Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranking and score in 15 years?

Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking and score in 15 years, when the TI CPI 2009 is released next month?

When launching the country report in the TI Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 yesterday, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other “reforms” introduced by the government have so far been ineffective in fighting corruption.

These measures have not produced the desired results and so the public perception of corruption remains unchanged.

Pointing out that Malaysians are fed up with the status quo and the unbearable effects of corruption in the country, Low said the Global Corruption Barometer 2009 surveyed released in May showed that 70 per cent of Malaysians believe that the government is ineffective in fighting corruption.

In contrast, although Indonesia has a far worse position in the corruption perception index than Malaysia, 76% of its people believe their government is effective in fighting corruption.

The public perception position for Malaysia is likely to be even worse than the Global Corruption Barometer 2009 survey in May after two further developments:

  • the mysterious death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock on July 16, who went to the 14th floor MACC headquarters as a healthy, vigorous, idealistic young man to give his co-operation as a witness but ended up as a corpse on the 5th floor of the building; and

  • the MACC role as Umno catspaw to declare war on Pakatan Rakyat instead of declaring war on corruption, going all out to harass Pakatan Rakyat over alleged constituency allocation improprieties involving RM2,400 (even costing a human life) while being totally blind to corruption and abuses of power against Barisan Nasional leaders running into tens or hundreds of millions or even billions of ringgit!

Transparency International will be releasing its CPI 2009 report next month, which will be the 15th in its annual series since 1995 in the ranking of countries based on their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

The TI Malaysia president is pessimistic about Malaysia’s rating for the TI CPI 2009 expecting it to remain static or even worsen despite (or more correctly, precisely because of) the revamp of the Anti-Corruption Agency to become the MACC and the setting up of the much watered-down Special Complaints Commission in lieu of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) proposed by the Royal Police Commission in 2005.

A survey of the 14 annual reports of the TI CPI from 1995 to 2008 shows that Malaysia occupies dubious company, sharing with Philippines the dishonour of being two of the 12 Asian countries first surveyed in 1995 which had ended with both lower CPI ranking and score in CPI 2008 as compared to CPI 1995 (See table, CPI score in bracket with “10” highly clean and “0” highly corrupt).

Country CPI 1995
(out of 41)
CPI 2008
(out of 180)
Malaysia 23 (5.28) 47 (5.1)
Philippines 36 (2.77) 141 (2.3)

In the first TI CPI 1995 report, the last two of the 41 countries surveyed were all from Asia, viz: China (No. 40) and Indonesia (No. 41) but both have made significant strides in anti-corruption efforts as illustrated as follows:

Country CPI 1995
(out of 41)
CPI 2008
(out of 180)
China 40 (2.16) 72 (3.6)
Indonesia 41 (1.94) 126 (2.6)

In the first TI CPI 1995 report, Malaysia was fourth top-ranked Asian country, behind Singapore (No. 3), Hong Kong (No. 17) and Japan (No. 20), but 14 years later, Malaysia has slipped to sixth place when ranked No. 47 in the CPI 2008 report, behind Taiwan (No. 39) and South Korea (No. 40).

Even Thailand and India made significant strides in combating corruption in their CPI scores if not in ranking, as follows:

Country CPI 1995
(out of 41)
CPI 2008
(out of 180)
Thailand 34 (2.79) 80 (3.5)

35 (2.78) 85 (3.4)

It will an enormous shame and great infamy for Malaysia if in the TI CPI 2009 report, Malaysia slides further in both indicators of CPI ranking and score.

  1. #1 by Joshua on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 1:55 pm

    Is this not another corruption and frauds in Court?

    Nine years for Chinese national’s death
    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — A man heaved a long sigh of relief today when a High Court judge sentenced him to nine years jail for causing the death of a Chinese national three years ago.

    N. Rajkumaran, 30, who was initially charged with murder, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Hu Xin Yu, 27, after the prosecution amended the charge to that of causing death.

    Judge Datuk Ghazali Cha ordered Rajkumaran to serve the sentence from the date of his arrest on Sept 19, 2006.

    Rajkumaran, 30, was charged with killing Hu at Room G04, Hotel Classic Inn, No 9, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, here at 3.15am on Sept 15, 2006.

    According to the facts of the case, Rajkumaran, from Klang, Selangor, strangled Hu to death after having sex with her in the hotel room.

    In mitigation, lawyer Datuk Hanif Hashim, who represented Rajkumaran, said his client had shown remorse having been detained in jail for three years.

    Deputy public prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent prosecuted. — Bernama

    pw:10 anons

  2. #2 by Loh on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 2:31 pm

    ///When launching the country report in the TI Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 yesterday, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other “reforms” introduced by the government have so far been ineffective in fighting corruption.///–Kit

    The perception that the government has been ineffective is based on the results. It is also a reflection of the capability of the government. The government could be said to be ineffective if it had the intention to fight corruption, but failed. The fact was the government was not interested to fight corruption per se with MACC. It used MACC to fight political opponent, and they were more than effective, to the extent that a life was lost when investigation involving RM 2,400 was carried out.

    Transparency International should come out with a report on the perception on the intention of the government to fight corruption. They can base it on the reports of suspected corruption cases such as the reported PKFZ, and Khir Toyo’s exhibition of living beyond his means, and the actions by government.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 3:56 pm

    Does the government of 1Malaysia really care?

    To them, it is just, well, another number, a statistic.

    See, we are number 152 in world football. Its OK. No worries. Live goes on.

  4. #4 by undertaker888 on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 3:59 pm

    the survey amongst us may be enough to gauge the corruption index is going for worst or better. Here is my life experience with the authorities.

    1. Had my motorbike checked at puspakom. One guy asked for $$$.
    2. Stopped by dark blue uniform police. Asked for duit kopi.
    3. Stopped by dark uniform police again. You mau senang says pun mau senang. This is what he said. You get the meaning.
    4. Stopped by PDRM in N-S highway. They singled out those non-local cars plate. Being lied to I was speeding. Ask for $$$.

    So everytime I see those authorities I don’t get a good feeling. Not because I am a crook but the other way round.

    Sad but true. The lower structure is already this corrupted. No need to mention the upper structure. We read and ‘see’ it thru the veil.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 4:09 pm

    ///Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking and score in 15 years, when the TI CPI 2009 is released next month?///- YB Kit.

    I think it most likely.

    We are talking about perception here as measured by Transparency International (TI).

    One of the first criteria to combat the scourge of corruption it looks for is political will.

    Considering our MACC followed Hong Kong’s ICAC model, it may be apt to cite what Former Hong Kong anti-corruption administrator Bertrand de Speville said about the 7 prerequisites of combating corruption – the very top on the list, being “political will”, followed next only by (ii)“values clearly stated in law, (iii) clear, concise and comprehensive national anticorruption strategy, (iv) an effective mechanism for implementing it, (v)community support, (vi) resources and (vii) endurance on anticorruption…

    With regard to perception of “political will”, two recent developments have, by their sheer contrast, dealt a devastating blow.

    The first development is the unnecessary death of Teoh Beng Hock in MACC’s precincts – all because of on-going investigation of Pakatan Rakyat’s assemblyman Ean Yong over an accusation that he had paid a measly RM2400 for 1500 Malaysian flags used in Merdeka Day celebrations in 2008, without actually receiving them for the suppliers!

    The second development is the brouhaha over RPK/Malaysia Today’s exposure on the Internet of what purported to be leaked cabinet papers.

    By the PM wanting the police to commence investigation of the leaked Cabinet papers on PFTZ, he was, whilst making the point that disclosure of the cabinet paper was illegal and in breach of the Official Secrets Act, also indirectly and tacitly confirming that the cabinet papers and their contents – purportedly a memorandum by the Finance Ministry in June 2007, to seek the cabinet’s approval to retrospectively approve a RM4.6 billion soft loan to fund the PKFZ project leaked – were authentic and true.

    In the premises, the question will invariably arise as to why, after being aware of the burgeoning mega billion PKFZ problem, the cabinet did not then in 2007 immediately address the relevant issues of likely conflicts of interest/corruption with which this PKFZ project is fraught but chose instead to acquiesce with the cost overruns by proceeding to retrospectively approve a RM4.6 billion soft loan to cover them.

    This nonchalance at the higest level to billion Ringgit strain on the public purse cannot be explained when, by contrast, in the other case involving an opposition assemblyman involving a paltry and measly sum of RM2400, the investigation had been so vigorous as to result in the death of an innocent witness (who was not even a suspect)!

    Contrasting the two cases and what happened, does it speak well, perception-wise, of the factor of “political will” at the highest level of government, the first prerequsite to fighting corruption according to former Hong Kong anti-corruption administrator, Bertrand de Speville ????

    Most observers will think not.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 5:27 pm

    Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranking and score in 15 years?

    Heading…? I really thought we were already there. Just how low can you go?

  7. #7 by gofortruth on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 5:42 pm

    What has been exposed recently of the 18 page cabinet papers on PKFZ is just the tip of an iceberg. It proves once again that BN government is corrupted through & through. See the way they loot our treasury under the cover of OSA!!! Can such a corrupted body fights corruption ah????? What an international joke!
    We need a fresh Federal government from the opposition to go in and clean up the mess.Period!

  8. #8 by taiking on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 6:03 pm

    How can se fight corruption when umno is the breeder of corrupt practises in the country? How can we fight corruption when corruption could fight back and in our case it could fight back using its impressive arsenal of weapons like c4, isa, osa, police force, ag, macc and the judiciary. Even the msm is bred by umno. Look at selangor and perak and penang. Look at how ferociously umno-bred corruption is fighting back.

    In short asking the umno gobermen to fight corruption is like asking altantuya to come back to life and tell all.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 6:29 pm

    Here skin as tough as or tougher than rhino’s hide
    Totally insensitive to local, international or God’s judgment
    Say what you want to say, no problemo
    Still welcome by lots of people
    See, Pahang Sultan just called on ppl to continue supporting the BN gomen
    Carry on corruption, oppression, OSA, ISA, Sedition Act, DNA …..

  10. #10 by monsterball on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 6:32 pm

    Some like Haris Ibrahim are geared to foster greater unity with the formation ….by gathering professionals.. established associations and organizations….to be the “third force”…to be recognized and reckon unfair and unjust law makers that holds the power to govern the country.
    Some ordinary Malaysians ……like me…are sitting in kopitiams with friends to curse and complain …with no fear nor favour.
    Both have same objectives….both are traveling towards achieving a Malaysian Malaysia.
    Haris feels that kopitiam style is not effective..not cultured …getting no results…curse and complain…no class.
    He is very wrong.
    Majority voters are ordinary folks….less educated and they do listen to kopitiam talks.
    Bottom line…the vote matters most.
    If Haris succeeds….and we still have a dictator governing the country…he will organize road shows too..and that cannot be zoombies walking with no curse and be effective.
    I have seen him participated in street protests….but strangely….always at the last…and not like General the lead…to curses and be heard…loud and clear.
    UMNO heard us…ignored..and that’s why…more and more are wanting change of government.
    Yes….kopitiam style is what UMNO is afraid off..not talks…forums…getting thousands to sign a protest…all wasting time.
    But when DAP or keDAILan organize Forums… or events…that get UMNO on their toes and trey all ways to stop it.
    Why…these are established forces…with established reputations to get serious attention.
    LKS …Anwar…Karpal…LGE…Nik Aziz…are Malaysians unite all Malaysians.
    Why do we need Haris and his team to do same thing?
    Haris writes well and is a true Malaysian with love to unite the people…but his mild mannered and cultured ways…does not mean is the best…and insult kopitiam fellas.
    In the end…who dares to die for he say what he means and mean what he say..with actions…curses and complains?
    We can judge characters..but not the real one…as we cannot see through the heart and brain…and politics in Malaysia is so dirty…sometimes…we do not know who is speaking the truths or how sincere are political minded friends…both traveling same road….yet one can make a surprise you.
    Money is the root of all evils…and UMNO have proven to use money for selfish ends……never for the country and people.
    We have PR watching UMNO closely.
    We do not need a third force.
    To me…VOTERS are the third force…not another group of professionals.
    Want ti serve….stand for elections…and make sure kopitiam voters support you.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 6:46 pm

    U may curse, u may swear, so what
    The rakyat money will still be used to pay contractors
    Who supply instant mee @ RM5 or 10 per pack
    Who supply screws @ RM5 per screw
    Who build buildings that will collapse as soon as or before completion
    All through tenders, very transparent mah

    Time for towkay Tiong to take BN politicians for another overseas study visit
    To study the art/science of …………. ?

  12. #12 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 8:24 pm

    I think Indonesia has become more effective at fighting corruption as SBY has even put in jail a relative’s in-law.
    Over here we all seem to end up in a blank “not enough evidence” defence from the A-G’s office especially when it involves BN leaders.
    Just see how even the IGP had to deny his earlier statement about calling up a minister for the PKFZ scandal?

  13. #13 by Taxidriver on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 10:37 pm

    ” Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International Corruption Index ranking and score in 15 years “? – LKS

    YB Lim, itu sudah tentu.

  14. #14 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 11:12 pm

    Why do we need Haris and his team to do same thing?
    It’s not the same thing monsterball.

    They’ve got a respectable, clearly articulated message of hope for all Malaysians.

    Pakatan Rakyat are politicians.

  15. #15 by yhsiew on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 11:31 pm

    “Transparency International’s recognition of anti-corruption efforts by the Penang state government through CAT (Competency Accountability And Transparency) governance is backed up by savings of nearly 12 per cent of the 2008 Penang state budget of RM 36 million from operating expenditure.” (The Malaysian Insider)

    One of the reasons why Penang can do so well in eradicating corruption is that there is no warlord stopping Lim Guan Eng from taking preemptive actions against corruption. But the same cannot be said of BN. If Najib really wants to emulate Penang’s success, he may have to negotiate with all the BN warlords and ask them to sign an agreement.

    When Tun Abdullah first came to power, he was hopeful of cracking down corruption. However, he was disillusioned in the end as his hands were ‘tied up’ by UMNO warlords who wanted to stop him from taking actions.

  16. #16 by johnnypok on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Malaysia is heading for total disaster, politically and economically!

  17. #17 by monsterball on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:08 am

    OrangRojak….Haris said …kopitiam fellas..curse and complain do not work.
    Do you agree with that?
    Remember…..I am talking getting about getting votes.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:11 am

    OrangRojak..Please do not mix up with Haris wonderful blog…with what he is organizing now.
    All reported in the Sun paper. Did you read that?

  19. #19 by johnnypok on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:19 am

    Sabah and Sarawak are our life-support, and if EITHER or BOTH states were to pull the plug, our rotten economy will surely collapse and die instantly.

  20. #20 by OrangRojak on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:22 am

  21. #21 by johnnypok on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:24 am


  22. #22 by OrangRojak on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:39 am

    Did you ever watch the movie “Zerophilia” johnnypok? There’s a great monologue in there about using ‘sucks’ in a derogatory way. It’s a pretty good movie too, I thought, even if you might mistake it for a chick-flick, given the low exploding helicopter count!

    Monsterball – what’s to worry about? Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, as far as I can tell from their commitments section in their Charter is a ‘Sensible Thinking Club’. I can see where they’re coming from. LKS is possibly the supremo of kopitiam complaining, and he’s right to do it. Many of us can see what’s wrong – LKS puts it into words very well. There seems to be a lack of people prepared to say what Malaysia should do that’s right. Some of that might be because of genuine fears of incarceration or decapitation, or even just because of political expediency, but it is obviously lacking.

    SABM’s charter seems great, but their commitments seem so … insubstantial that I wonder if they can’t meet them just by going to the kopitiam and telling each other what lovely people they are. That doesn’t seem so bad.

  23. #23 by OrangRojak on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:45 am

    Not sure whether this would be moderated or not, so sorry, separate comment for the SABM charter:

  24. #24 by GilaPolitic on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 12:51 am

    Dear Uncle Lim,

    Please listen to the oldman Mudah Lupa Tun M noble advised today : ” The Opposition is not an alternative, unfortunately. So, it will be a disaster for this country if the opposition wins and forms the (federal) government,they will not be administering the country but they will be fighting each other. PAS will fight against DAP, DAP fights against Keadilan (and so forth),”

    Yes, this smart oldman has sharp tongue in critising the leaders of Pakatan Rakyat to shape up or ship out in the next 13GE if infighting among PAS, DAP and PKR continued to upset many Malaysians.

    A good example is Pakatan lost Perak govt because of 2 PKR ADUNs and 1DAP …are managed to be corrupted by money politic in BN. So Selangor govt under Pakatan is going to collapse if any PKR and PAS ADUNs are open for corruptions by money politic by UMNO to grab power in Selangor.

    Last but not least, recently the Ruler is voicing their support for BN warlords and indirectly weaken Pakatan Rakyat when it comes to “MONEY” matter. In future, Malaysia will sink deeper into a worst corrupt nation if money politics and corruptions still practised by many greedy politicians in UMNO and BN ruling forever.

    Congratulations ! YB LGE scored the best result of the least corrupted state by TPI . Malaysians and Penangites are proud of him but how long YB LGE can stay in power if Pakatan continued their infighting over corrupt power. Now PAS, Hassan Ali is a greatest “DURI dalam Daging” of Pakatan.
    How to remove this deadly DURI in Pakatan ?

  25. #25 by monsterball on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 1:43 am

    Yes that one..OrangRojak…but you should read Haris comments in Sun…telling off guys to stop cursing and complaining….like kopitiam low class uneducated people.
    He said all these people should come to the meeting…and perhaps…..listen and learn to talk like him.
    I take that as an insult…for kopitiam fellas are brave and totally sincere.
    I can sincerely say…….vast majority..kopitiam fellas will vote for change of government.
    Talks are cheap. Actions speak louder than words.
    And yes…LKS is the best kopitiam politician and I am inspired by his style….even with a touch of kopitiam in PARLIAMENT.
    LKS fears NOTHING!!

  26. #26 by undertaker888 on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 8:46 am

    who is this haris to degrade us that kopitiam fellas are low class uneducated people? Has he forgot that it is koptiam fellas like us (me and others) that voted for the oppofition to power in 4 states? Yes we the kopitiam fellas are the backbone of this country. We sweep the floor that he treads on. We clean the toilet that he smears on. We cook the food that he feasts on. We drive his kids to school to have better education so that they will not be like us – the low class and uneducated.

    We are not in the same league to rub shoulder with these high heels nobles or to have eloquent, educated, grammatically error free conversation while sipping Earl Greys tea during high noon.

    Our rice bowls, our worries for our children, our safety, our future, equal justice – these are mainly our complaints which the government should provide anyway.

    Haris can’t handle that? Well he won’t be getting our votes then. What use then is he? We do not need educated, eloquent, high class folks up there who are doing nothing for us except asking us to shut up.

    As for Mahathir, he has no credible bullets to fight the opposition now except bla bla bla on opposition unity. Justice? BN has none. Corruption? BN has lots of it. Murder? Army depot has enough C4 for each Malaysian. What to talk about from him?

  27. #27 by Thinking Two on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 10:07 am

    BN is using OSA and ISA to cheat the people of Malaysia who voted them for representing them in Parliment.

  28. #28 by OrangRojak on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 2:25 pm

    .vast majority..kopitiam fellas will vote
    That’s not my experience monsterball. Perhaps you go to a better class of kopitiam? It was in my local kopitiam that I heard my neighbours and relatives complaining about the government before the last election and then saying they weren’t going to vote because “it is useless”.

    Haris Ibrahim didn’t “degrade us that kopitiam fellas are low class uneducated people” or “asking us to shut up” – he implied that cursing and complaining while seated in a kopitiam is unproductive. It would be as careless to exaggerate his words as it was to first utter them.

    There is undeniably a huge problem with political apathy in Malaysia. I’m optimistic that there are people like yourself and undertaker888 who use the kopitiam as a platform for bringing about change, but there also other ways and other places to do it.

    I think Haris Ibrahim – by criticising the kopitiam folk – is just displaying his political naivete. Tunku Abdul Aziz did it too, when he was ranting about “fair weather Malaysians”. It takes all sorts to build a nation: casually insulting your fellows is careless. Rather than getting angry about it, you could probably just forgive him his foot-in-mouth moment. Next time you’re at the kopitiam, try: “Know what … Haris Ibrahim … say bad thing … about kopitiam man … heart in right place … but sometimes … words come out … too low on wrong side”. And then forget about it. I think he’s on your side, really.

  29. #29 by undertaker888 on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 4:05 pm

    Rojak man,
    Can you suggest which place and which way to do this? Sitting in kopitiam with our friends and relatives are our national pastime I would say.

    Don’t ask me to go to high class kopitiam as I don’t have the means to. Also it would difficult for me speak in such class as “Pardon me. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the phe-laaaainnn” kinda stuff.

    Also we do not have a public platform to yell out to our hearts content like in Britain called something Square place think. I will be ISA-ed in a blink here.

    How do you suggest we become more “civilize” then? I am all ears. I could learn a thing or two to impress the ladies.

  30. #30 by OrangRojak on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 5:02 pm

    undertaker888 – should I have said “also other”? The kopitiam is your way – Haris Ibrahim has his way. I was trying to make the point that what might suit Haris Ibrahim may not suit you and monsterball.

    I mentioned ‘class’ of kopitiam because monsterball suggests his (‘high class’, since everybody votes) kopitiam has risen to his call and vote with him, whereas my local (not-so high-class) kopitiam did (I don’t check every week) have people complaining and not voting. I’m not suggesting the way out of voting malaise is to attend more expensive kopitiams.

    The place in Britain you’re thinking of is Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. Not being able to express yourself freely is a living nightmare. It’s important that we give any and all methods of encouraging people to discharge their democratic duty a ‘helping hand’. Haris was wrong to criticise the efforts of people in kopitiams. While it certainly isn’t all that could be done, it is a contribution!

    Whatever – we should try to put antagonistic politics behind us. Everybody should be taking part. Squabbling over the best way to do it is silly.

    I’m afraid I can’t teach you how to impress the ladies. When it happens, it always seems like an ‘Act of God’ to me – inexplicable and impossible to repeat.

  31. #31 by monsterball on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 5:58 pm

    Bottom line…Haris should not say kopitiam guys know how to curse and complain only.
    We know much much more than Haris.
    He maybe a lawyer and more educated….but some lawyers are proven to be frogs too..with no principles in life. Why don’t he talk of his own kind….and appreciate kopitiam people.
    Yes…Lim Kit Siang is the ultimate best example of how a kopitiam man talks.
    He is a living legend and Haris should think twice before he thinks his so call passion to free Malaysians style and ways are the best.
    Who dares to die for the just cause is the best.
    That is left to be seen….bunch of lawyers….talking like people…..or bunch of kopitiam fellas curse and complain…make so much noise…to make sure UMNO hear us loud and clear.
    Lawyers sit at home…sipping wine….plan how to get foot soldiers to confront UMNO.
    Kopitiam leaders like Anwar and LKS..walk the talks.and twisted to be walks planed by PR….by low class Rockybru…to say..we are the trouble causers.
    Yes..we will keep on curse and complaint and walk the talks.
    If these are call trouble causers…no class…so be it.
    I suggest Haris and Rockybru study the past history… to topple a corrupt and evil government.
    Present government is the worst of all…yet we want to form talk?
    Go .support DAP…keDAILan Forums and talks..and stop competing with them

  32. #32 by cseng on Friday, 25 September 2009 - 11:08 pm

    I wanted to share my experience on the general perception of our society on corruption;
    1. I talked to a middle age man, around 50+, Chinese. He tells me the biggest mistake MCA’s OTK did is to expose the PKFZ. His argument is this, is better for the Chinese to ‘eat’ the money rather than other ethnic, the money has to be ‘eaten’ anyhow, what wrong it goes to Tiong.
    2. I talked to a friend of mine, he is worrying about his son’s future. He though police is a good profession, that’s good. But then, his main point is Police can cari makan easily, he does not know the police pay, neither I, but we agreed the kopitiam allowance alone is suffice to have a good living.
    3. I talked to recent graduates, a malay, he has a plan, get into politic, get closer to a datuk, look for government job, overnite millionaires, nothing wrong!, noble though as what he perceived

    The list can go very long, is this budaya kita? I think yes.

    Ask yourself, are you hated corruption as you have no chance to ‘eat’ money or you sincerely think corruption is bad? Answer that to yourself. If you think corruption is bad don’t give kopi duit anymore, can you live with that? Honestly I think I am part of the problem, are you? Ask this to younger generation, you will get the answer to this article’s heading.

  33. #33 by monsterball on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 12:24 am

    OrangRojak..Please do not put words into my mouth.
    I said kopitiam class{group}…is what UMNO is afraid off.
    I never said kopitiam is high or low class..people.

  34. #34 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 5:57 am

    //The list can go very long, is this budaya kita? I think yes.// – posting #32 of cseng on September 25th, 2009 23:08 above.

    Well we’ll get some indication if a poll be conducted, canvassing opinions of ordinary Malaysians whether they find acceptable corruption in (say) bribing (euphemistically a kind of ‘redistribution of wealth) the traffic police to escape heavier fines for traffic violations; receiving “kickbacks” in their business dealings, buying pirated VCDs or DVDs; using influence and money to get business contracts or as simple as just out of troubles or getting their children into prestigious government schools etc.
    Just guessing, but it may not be surprising if many respondents of such a poll, if carried out, may find smaller facets of corruption quite tolerable with some qualifications (eg as long as its not mega like involving RM12.5 billion of public purpose etc). They may even admit they have participated in (say) bribing some police to help more effectively and quickly retrieve repayment of debt from someone accused of “swindling” them as a more effective recourse than resorting to protracted legal system/courts for redress.
    In Boleh land we often hear people resorting to “white and black methods” or lawful or “extra lawful” (you may call it lawless) method of dealing with (say) a business problem….

    For one thing, even the socio-economic re-engineering/a affirmative policy programme (NEP) being based on certain people entitled to receive special treatment and greater benefit from the state than others bear some resemblance to at least one other salient feature of corruption – ie. the unfair advantage / gain one party reap over others. So the twin laudable aims of such a socio-economic programme have in the process of implementation been hijacked/abused by some to be a licence for corrupt practices.

    Mind you, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said that corruption was a way of life in Malaysia. He did not say it was just a way of our politicians in power.

    Yes, the evils of Corruption at societal and political level are well known and settled – how it corrodes society’s moral fibre, how once people acquiesce corruption as being tolerable, society’s core begins to rot, and virtue/ethics and distinction between right and wrong gradually fade away, economic resource allocation becomes distorted as the most important sector might miss out while the least important sector receives more than its share. etc

    But if indeed corruption is however an ingrained part of many Malaysians’ ethos, attitudes, way of life ie our culture (budaya kita), as what cseng suggests, then there is a tinge of irony in many of us expressing our disappointment with the corrupt status quo and the unbearable effects of political corruption in the country, and seeking regime change, for it poses 2 fundamental questions: –

    1. whether we can hypocritically condemn our corrupt politicians and politics so self righteously when they only mirror the very ethos and attitudes that we (as voters/tax payers) are complicit with?

    2. whether after regime change, political affairs will on balance of probabilities really be conducted on a higher ethical plane by new set of opposition politicians now in power?

    There is a saying that people can expect no higher ethical conduct from their leaders than what they themselves are, and people always get the government they deserve.

  35. #35 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 8:56 am

    What u said is true but that will only happened in a perfect world where everbody is corruption free. Even the least corrupted countries in the TI list has a number on it and it is not zero.

    But what we kopitiam fellas get rowdy with profanity is the injustice. Injustice to the common people like u and me.

    Imagine u get caught for giving or taking bribes. Will the govt use OSA to protect you? Will the govt tell MACC not to investigate you? They say screw you. But these goons makan duit in broad daylight into the billions and get away with it. It is not only one facet of the govt is corrupted but almost all of it. The judiciary, the cabinet ministers, the public sectors. You named it you got it.

    They are only interested in cover ups, not putting sincere efforts in fighting corruptions. So far have you seen any still-in-favor high ranking BN guys get prosecuted? The rakyat can smell these slime from 1km away but not our sophisticated govt machinery like Old MACC-donald.

    Other countries are putting real efforts in combating corruptions. Ours is putting real efforts in enacting more laws protecting them from getting caught. That is the difference. That is why we kopitiam fellas get rowdy, Haris. That is why we profane.

    Cseng- the policemen that stopped me on the road, I argued with them until they let me go.

  36. #36 by Loh on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 9:47 am

    ///1. whether we can hypocritically condemn our corrupt politicians and politics so self righteously when they only mirror the very ethos and attitudes that we (as voters/tax payers) are complicit with?

    2. whether after regime change, political affairs will on balance of probabilities really be conducted on a higher ethical plane by new set of opposition politicians now in power?

    There is a saying that people can expect no higher ethical conduct from their leaders than what they themselves are, and people always get the government they deserve./// –Jeffrey

    The ordinary people live within the system, and practices corruption to stay away from larger problems. But they have a right to prefer a system where corruption might be eradicated, and they expect politicians who are supposed to be responsible to bring about better life for the people to do so. The corruption in this country has been worse than anytime before 1981, because the powers-that-be set the example. Singapore certainly had all the minor corruptions that we Malaysians are still rampantly engaged in before Lee Kuan Yew took over. He decided that there should be no corruption, in the government, and the society there is better for it. For a start, the Police in Singapore could be trusted to do what they are created for. Malaysians want at least uniformed personnel to do their job, to reduce crimes.

    We want to remove the present regime which is found to be corrupted. We will remove the next regime if they do not live up to our expectation. We want to hold to a corrupt-free standard, and the political parties will have to compete, to be in power.

    We vote the government we deserve. That is why divide and rule is the greatest evil, and they act like the secret society taking the country resources as owned by a corporation they control. UMNO government has made the majority voting population enjoy, and seen to enjoy benefits over the minority, and that is all that the majority voters care. Those who do not have the power the change the government has to suffer, and thus in some countries, the minority group wanted to change the game of regime transfer though extra-parliamentary means. That means bloodsheds, and it happened all the time before voting booths was used. When the voting booths are misused, calamities might result.

  37. #37 by Joshua on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 10:46 am

    I do not know whether this is ethical or not in the Courts.

    We as plaintiffs may receive a notice of Court hearing whch are supposed to be open court sessions but when we arrive at the courts, it would be held in the Judges’ chambers.

    Sometimes, the notices on the board of the High Court would also state that OPEN Courts, but still in chambers.

    So is that justice as the defendants would benefit from the hidden agenda and of course the Judges would also avoid embarrassing scenario in the interest of true justice..

    pw: agent David

  38. #38 by veddy.lum74 on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 3:39 pm

    in the eyes of ketuanan melayu (UMNO and PAS extremists),corruption is ok,incompetency is ok,racist is ok,but not eating pork,drinking beer,or relocating temples !

    some even say,watching sexy stars like Beyonce or Christina also a SIN!Go and ask Hassan Ali,he will tell you!

    these are the beasts(including salak tinggi Tajudin,Jamaludin Janggut,KJ.,Pewaris Ibrahim,PM dept.Nazi,Najis right hand Hamidi,PAS Zulkifli and etc) that will guarantee Malaysia stays where thy are now for another 100 years!

  39. #39 by grace on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 3:52 pm

    As long as BN folks can go on makan, they do not care.
    Read that we attracted the lowest FDI last year in SE Asia. Even Indons gets more FDI.
    In 5 years from now our youths have to go to Indon and Thailand to work as maids,labourers and construction or plantation workers.

  40. #40 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 11:33 pm

    In response to the thoughtful comments of both Undertaker888 and Loh above:-

    First, I hold that there is much truth in what TI M’ysia Paul Low and even several commentators said in other threads of this blog – that corruption appears (on comparative basis) a norm and way of life. It is so in many other Asian countries too.

    Second, levels of corruption here as elsewhere will depend on interaction of (1) political system/politicians’ values with (2) the values of voters/ordinary citizenry and the social standards of acceptance or rejection of corruption.

    So if one agrees that as far as (2) goes, corruption is norm and way of life even amongst people/voters in Malaysia, then of course, no matter how desirous and necessary to curb/mitigate political corruption amongst ruling political elites/politicians, it will not be an easy task to eliminate political corruption when the social values keep sustaining it (like fuel to fire)! The point I am making is that unless ordinary Malaysians internalise a more ethical stance against corruption (in respect of our own personal behaviour and attitude), then it remains a doubt whether a regime change (even when Opposition wins the election) will see any serious mitigation of the problem of political corruption. A regime change might just likely turn out to be a kind of change of new wine in old bottles, something new placed in or superimposed on an old or existing form or system of patronage, influence peddling and conflicts of interest…

    I have thought about what Loh commented – “the ordinary people live within the system, and practices corruption to stay away from larger problems”. It is true if one is talking in one particular context, for example, business people having to interface with corrupt bureaucrats and unable to get timely approvals without greasing. They don’t have much of a practical choice to do otherwise.

    However this is not true in other contexts for eg. money politics, where Tunku Abdul Aziz in his essay “ Living in the shadow of Najib’s 1 Malaysia” commented about BN/UMNO : “To them democracy is a product you could pick and choose as and when you like, much like buying a kilo of sugar over a supermarket counter, in the same way they buy votes by the thousands at party election time.”

    One may ask how could one stop politicians from being corrupt when the ordinary people (whether delegates in party elections or voters during general or by elections) continue giving votes to candidates not based on merits of their policies but how much candidates pay them money or give them freebies or by way of pork-barrelling offer entire constitutency a bridge a school or a road or other public works in exchange for their electoral support? In this sense the fight against corrupt politicians will be ineffective if the social values/attitudes sustaining corruption (like fuel to fire) are not changed !

  41. #41 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 26 September 2009 - 11:41 pm

    This is where I address the next point relating to the ethical issue related to Undertaker 888’s comments: “Imagine u get caught for giving or taking bribes. Will the govt use OSA to protect you? Will the govt tell MACC not to investigate you? They say screw you. But these goons makan duit in broad daylight into the billions and get away with it.”

    What is noteworthy about this comment is that it may be construed or misconstrued as not condemning corruption per se but the inequitable distribution of opportunities to gain from corruption! So what we’re really aggrieved about is not corruption per se (since it’s a “norm” and way of life”) but unfair access to opportunities of unfair advantage/gain (corruption) where certain people (politicians or bureaucrats in power) can do so and make millions with impunity at our expense (tax moneys or EPF) and whilst we see our moneys being lost there, we do not have equal access and opportunity as them to do the same as recompense for what we lose over the other side (our tax/EPF moneys).

    Which raises the ethical issue : if we, as ordinary people and voters are two faced – in the sense that personally we would not have qualms to make a handsome profit/kick back under circumstances where we won’t be caught and be held accountable, and there is no dire consequence except only a happy one of being financially more comfortable and giving our families a better standard of living and children a better education – what moral right do we have to want to lynch our politicians for desiring and doing the same as that which we cannot ourselves rise higher to resist if provided the same easy and safe opportunities by power?

    Here I am addressing Loh’s other point that “ordinary people within a corrupt system, and practising corruption to stay away from larger problems”, where Loh also says that “they (still) have a right to prefer a system where corruption might be eradicated, and they expect politicians who are supposed to be responsible to bring about better life for the people to do so.

    Do we have such moral right to expect of our politicians a behaviour higher than that which we, having such expectations, will ourselves cannot live up to if we were politicians vested power and subject to same temptations and opportunities Won’t it be not a case of a pot calling the kettle black?

    A pot calling a kettle black is an old saying where ‘black’ refers to the soot which accumulated on pots and kettles which in olden days were both heated on fire stoves.

    Nowadays we have electronic kettle of stainless steel so a pot heated black by fire stoves cannot (fairly) call a electronic kettle of stainless steel black.

    The point here is that the pot is different position and in not like position as the electric kettle: though both subject to heat, the kettle is of a different material and subject to different source of heat (electricity), not stove fire.

    By same analogy, though we’re same as our politicians (in terms of susceptibility by human nature to unfair advantage/corruption), yet politicians are placed on a higher plane of expectations because they hold public positions of power given by us to them through our votes in reliance on their claims to be able to execute high office with financial probity in same manner.

    By virtue of a difference in position between politicians/holders of public service as trustees vested trust of power by us as beneficiaries, what Loh said – that we, even as hypocrites, have the right to expect no corruption from holders of political/public offices – is, in that particular context and sense, defensible…

  42. #42 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 27 September 2009 - 3:38 pm

    jeff, u didn’t get the point. First, do you agree there is a punishment law for taking or giving bribes which apply to every individual in this country? Nobody is above the law right? If yes, please go read our comments again. If you say No, then there is nothing talk about.

    About ordinary people giving and taking bribes, they know, all of them do, that they are taking a risk. If got caught they are sure to be sentenced.
    It is like running the red lights. They are doing it at their own risk.

    Now can you apply the same rule of law to the current scandals or any other scandals which involve high ranking govt people? Did you see any big shots got caught?

    This is not about, oh, I don’t have the opportunities to take bribes which involve billions or millions. Even if I do, but was protected and got away scot free from the law, how would you feel? Do you want justice or opportunities for everyone to receive bribes? If you choose the latter your guess is good as mine what this country will become.

    So my point which you singled out, it is not about having or not having opportunities to receive bribes. But why the law seems impotent to these high level corrupted govt people? They seems to get away with it all the time.

  43. #43 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 27 September 2009 - 5:40 pm


    Just a point of clarification, I postulated (rightly or wrongly) that generally human nature is inclined towards getting an unfair gain/advantage over others, which is root of corruption in various forms and manifestations, whether straightforward giving/acceptance of bribes, indulging in conflicts of interest and influence peddling. In the premises, l would ventuire to argue that even ordinary people, let alone politicians with access to power, would generally (not all) be susceptible to the lure of corrupt practices if they were not otherwise restrained by law.

    Which is why we actually need the law to proscribe and punish corrupt acts in various forms without which, as you said, we all know where any country or society will end up.

    To your question, yes the law should be applied to all without exceptions, and no one is above the law, and on your the other point whether in our context the “law seems impotent to these high level corrupted govt people? They seem to get away with it all the time”, the answer is doubly yes. Is this desirable state of affairs? Obviously no. In fact it is because of culture of corruption, the corrupt esp in high places get away from the net of legal punishment when in fact they ought not to be allowed so. That much is clear.

    On your specific observation (of which there is no doubt as to accuracy) that powerful/politically connected personalities here get away with corrupt acts involving hundreds of millions and even billions, what I suggested was that even if the situation were opposite of what you said – ie. even if the corrupt in high places here COULD NOT get away from the net of legal punishment and were regularly held accountable by the law – the position will still be the same, and our fight against corruption should not flag or waver. So that your specific complaint that powerful/politically connected personalities get away with corrupt acts involving hundreds of millions and even billions could be construed (and I also said “misconstrued”) to justify or explain the true nature of grievance of what might be the attitude of many other ordinary people, who by themselves, have no compunction ordinarily to seize an unfair advantage or even behave corruptly when opportunities present themselves with little risks of being caught but who would also at the same time hypocritically condemn/lynch politicians and holders of public office for being corrupt….so that one is entitled to draw the inference that, to them, it is not corruption per se is wrong (in a culture where it is a norm) but that their real grievance is that equal opportunities to the fruits of corruption were not availed to them free of concomitant risks of being caught and punished (unlike the powerful and well connected).

    I am sure in corrupt culture of politics many snipe at one another not because the other is corrupt and get away with it but that the gravy train is not distributed equally to the rest….

    I am sure that thats not what you meant or the point you intended to be made or understood. (That is why I used the word “misconstrued” in my first posting).

    I merely used it to illustrate my point about the ethical debate I posed – whether if corruption were a way of life and norm here and many of us ordinary people ourselves were ourselves involved in our daily lives in activities that might be termed corrupt or in the grey area of being construed corrupt, whether we still have the moral right to expect of our politicians a behaviour higher than that which we are prepared to live up to ourselves and self righteously condemn them for their corrupt behaviour….I have since come to conclusion that, though double standards, we still have that right in vindication of Loh’s point based on the rational differentiating factor that politicians and holders of public office should not be allowed to do so because of the trust reposed in their official and public positions which they claim (in exchange for our votes) they would hold sancrosanct.

    Sorry, I have no intention to misrepresent your position based on your comment, although I cannot resist using it as a point of reference to illustrate the so called “ethical debate” above raised.

  44. #44 by Hugos on Monday, 28 September 2009 - 6:32 am

    “So is that justice as the defendants would benefit from the hidden agenda and of course the Judges would also avoid embarrassing scenario in the interest of true justice.” Joshua

    why so stupid. if open court matter it’ll be in open court. if chamber matter it’ll be in chamber la!

    no back room dealings la. certain matter cannot be heard in chambers and has to be in open court. which rock did you crawl out from??

  45. #45 by Hugos on Monday, 28 September 2009 - 6:36 am


    why you so naive one?? they got one set of law for themselves and another for the rest. you oso which rock did you crawl out from?? aiyaa..

  46. #46 by undertaker888 on Monday, 28 September 2009 - 10:16 am

    jeff-wow. reading thru your posting is like going thru my Sales & Purchase Agreement document. So long. Just joking.

    Anyway, my comment is about Injustice and not about ethics. I know if we go thru this ethics debate there will be no end to it.

    The only hypocrite after going thru your comments, in my conclusion is still the government. They make the law, persecute the people for wrongdoings. But when it comes to the other way around, the whole machinery stop dead. This is a “bigger” pot calling a kettle black.

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