Malaysia down slightly in graft index

By Asrul Hadi Abullah Sani
The Malaysian Insider
October 26, 2010

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia has dipped slightly lower in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this year after the country experienced its worse ranking ever last year.

The anti-graft watchdog TI announced today that the country’s corruption index score declined from 4.5 to 4.4 out of 10, with 10 being the least corrupt. Malaysia’s ranking still remains the same as last year, at 56 out of 178countries.

The annual TI CPI measures how corrupt a country is in the public sector based on data sourced from 13 different polls and surveys from 10 independent institutions over a period of two years. The three least corrupt countries in the world are, in order, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore.

Malaysia’s previous worst scores below 5 were 4.8 in 2000, 4.9 in 2002 and 4.5 last year.

The country’s ranking puts it on par with Namibia and Turkey.

TI believes that the Najib Administration still lacks the political will to stem out corruption and stressed that steps must be taken to tackle problems with implementation.

“Given Malaysia’s aspiration to be a high income and developed country by the year 2020, the commitment to fight corruption must be clear and firm. CPI results have consistently showed direct correlation between the level of corruption and economic development of a nation,” said Datuk Paul Low, the country president of the local branch of TI.

Low stressed that stressed that the country will not become a high income nation if corruption is still rampant.

“A high income economy can only be achieved where there are efficient delivery systems, where the organs of the government and institutions govern and manage the country and its resources professionally, responsibly and with integrity, transparency and good governance, in the interest of the nation and its citizen,” he said.

Despite government efforts to fight corruption, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) inability to prosecute “big fish,” lack of progress in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco, no action by the Attorney-General in the “Lingam tapes” case and contracts without open tender have continued to haunt public perception.

However, Low argued that the country statistically has not declined but has remained the same.

“Statistically we have more or less remained the same. Measures have been taken by the Malaysian government such as efforts in the NKRA which began in April. So to be fair up to now, we cannot really see the result because perception takes a while to change.

“This is because perception is based on past experience so unless or until what the government do affect the life of the individual and the society then only a radical change in perception will happen. So it is understandable why we remain at same spot since last year. However with stronger political will from the government, we hope that perception will become better and score will improve,” he said.

He added that the main issue facing the government is not petty corruption but grand corruption.

“The issue of petty corruption like day to day bribing is really being handled by the government now. But for Malaysia, the issues is the grand corruption like mega projects, procurements, source of political financing, lack of accountability and giving more independence and oversight to the Election Commission. These are the big issue that needs to be tackled before we can see big improvements,” he said.

Low believes that with the current government initiatives, the country will only begin to move up the ranking in two years.

“I believe that by the method used, a moving average of two years. So at least two years for things to change,” he said.

Low noted that the country’s index should not viewed on its own but, more importantly, in relation to other countries worldwide and especially those within the Asean region.

At first place is Singapore with far and away the best score, topping 9.3. While Brunei retained it second place among Asean countries at 5.5.

Low recommended the government to make MACC autonomous in enforcing the law and have the body to report direct to parliament.

He also said the Official Secrets Act (OSA), Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act should be repealed to ensure freedom of speech and information.

“We need to reform political financing and regulation of political parties and elections, and public disclosure of politician’s assets.

“There must also be effective and vigorous enforcement of existing laws and policies, including money laundering and transfers by suspects in high profile corruption cases,” he said.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 - 10:53 pm

    Now 4.4 out of 10. Next will be 3.3 – a big leap backward!

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 - 11:13 pm

    After so much billions stollen,we’re still at 4.4 ah?I know i know why,our RM is so much small value compare with other currency.Otherwise we’ll be at 0.99.Wow, i’m so smart to figure out at the end.

  3. #3 by k1980 on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 9:04 am

    Malaysia’s domestic debt is now RM348.60 billion, meaning each citizen is bearing RM14,000 as its share of the debt.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 10:06 am

    jibbi the hutt’s house

  5. #5 by HJ Angus on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 10:52 am

    the basic reason why we have stagnated is because the AG’s office keeps circulating the NFA files.
    now with the latest Auditor-General’s Horror Report, there will be more files to juggle.
    I have a suggestion for the MPs…..demand that the Auditor-General take over the AG’s duties and I am sure the score will be much better next year.

  6. #6 by Comrade on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 11:38 am

    Singapore, the least corrupted Asean country
    With Brunei coming in a distant second
    Malaysia having lost its former glory
    Needs reforms for success to be earned

    Singapore, the ‘rose among the thorns’
    A popular Malaysian migrant’s destination
    A new PR federal gov’t must be born
    For a better future to the Malaysian nation

  7. #7 by grkumar on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 12:57 pm

    Transparency international the world bank sponsored fraud has no moral right or ascendency over others to determine the standards let alone the definition of corruption.

    The island state you mention practices a form of racial chauvanism you complain of in Malaysia and jails those who question or investigate the excesses and unaccountability of its ruling elite.

    What is meant by corruption? check the anti corruption legislation in Malaysia then tell me you have found the meaning there. Thats your first port of call or should be.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - 5:35 pm

    If the Penang Senior Citizens’ Appreciation Award of Rm100 is not halal, then how halal is this money stolen by ‘ghosts’?

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