CORRUPTION TI-S REPORT 2007: MEASURES TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN THE JUDICIARY AND TO PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY AND INTEGRITY
We are still low in our rating and this has continuing adverse implications on the future prospects for the socio-economic and political stability and progress of Malaysia.
The government and all Malaysians must review and reform our society and governance as soon as possible to prevent the slide in transparency and integrity that is now taking place in our country, before it is too late.
If we do not take purposeful measures now to combat corruption, Malaysia will head towards the beginnings of an environment of a failing state!
The following are some important measures inter alia, that TI-Malaysia will keep campaigning for, to raise our TI rating:-
1. Firstly, to establish a culture of integrity and transparency. The constitution and the rule of law must be upheld without fear or favour. The public perception of the judiciary and the rule of law must be of the highest order- but there is considerable public doubt at this time.
a. I propose that the Bar Council and ASLI-CPPS could have a survey to find out the level of faith and confidence in the jury/public
b. The National Integrity Plan (NIP) has to be reflected in the 9th Malaysia Plan, Industrial Master Plan (IMP) and Annual Budgets etc.
c. Reduce the rhetoric and go for reality
d. Aim for zero corruption and you’ll get somewhere- abolish the “close one eye” approach
e. Government must be seen to be serious! Malaysia’s image is important to obtain better perceptions that can impact favourably on the TI rating
2. IIM/ACA must strengthen connectivity with public – to enhance confidence and trust.
3. ACA will have to be independent or closely monitored and supervised – who does it now and how effectively?
4. Introduce “Integrity Pacts (IP)” as soon as possible – in public and private sectors.
5. Declare assets and liabilities of political leaders and senior officials to Public Accounts Committee or an independent Parliamentary Commission of Eminent Persons.
6. Public and Private Procurement have to be subjected to Open Public Tendering – only exceptions should be made for negotiated contracts for special considerations like security and for highly specialized goods and services in any case, full jurisdiction for negotiated contracts must be made public for the sake of good governance, transparency and accountability.
7. Whistle blowers should be encouraged and protected by law. Reward whistle blowers like income tax and custom informers.
8. Investigate officials and private individuals who “Live beyond their means”.
9. Corrupt suspects should be asked to show cause and be administratively penalized if evidence is hard to obtain for litigation.
10. “Hadhari” should be implemented in regards to sound values of integrity and punishment. The recent rejection of an international interfaith conference gives the wrong signals that we are not sufficiently transparent, open and supportive of the principles of “Hadhari” and that we do not practice what we preach.
11. Publicize successful convictions for corruption.
12. Educate the public on the evils and dangers of corruption from childhood.
For the above and other measures to be introduced as a matter of priority – we need stronger political will which appears lacking at this time. We cannot afford weak political will to combat corruption and to have greater integrity instilled in all our institutions and our national culture.
We will continue to succeed or decline depending on how much political will all Malaysians will exercise in their day to day conduct and especially at the ballot box.
Tan Sri (Dr) Ramon V. Navaratnam
Transparency International – Malaysia