MACC should return RM5 million to Yayasan Prihatin SPRM from Najib because of “conflict-of-interest” and ask for a budget provision of RM300 million for 2018 to combat corruption against “sharks” of corruption

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should return the RM5 million allocation to Yayasan Prihatin SPRM announced by the Prime Minster, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sunday because of “conflict-of interest” issues and ask for a budget provision of RM300 million for 2018 for MACC to combat corruption against “sharks” of corruption.

The integrity, independence and professionalism of MACC and its officers must be jealously guarded and should not be compromised in any manner, such as the RM5 million allocation for Yayasan Prihatin SPRM, a foundation set up to look after the welfare of MACC personnel, announced by the Prime Minister when opening the new MACC headquarters in Putrajaya on Sunday.

Malaysia’s record in fighting corruption has been a dismal one if we look back the past two decades, as recorded the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) reports of Transparency International (TI) since 1995.

In 1995, Malaysia was ranked No. 23 out of 41 countries, with a CPI score above the half-way point of 5.2 out of 10 (which is best score for the least corrupt nation).

In the past 22 years, Malaysia’s record in fighting corruption got worse over the years despite an almost ten-fold increase in the annual budget allocation for the anti-corruption agency, ie. from RM28.6 million in 1994 to RM265 million for 2015. The budget allocation for MACC for 2016 was RM252 million and for 2017 RM216 million.

The MACC Chief Commissioner, Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad should explain why despite a ten-fold increase in the budget for anti-corruption in Malaysia in the past two decades, Malaysia’s ranking in the annual TI CPI worsened from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 55 in 2016, while the CPI score fell from above the mid-point of 5.32 out of 100 in 1996 to below the mid-point of 49 out of 100 in 2016?

Both in TI CPI ranking score, Malaysia in 2016 is even worse than 1995. Why is this the case?

Furthermore, can Dzulkifli explain why China and Indonesia, which were ranked as the last two and most corrupt countries in the list of 41 countries in the 1995 TI CPI, had been able to make steady progress in the anti-corruption front, as seen by the TI CPI 2016, where China was ranked No. 79 out of 176 countries with a CPI score of 40 out of 100, while Indonesia climbed from the bottom of the list to a respectable No. 90 out of 176 countries with a score of 37 out of 100.

At this rate and trend of anti-corruption efforts in Malaysia, China and Indonesia, Malaysia would long lose out to both China and Indonesia in terms of integrity, good governance and anti-corruption well before TN 2050 (National Transformation in Year 2050).

With the opening of the new MACC Headquarters, Malaysia has achieved a global “first” in having the biggest anti-corruption complex in the world. This is not the “first”, as Malaysia had earlier achieved a global first transforming itself into a “global kleptocracy” under the Najib premiership.

MACC does not need to have such an expensive, ostentatious and grand Hqrs.

It is more important that MACC has more modest headquarters but establish a global reputation and fame as an effective world-class anti-corruption agency to combat corruption, without fear or favour, regardless of whether they are “sharks”, “tigers” or “crocodiles”.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah