Malaysia needs a new MACC Chief Commissioner who has one important KPI – to ensure that China and Indonesia do not overtake Malaysia in TI CPI whether before 2025 or 2030

Another reason why Azam Baki must relinquish his post as MACC Chief Commissioner is that apart from Argentina, Turkey, Mexico and Venezuela, Malaysia has a lower score in Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index ( CPI) 2021 than the 14 countries it had beaten in the original 1995 TI CPI 27 years ago.

In 1995, TI surveyed 41 countries while in 2021, 180 countries were surveyed. From 1995-2011, the maximum score was 10 points but from 2012 onwards, the maximum score was altered to 100 points.

In 1995, Malaysia scored 5.28 points out of 10 and ranked No. 23 out of 41 countries. After 27 years, apart from four countries of Argentina, Turkey, Mexico and Venezuela, it has a lower score in the TI CPI 2021 than the 14 countries it had beaten in the original 1995 CI CPI, with the score and within bracket the ranking for the respective country:

Nation TI CPI(1995) TI CPI(2021)
Malaysia 5.28 (23) 48(62)
Argentina 5.24 (24) 38 (96)
Taiwan 5.08 (25) 68 (26)
Spain 4.35 (26) 61 (35)
South Korea 4.29 (27) 62 (32)
Hungary 4.12 (28) 43 (74)
Turkey 4.10 (29) 38 (101)
Greece 4.04 (30) 49 (59)
Columbia 3.44 (31) 39 (88)
Mexico 3.18 (32) 31 (125)
Italy 2.99 (33) 56 (42)
Thailand 2.79 (34) 35 (114)
India 2.78 (35) 40 (85)
Philippines 2.77 (36) 33 (119)
Brazil 2.7 (37) 38 (97)
Venezuela 2.66 (38) 14 (177)
Pakistan 2.25 (39) 28 (142)
China 2.16 (40) 45 (66)
Indonesia 1.94 (41) 38 (98)

In countries where there is integrity and accountability, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner would have handed in his resignation at the atrocious TI CPI 2020/2021 reports where Malaysia fell five points in score and 11 points in ranking in two years.

For nearly one month, Malaysia was convulsed in government and parliamentary paralysis by what is best termed Azam-gate where the country’s chief anti-corruption officer failed to be a prime example of integrity, probity and accountability with his shareholding scandal.

The hope that Malaysia might become one of the world’s top 30 countries in public integrity by 2030 under the Pakatan Harapan government was destroyed by the Sheraton Move conspiracy on Feb. 26, 2020 and we have now the sorry TI CPI 2020/2021 reports.

The country was promised that under the former UMNO-BN regime in the last decade that Malaysia would achieve the target to be in the top 30 countries in the world in public integrity and anti-corruption.

Studying the TI CPI ranking and score for the 24-year series of TI CPI from 1995-2018, there was no ground for anyone to believe that the target of Malaysia being ranked in the top 30 countries of TI CPI 2020 could be achieved.

Countries which had been down on the list of the TI CPI ranking in the first series in 1995, like China, Thailand, India and Indonesia, were fast catching up to Malaysia’s level, which had regressed since 1995.

Fortunately, this trajectory was stopped when the Pakatan Harapan government took over, and in the TI CPI 2019, Malaysia achieved the best TI CPI performance in 25 years with a single-year improvement of six points for TI CPI score and 10 placings for TI CPI ranking – a ranking of No. 51 and score of 53 out of the 100.

Now we are back on the slippery slope of corruption as before the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 and the worst is yet to come from Azam-gate and worsening of the system of integrity in public life.

From the TI CPI records of the Najib administration from 2010-2018, it is likely that China would have overtaken Malaysia in the TI CPI series before 2030.

This was stopped by the 14th General Election in 20118 as the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government made it quite an impossible task for China to overtake Malaysia in TI CPI reports.

But with the Sheraton Move conspiracy and the two backdoor Muhyiddin and Ismail Sabri governments, China may overtake Malaysia in both TI CPI score and ranking by 2025 as China’s present score is 45 compared to Malaysia’s 48 out of 100.

The same applies to Indonesia.

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Muhammad Mohan had warned that Indonesia was “improving slowly” over the past few years and Malaysia should be careful as “one day Indonesia may overtake us”.

In the TI CPI 2021, Indonesia is ranked No. 96 with a score of 38 as compared to Malaysia’s rank of 62 and score of 48.

The sad scenario of Indonesia overtaking Malaysia may come about before 2030 if Malaysia continues to regress in anti-corruption while Indonesia continues to make progress on this front.

If Malaysia does not buck up in the anti-corruption front, it is not inconceivable that Indonesia may even overtake Malaysia in the TI CPI before 2025!

Malaysia needs a new MACC Chief Commissioner who has one important key performance indicator (KPI) – to ensure that China and Indonesia do not overtake Malaysia in TI CPI whether before 2025 or 2030.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri