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Published: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 7:18:51 AM

Malaysia’s anti-graft fight sees slight improvement

SUBANG JAYA: Malaysia’s fight against corruption appears to have improved slightly with the release of Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013, pegging the country at 53rd from 54th last year.

The results, which were released by Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) on Tuesday, showed that Malaysia came in 53rd place out of a list of 177 countries and scored 50 out of 100 points on the index.

On a scale of 0 to 100, 0 is marked as “highly corrupt” while 100 is “very clean”. In 2012, Malaysia scored 49 on the CPI.

TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar said the Government was on the right track, although it needed to work harder to improve its score.

He said Malaysia’s CPI score was based on nine different surveys conducted over a two-year period.

“There is improvement, but you have a lot of things to do,” he said.

From an Asean standpoint, Malaysia ranked third under the CPI, while Singapore and Brunei came in at fifth and 38th place respectively.

Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister’s Department and its director of Anti-Corruption National Key Result Area, Ravindran Devagunam said although there was a slight improvement, Malaysia had not done enough in this area.

“We would expect by leaps and bounds by 2020 to be in the top 30 percentile of the developed nations, and not out of the 177 countries,” he added.

Ravindran said the fight against corruption has become harder and that Pemandu was working to improve Malaysia’s standing.

Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navarat­nam lamented Malaysia’s “dismal” score, saying there was a gap between the initiatives by agencies such as Pemandu and the results.

Akhbar recommended that the Government take several steps in improving Malaysia’s score, including giving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) more autonomy and independence, and for certain laws such as the Official Secrets Act to be repealed.

He also called for stiffer penalties for corruption convictions and public disclosure of assets, income and liabilities.

Tags / Keywords: Government, corruption

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