Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 24th September 2009:
Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranking and score in 15 years when the TI CPI 2009 is released next month?
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:
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).
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:
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:
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.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor