Thursday 23 January, Kuala Lumpur – Transparency International (TI) the global anti-corruption coalition today released its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), that draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments measuring the perceived level of corruption of public sectors in 180 countries and territories in the world. This year, Denmark and New Zealand are top of the index with 87 points each as “clean countries”, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia are at the bottom of the index, with 13, 12 and 9 points respectively.
The survey results indicate that Malaysia’s score has improved to 53 points in 2019, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupted) to 100 (perceived to be very clean) in 2019 compared to 47 points in 2018. Malaysia’s ranking in the CPI has improved from 61 in 2018 to 51 in 2019 among the 180 countries surveyed.
This recovery by improving 10 steps in the global ranking for Malaysia is due to the swift action taken by the government to address the scandals in 1 MDB, SRC, Felda and Tabung Haji when they came into power. This was followed by the arrest of several political figures who were later charged by MACC for corruption and money laundering. Today MACC under the leadership of Pn Lateefa Koya is one of the most respected government agency in the country and they have acted without fear or favour. Other factors for this improvement in the CPI ranking are due to greater media freedom, asset declaration by the ruling party members of parliament, enforcement of the Corporate Liability Provision (Section 17A) in June 2020 and the Pakatan Harapan government’s commitment with a 5 year National Anti -Corruption Plan to achieve the aspiration for Malaysia to be known for integrity and not corruption.
Moving forward to further improve Malaysia’s standing in the index, the Pakatan Harapan government should accelerate institutional reforms such as making the MACC more independent, pushing for the IPCMC bill, enactment of the political financing law to stop money politics and regularly engage with the public and civil societies to update on reforms’ progress and get feedback. The NACP (National Anti- Corruption Plan) has 115 initiatives and it is believed that as of end of 2019 22 initiatives have been completed. However, the government is urged to make public these completed initiatives for public scrutiny and transparency. Only with such momentum and progress we can expect to see further improvement in the index next year.
For full report: Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 Result