Najib is notching up a great shame and infamy for Malaysia when we are overtaken by China and even Indonesia in both TI CPI ranking and score within a decade

Durian Tunggal is in the Alor Gajah parliamentary seat, which is the fourth parliamentary constituency I am visiting Malacca today and the 79th parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22. The other parliamentary constituencies I visited today are Masjid Tanah, Tangga Batu and Bukit Katil.

I have been suspended from Parliament not because I had committed any crime or wrongdoing like theft, robbery, murder or corruption, but because I wanted the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to give full and satisfactory accountability for the world-class RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.

It is because of the refusal of the Najib administration to live up to the principles and precepts of accountability, integrity and good governance that Malaysia had been named third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” by the Foreign Policy website and the reason why Malaysia fell four places in the latest Transparency International (TI) 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking released on Wednesday compared to the previous year – now ranked No. 54 with a CPI score of 50/100.

Malaysia was ranked 50th among 175 countries in 2014 but dropped to 54th among 168 countries in 2015.

Malaysia's ranking in the TI CPI 2015 could have been lower, as five countries, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and St Vincent – which had been ranked higher than Malaysia – were excluded due to technical reasons like not meeting three minimum secondary sources for research.

In the TI CPI 2004, Bahamas was ranked No. 24, Barbados No. 17, Dominica No. 39, Puerto Rico No. 31 and St Vincent No. 29.

If these five countries which rank higher than Malaysia had been included, Malaysia's ranking in 2015 would be between 59 to 60 instead of 54.

Furthermore, if the TI CPI 2015 ranking had taken into consideration the shocking announcement by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali rejecting the recommendations of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and exonerating Najib from any wrongdoing or crime for the RM2.6 billion donation scandal, Malaysia would have fallen to an even lower ranking in the TI CPI, probably Malaysia’s lowest ranking in TI CPI history since 1995 and be consigned to between No. 65 – 70 in the TI CPI ranking!

This why I had demanded for full accountability in Parliament for Najib’s world-class twin mega scandals, but instead I have been suspended for six months from Parliament.

But this is little price, compared to the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Tan Sri Gani Patail as Attorney-General, and the arrests, immediate transfers or other threats experienced key officials of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the Police for scrupulously discharging their national duties to carry out a “without fear or favour” investigation into Najib’s twin mega scandals.

At the rate the UMNO/BN government is abandoning its National Transformation Programme objectives to fight corruption and uphold the principles of accountability, integrity and good governance, Najib is notching up a great shame and infamy for Malaysia when we are overtaken by China and even Indonesia in both TI CPI ranking and score within a decade.

The Najib government had been boasting about its target for Malaysia to be in the top 30 countries in the TI CPI by 2020, but this is nothing but a pipe-dream.

Studying the TI CPI ranking and score for the 177 countries and the 21-year series of TI CPI from 1995-2015, there is no reason or ground for anyone to believe that the target of Malaysia being ranked in the top 30 of TI CPI in 2020 is a realistic or achievable one.

In fact, within a decade, Malaysia faces the risk of being overtaken by China and even Indonesia in both TI CPI ranking and score, when in the first TI CPI in 1995, Malaysia was ranked No. 23 out of 41 countries with a score of 5.28 out of 10, while China and Indonesia were ranked as the last two bottom countries with CPI score of 2.16 and 1.94 out of 10 respectively (i.e. hovering in the lowest 90 percentile of the CPI score).

If Malaysia is to occupy the top 30 percentile of the CPI index in 2020, we must achieve at least the top 38 percentile of the CPI score and not just 50/100, as the scores of the five countries ranked from 27th to 30th in the TI CPI 2015 index are Bhutan 65/100, Botswana and Portugal 63/100, Poland and Taiwan 62/100.

However, in the last 21 years, Malaysia achieved the dubious distinction as one of the few countries which had been downgraded both in TI CPI ranking and score, but had lost out to countries which had lower CPI ranking and score in 1995 and is also now at risk of being overtaken by countries including China and Indonesia which had been at the bottom of TI CPI in 1995.

For instance, Malaysia ranked No. 23 with CPI score of 5.28/10 in 1995, was ahead of Taiwan (Rank 25 Score 5.08), Spain (R 26 Sc 4.35), South Korea (R 27 Score 4.29) and Hungary (R 28 Score 4.12) but in the 2015 TI CPI have lost out to Taiwan (R 30 Score 62), Spain (R 36 Score 58), South Korea (R 37 Score 56) and Hungary (R 50 Sc 51).

Unlike Malaysia, which has achieved a lower percentile score in the past 21 years, i.e. 5.28/10 in 1995 to 50/100 in 2015, all other countries in Asia have improved on their percentile score in the past 21 years from 1995 to 2015, eg. Thailand from 2.79/10 to 38/100; India from 2.78/10 to 38/100; Philippines from 2.77/10 to 35/100; Pakistan from 2.25/10 to 30/100; China from 2.16/10 to 37/100 and Indonesia from 1.94/10 to 36/100.

What should concern all Malaysians is that from these trends, Malaysia runs the risk of being overtaken by both Indonesia and China within a decade in the annual TI CPI both in ranking and score unless Malaysia quickly bucks up and show its seriousness on the anti-corruption front.

The start to the reversal of the trend of Malaysia being overtaken by other countries particularly in Asia in the fight against corruption in high public places must start with the Prime Minister’s full and satisfactory accountability on his world-class twin mega scandals.

The Attorney-General’s rejection of the MACC investigations and recommendations and exoneration of Najib of any crime or wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion donation and RM42 million SRC International scandals have convinced the overwhelming majority of Malaysians that they cannot get to the bottom of the Najib scandals from the ordinary government investigation and enforcement agencies and processes.

Apandi's decision shocked not only Malaysians, but also the international legal and juridical community, with the Swiss Attorney-General openly expressing his dismay at his Malaysian counterpart's decision.

There is only one option left, barring a change of government in Putrajaya – a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a public inquiry into Najib’s world class twin mega scandals as nobody expects the truth to be revealed if the matters are left solely to normal government investigation and enforcement agencies, or even to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee under a “cari makan” chairman.

The time has therefore come for a national campaign to demand an independent RCI into Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah