Malaysia has once again tumbled from the ranks in the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2021 by Transparency International, to 62nd out of 180 countries in terms of public sector corruption.
In an online press conference, the international watchdog said Malaysia scored only 48 points out of 100 in the CPI and this is the first time the country’s score dropped below 50 since 2012.
The CPI index gives a 0 – 100 score describing the state of corruption of the nation, with 100 being no corruption and 0 being the most corrupted one.
Transparency International Malaysia President Dr Muhammad Mohan gave some reasons so as to why Malaysia had digressed from its path was due to stalled institutional reforms.
One of which was the political financing bill that was scheduled to be tabled in Parliament by the last two governments, but has yet to be realised.
“As such money politics is still rampant, even during elections.”
“There also has been no progress on reforms to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s recommendations in 2015,” he said.
There were other issues that contributed to the continued drop in Malaysia’s score and ranking too.
Mohan cited the discharge not amounting to acquittal for high profile personalities in corruption cases, and a continued lack of political will from various administrations in fighting corruption.
“Appointments of politicians without experience to head government linked companies as well as the government procurement bill which is yet to be tabled in Parliament (remains outstanding).”
“There is also a dearth in progress for amendments to the Whistle-blowers Protection Act 2010 besides adverse findings and government failures observed in the Auditor General’s annual report.”
“Additionally there is also a lack of action against public officials who abuse their positions.”
However, there were some positive developments such as the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Pakatan Harapan last year.
He added that the UNDI18, automatic voter registration and the Malaysia Agreement (MA) 63 were part of the positive developments in 2020.
However, Mohan said it was crucial that the anti-hopping law be tabled in Parliament soon. “The law is badly needed, we can’t simply have lawmakers jumping to other parties every few years.”
“There is also a need for parliamentary reforms and to cut back on the unlimited tenure of the prime minister to 10 years.”
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