Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Wednesday, 24th September 2008:
Abdullah ultimate failure in the battle
against corruption - Malaysia's worst ranking in 14 years of TI CPI at
It is another day of shame for Malaysia when
the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
2008 was unveiled, with the country placed at No. 47th position, its
worst ranking in 14 years since the introduction of the annual TI CPI
ranking in 1995.
It is also the ultimate failure of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's campaign against corruption, which he promised
to place at the very top of his agenda when he became the fifth Prime
Minister five years ago –a campaign rich in paying lip service but
doomed to failure as it lacked the political will to produce results.
It is most ironic and tragic that one man who will feel most vindicated
by the TI CPI 2008 is former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Abdullah had promised that his campaign against corruption will be one
area which will distinguish the difference of his premiership from that
of his predecessor. It was his promise to bring in a refreshing wind of
change after 22 years of "cronyism, corruption and nepotism" (CCN) of
Mahathir administration that created the unprecedented Barisan Nasional
landslide electoral victory in the 2004 general election.
However, in just a year after the 2004 general election, Mahathir was
able to adopt a "holier than thou" attitude towards the Abdullah
premiership by publicly warning in May 2005 that corruption under
Abdullah for a little over a year was even worse than under him for 22
years, that "corruption might be getting to a point of no return",
becoming "a culture in Malaysia with corruption almost at the 'above the
table' level" and "more and more people no longer trying to hide the
fact that they were corrupt".
The TI CPI 2008 has proved Mahathir right in his adverse judgment on the
Abdullah administration on its dismal performance in the battle against
What a sad and tragic end reminding one of the Shakespearean quote in
Macbeth: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Malaysia's worst-ever ranking of No. 47 in the TI CPI 2008 is not just
the ultimate failure of the Abdullah premiership in the campaign against
corruption, it is also a national shame and infamy.
The National Integrity Plan promulgated in April 2004 announced the
five-year target to emplace Malaysia at least No. 30 in the TI CPI by
2008. Instead, we plunged to the lowest ever at No. 47 position.
In the nine years from 1995 to to 2003, Mahathir presided over a
14-ranking fall in Malaysia's TI CPI from 23rd to 37th placing.
Abdullah, in five years from 2003 to 2008, supervised a 10-ranking fall
from 37th to 47th position.
We have not only continued to lose out to model nations in Asia in
anti-corruption rankings like Singapore (No. 4 in 2008 TI CPI), Hong
Kong (No. 12), Japan (No. 18), we are also losing out to more and more
countries even in Africa, Middle East and Latin America, like Qatar (No.
28), United Arab Emirates (No.35), Botswana, Puerto Rico and Malta (No.
36), Taiwan (No. 39), South Korea (No. 40), Mauritius and Oman (No. 41),
Macao and Bahrain (No. 43), Bhutan and Czech Republic (No. 45).
With such a dismal failure of the five-year plan target of the National
Integrity Plan, the whole Cabinet should resign in shame and set a final
salutary example of the culture of responsibility and resignation, the
first prerequisite to any meaningful campaign against corruption.
But will the Ministers place the country's dismal showing in the TI CPI
2008 on top of the Cabinet agenda today with a clear-cut accounting to
the nation as to the future of the National Integrity Plan and the war
against corruption after the Cabinet meeting?
Or will the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers just sweep the dismal
ranking of Malaysia in TI CPI 2008 under the carpet, keeping up the
pretence that such a lengthening list of national infamy does not exist?
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor