China is catching “tigers” and Indonesia “crocodiles”, why is Malaysia not catching “sharks” in the war against grand corruption?

The 2016 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) will be made public in a month's time.

Will Malaysia's ranking improve or deteriorate?

In the TI CPI 2015 report, Brazil was specifically mentioned as follows:

“Dealing with many entrenched corruption issues, Brazil has been rocked by the Petrobras scandal, in which politicians are reported to have taken kickbacks in exchange for awarding public contracts. As the economy crunches, tens of thousands of ordinary Brazilians have lost their jobs already. They didn’t make the decisions that led to the scandal. But they’re the ones living with the consequences. “

Brazil was ranked No. 76 out of 168 countries, with a CPI score of 38 out of 100 and was one of the five countries named whose CPI had deteriorated compared to previous years.

Will Malaysia be dishonourably named in the TI CPI 2016 Report, especially with Malaysia recently regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy” after a spate of disastrous developments in province of kleptocracy, in particular the US Department of Justice (DOJ) forfeiture suit of US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland arising from US$3 billion international embezzlement and money-laundering and the the regulatory and criminal actions taken by over half a dozen countries connected with 1MDB kleptocracy, including the Switzerland, United Kingdom, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Australia.

Earlier in the year, after the release of TI CPI 2015 Report, Malaysia had gained a spate of disreputable titles, like third place in international website,’s ranking of the world’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”, TIME magazine’s second ranking of “global corruption” in March and the Economist’s second placing in its second index of crony capitalism in May.

The question uppermost in everyone's mind, in Malaysia and outside the country, is why China is catching “tigers” and Indonesia “crocodiles”, but Malaysia is not able to catch a single “shark” in the war against grand corruption.

In China, a million of the party’s 90 million members have been sanctioned for corruption-related offences since Xi Jinping took power as President – including scores of officials of deputy ministerial or higher status, demonstrating that high status within the party is no protection for “tigers” against investigation and conviction.

In Indonesia, another Minister in Susilo Bambong Yudhoyono presidential administration was arrested this week in a corruption case, joining three other Ministers in Yudhoyono's second administration (2009-2014) who were among the “crocodiles” who had been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment because of corruption.

In September last year, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak conspicuously backed out of officiating the opening of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya with the theme “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action”.

The 16th IACC, which was meant to be the high-water mark of Najib’s six-year anti-corruption campaign and show-case Najib as one of the exemplary global leaders spearheading a transformation programme with anti-corruption as one of its core objectives, proved to be the exact reverse: exposing the hollowness of Najib's anti-corruption campaign which reached its lowest depths when Malaysia was the subject of the largest kleptocracy action by the US DOJ some 10 months later!

The 17th IACC in Panama City on December 1 – 4 will follow up on the 16th IACC declaration in Putrajaya on the commitment of the global movement to zero tolerance of impunity for corruption with the IACC theme of “Time for Justice” as a global call to turn the pledge of zero tolerance into concrete action and to support all those who take a stand against the corrupt.

Malaysia will only have meaningful contribution to the 17th IACC in Panama City if we address the question as to why China could catch “tigers” and Indonesia “crocodiles”, but Malaysia is incapable of catching a single “shark” in the anti-corruption campaign and for Malaysia to start catching the “sharks” to demonstrate that they cannot enjoy impunity.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah