysia – the rampant corruption and abuse of power highlighted by Najib’s questions.

But Malaysians, Umno and non-Umno, Malays and non-Malays, should be asking a larger question of “Where have we gone wrong” affecting not just UMNO, but the Malaysian nation and people, Malays and non-Malays.

All Malaysians, UMNO and non-Umno, Malays and non-Malays should ask “Where have we gone wrong” that after 57-year UMNO rule and six UMNO Prime Ministers, a former Chief Justice (Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad) could deliver a keynote address (ucaptama) at the so-called National Unity Convention yesterday warning that the Malays could suffer a fate similar to Red Indians in the United States unless PAS and UMNO unite to allegedly stop DAP from attaining federal power. Read the rest of this entry »

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China Reacts to Massive Corruption Tally of a Fallen General

by Alexa Olesen
Foreign Policy
November 22, 2014

It took at least 10 trucks to haul off Xu Caihou’s accumulated booty.

When China’s Ministry of Defense announced on Oct. 28 that the investigation into former General Xu Caihou for alleged corruption had concluded and his case had been transferred to prosecutors, the ministry declared the bribes received by Xu and his family members as tebie juda, or “extremely huge.”

The description served to pique public interest about the scale of graft perpetrated by the former vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, but was frustratingly vague, and no actual figures were mentioned.

This week, Hong Kong’s Phoenix Weekly and the Financial Times helped fill in the picture. Both had reports that cited people close to the investigation as saying investigators discovered Xu had one ton of cash (U.S. dollars, Euros, and Renminbi) in the basement of his 215,000 square foot Beijing mansion as well as jade, emeralds, calligraphy and paintings.

The FT said the cash was neatly stacked in boxes and that each was conveniently inscribed with the name of the solider who had offered the cash in exchange for a promotion.

Phoenix Weekly, published by Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix Television, said in its Nov. 20 report that it took 10 military trucks to haul the loot away; the FT said it was a dozen trucks. Either way, it was indeed extremely huge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Global corruption a bigger scourge than terrorism

CBC news
by Brian Stewart
Nov 19, 2014

Anti-corruption protests growing all over the world, as are legislative crackdowns

While the G20 summit in Australia made headlines over global warming, economic growth and terrorism, much less attention was paid to the giant spectre of global corruption.

That is too bad as this is a problem that is arguably more dangerous to humanity than even terrorism because it siphons off an estimated $1 trillion from developing countries annually through bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, extortion and other financial crimes.

Recent World Bank estimates suggest that much of the world’s direct aid to the poorest countries ends up stolen, perhaps as much as $40 billion in recent years.

And it has been estimated that up to 3.6 million of the world’s poorest die annually from inadequate health care and living conditions directly because corruption has leached away development aid of all kinds.

At its most extreme, corruption causes people to lose faith in government, states to fail and violence to erupt in the form of organized crime and terrorist movements.

Only slightly less malign, it’s the dirty grease that keeps many repressive and violent dictators in lavish power.

No country is untouched by corruption, but it is “public enemy No. 1″ in the developing world, according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who has to fight to keep his bank’s $30 billion a year in development aid getting to its proper destination. Read the rest of this entry »

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BN SC meeting last night a great disappointment as the non-Umno parties dare not demand an end to AG’s double standards in prosecution, puny anti-corruption efforts even losing out to Indonesia and postponement of GST implementation

The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council held one of its rare meetings last night, but it was a great disappointment as the non-Umno parties, whether MCA, Gerakan, MIC or from Sabah and Sarawak, dare not demand that the Barisan Nasional government should take a clear stand on various controversial issues which have disturbed rational and patriotic Malaysians, including an end to the Attorney-General’s double standard in prosecution, puny anti-corruption efforts with Malaysia even losing out to Indonesia and the postponement of GST implementation in April next year.

It is clear that there is no institutional or operational change in the character of the BN Supreme Council after the 13th General Election, with the BN Supreme Council continuing to be a platform for the exposition of UMNO political hegemony in BN, with the role of all the leaders of the other 13 BN component parties restricted merely to hear and obey what the UMNO “Big Brother” has decided instead of being a meaningful forum where common Barisan Nasional government policies are thrashed out from the input and consensus of all the BN component parties. Read the rest of this entry »

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Working together towards zero corruption

– Dr Ahmad Satar Merican
The Malaysian Insider
29 October 2014

It has been a while since YB Lim Kit Siang touched on the issue of corruption in Malaysia. Two days in a row and he raised a number of things for us to think together.

I’m always following his views on this issue and welcome his views. Based on his recent comment piece, there is one which I agree and would like to share my thoughts on it.

First, we always talk about the “big fish” and “small fish” matter, often in comparing views. We often say that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) only goes after the “small fishes”. In this case the comparison is made with Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the ICAC Hong Kong.

I do agree that the conviction rate of cases by the KPK are quite high compared to the MACC. We also need to recognise that the scope of cases investigated by the MACC and the KPK are different. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Malaysia have a Jokowi?

By Maria Chin Abdullah
Malaysiakini
Oct 29, 2014

As politics unfold in Indonesia, many are impressed with their responses towards democracy building. On Oct 20, Indonesians witnessed a peaceful transfer of power with the inauguration of the seventh president of Indonesia.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, had defeated Prabowo Subianto by 6.3 percent in the presidential election on July 9, 2014. While Prabowo had initially submitted an election petition to challenge the results, he had gracefully accepted the court’s ruling when it rejected all his complaints. This sealed the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla team’s presidential victory in the eyes of the law and the voters.

Indeed, President Jokowi’s beginnings have been anything but impressive in his quest to eradicate corruption and build a clean government.

President Joko Widodo had announced his cabinet and he had strategically submitted his ministerial cabinet lineup to the Corruption Eradication Commission for their screening as a show of his commitment to “form a clean government”.

On Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 the commission had deemed eight of his cabinet selection as inappropriate due to their “alleged involvement in cases of graft and human rights violations.” (The Jakarta Post, Oct 22, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Najib so cruel, callous and heartless as to want Anwar to be jailed for 20 years and not released until he is an octogenarian?

I find it shocking, unbelievable and outrageous that the Attorney-General is counter-appealing against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s five-year jail sentence in the Sodomy II case when the Federal Court sits on Tuesday and Wednesday to hear Anwar’s appeal against his Court of Appeal conviction and sentence on March 7.

It has been reported that the prosecution has counter-appealed and wants Anwar to be jailed for more than five years contending that the Court of Appeal’s five-year jail sentence is “manifestly inadequate”, “does not reflect the gravity of the offence” and “fails to serve the ends of justice from the perspective of public interest”.

There are forces among those in power who want to get rid of the Opposition, by “hook or by crook”, but I want to ask the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak whether he is so cruel, callous and heartless as to want Anwar to be jailed for 20 years and not released until he is an octogenarian?

Is this in conformity with Najib’s preaching of wasatiyyah or moderation with its emphasis on the principles of justice, balance and excellence?

Here we see another glaring difference in the political ethos and culture between Malaysia and Indonesia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to make Sabah a model of corruption-free administration instead of topping the list among the most corrupt administrations in Malaysia

Recently, anti-corruption is in the news.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had finally acted against illegal logging activity in Sarawak, with the arrest of a senior police officer who is head of a police district headquarters in the State and believed to have received RM16,000 in bribes.

MACC has estimated some RM100 million are lost as a result of illegal logging activity in Sarawak, which is a puny figure compared to the tens of billions of ringgit garnered by corruption every year.

Last month, eight customs officers were charged in Kuala Lumpur with 28 separate counts of receiving bribery involving a total sum of RM34,400 at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

These anti-corruption actions made quite a splash in the local media simply because there had been so little real anti-corruption news as distinct from propaganda to report for the past few years, even thought those arrested recently belong to the ‘flies” category in China’s anti-corruption campaign against “tigers and flies”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The day-and-night difference in anti-corruption efforts between Malaysia and Indonesia

The past month has continued to provide mounting evidence of the day-and-night difference in anti-corruption efforts between Malaysia and Indonesia, which should raise the red flag that it is a matter of time before Malaysia will be regarded internationally as lagging behind Indonesia in fighting corruption.

This is best illustrated by the contrasting headlines on anti-corruption in the two countries in the past month.

For instance, one of the most electrifying news on the anti-corruption front in Malaysia was the headline last month: “8 officers face 28 fresh charges in Customs bribery case” but this paled into insignificance when compared with the following headline on the fight against corruption in Indonesia a week earlier: “Ex-leader of Indonesia’s ruling party gets 8 years in jail for corruption, money laundering”

But what gives the feeling of the night-and-day difference in anti-corruption efforts between the two countries are the headlines in Indonesian newspapers on Wednesday like “Jokowi to replace eight prospective ministerial candidates following KPK`s recommendation”, following the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission)’s recommendation that the eight prospective Cabinet Ministers are “high risk” of being named graft suspects, and those yesterday like “Indonesia president submits new cabinet list” to KPK and “Eight new ministerial candidates still under KPK consideration: Jokowi”.

The gloom felt by Malaysians at the puny anti-corruption efforts are not relieved when they are inundated with disastrous, ambivalent or downright inane news headlines like “Malaysia one of the most corrupt nations, survey shows” (Sept. 27), “No plan to boost law to probe into ‘high-living’ civil servants” (Oct.8) and “Top cop looks to ordinary Malaysians to keep police in check” (Oct. 23). Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia 19 years behind South Korea, complacency, graft among culprits

by Lee Shi-Ian
The Malaysian Insider
17 October 2014

Malaysia are 19 years behind South Korea in terms of productivity, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today, naming graft, leakages, complacency and archaic labour laws as road blocks.

Its executive director Stewart Forbes said Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker productivity last year was equivalent to South Korea’s – but in 1995.

“Malaysia’s historic productivity growth was unimpressive although at one time, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan all started out on the same level playing field.

“Putrajaya is always quick to point out that Malaysia is better than Thailand or Vietnam or Indonesia. But why is Malaysia choosing the worst to make comparisons?

“Putrajaya ought to be comparing Malaysia to Taiwan, Singapore or South Korea. They should set the bar higher when making comparisons,” Forbes said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jayalalithaa’s conviction shows that the law prevails

Mail Online India
27 September 2014

In a society submerged in corruption, a serving chief minister being stripped of her job for amassing wealth beyond her valid sources of income, brings a reassuring hope the law – despite being painfully slow – does apply to everyone.

Thanks to the court order, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha will be the first elected chief minister to lose her post, as a result of which, she will not be able to contest elections.

Jayalalitha now joins powerful politicians like Lalu Prasad and Om Prakash Chautala to be imprisoned in a corruption case after being convicted by court. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde placed under investigation in €400m fraud and corruption case

By Henry Samuel, Paris, and AFP
Telegraph
27 Aug 2014

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund chief, has announced that she is under formal investigation in France for negligence in a multimillion-euro fraud and corruption case, but has ruled out stepping down from IMF post.

The shock announcement came after the world’s 5th most powerful woman according to Forbes was quizzed over her handling of a €405 million (£322m) state payout made to Bernard Tapie, a disgraced tycoon, in 2008 when she was France’s finance minister.

Judges at France’s Court of Justice of the Republic, a special court that probes cases of ministerial misconduct, suspect that Mr Tapie received favourable treatment in return for supporting Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election that he ended up winning.

Until now they had given Miss Lagarde a more neutral “special witness” status, which obliged her to return for questioning when asked by the court.

After questioning Miss Lagarde this week for a fourth time, they opted to place her under official investigation – one step short of being charged – suggesting they believe there could be sufficient evidence to send her to trial. Read the rest of this entry »

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No ordinary Zhou

The Economist
Aug 2nd 2014

In carrying out the most significant purge in a generation, Xi Jinping seeks to tighten his grip

Beijing – SINCE President Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption campaign at the end of 2012, the question has been how high he would aim. On July 29th an emphatic answer came with the news that Zhou Yongkang was under investigation by the Communist Party for “serious violations of discipline”—for which, read corruption.

Mr Zhou was once one of the most powerful men in the land. Until two years ago he was a member of the Politburo’s ruling standing committee: in charge of the state’s vast security apparatus, he controlled a budget bigger than the army’s. It had long been an unwritten rule of China’s power politics that men of Mr Zhou’s stature were untouchable. In flouting the rule, Mr Xi has left no doubt about the authority he believes he now wields. He appears to be the most powerful Chinese leader since the late Deng Xiaoping.

Mr Zhou first appeared to be in trouble in 2012, with the purge of Chongqing’s party secretary, Bo Xilai. It is thought that Mr Bo had been eager to challenge Mr Xi’s ascent to the presidency, and Mr Zhou was a close ally who argued against bringing Mr Bo down. The result was a rare serious split in China’s highest leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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After Karpal’s sedition conviction, IGP Khalid wants my “scalp”, knock me out of Parliament and even jailed for sedition?

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, probably hopes to get the second scalp of a DAP leader to be jailed and be disqualified and knocked out of Parliament for conviction of sedition – targeting me after Karpal Singh’s most unwarranted conviction for sedition and RM4,000 fine which would have ejected Karpal from Parliament if he is still alive and his appeal against conviction or sentence had not been overturned.

I was surprised when I first learned that the Police was coming after me under the Sedition Act, although I was nonplussed as to what seditious statement I had made to warrant a police investigation against me under the Sedition Act – especially when the Police had been infamously passive and notoriously inactive when there had been a crescendo of seditious utterances and threats by extremist individuals and NGOs inciting racial and religious hatred, including May 13 threats about racial riots uttered at least thrice this year alone!

Malaysians must commend the Malaysian Police for having the outstanding qualities not to be found in other police forces in the world, i.e. its enormous ability to turn the blind eye to flagrant criminality right in their faces when committed by certain privileged groups of people but extraordinary ability to discern crime or sedition when they don’t exist when another targeted group of people is involved!

In a buka puasa event last night, Khalid announced that the police will record a statement from me for my recent comment on the fifth death anniversary of Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) that Beng Hock had been murdered and that the killers are still at large. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crying shame that after four years of GTP1 and GTP2, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – in the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA to contradict Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership 1981-2003

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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No way Malaysia can catapult to “top 10 or 12” of Transparency International CPI without catching any “big fishes” like what is happening in France, Indonesia, Philippines and China

Anti-Corruption agencies in France, China, Indonesia and Philippines created shock waves in their countries in the past 48 hours when they caught “big fishes” and took action against “grand corruption” in the past 48 hours.

In France, former president Nicolas Sarkozy has just been charged with corruption and influence peddling after being questioned for 15 hours, marking the first time a French ex-head of state had been taken into custody in a criminal investigation.

If convicted of those charges, he could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

In the Philippines, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was suspended from Congress as Pampanga representative for 90 days pending her trial for graft over the award of US$329 million construction contract to Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE in the National Broadband Network (NBN) controversy when she was Filipino President in 2007.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta Corruption Court handed down a historic sentence on Monday evening by sentencing 53-year-old former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar to life imprisonment, the most severe sentence in the court’s history.

The former Golkar Party politician was found guilty of accepting Rp 57 billion (US$4.7 million) in bribes from a number of regional heads to influence decisions on election disputes during his tenure at the court.

The life sentence for Akil marks the first time the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has successfully convinced the court to sentence a graft defendant facing graft or money-laundering charges to life in prison since its establishment in 2003.

In Beijing, China’s corruption crackdown snared the highest military official in more than six decades when the Chinese Communist Party Politburo meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping expelled Xu Caihou, a former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and a retired commander of the People’s Liberation Army. With the removal of Xu’s legal protections as a senior cadre, his case has been handed over to military prosecutors.

What has Malaysia anti-corruption campaign to show compared to these major anti-corruption developments in France, Philippines, Indonesia and China? Read the rest of this entry »

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