MANILA: Malaysia’s fight against corruption is heading in the right direction under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said Jak Jabes, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) governance and regional co-operation director.
He said Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) had shown tremendous progress over the years in its fight against corruption, malpractice and abuse of power.
“I think the numbers (cases investigated and brought before the courts) certainly attest to their effort.
“Your Prime Minister has certainly proved that he wants such undesirable elements out and has given the ACA the means to get on with their job and they are doing just that,” he told The Star in an interview here yesterday.
The ADB and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are responsible for initiating the regional anti-corruption action plan in the region.
Twenty-three countries, including Malaysia, are signatories to this plan.
Jabes said the political will in Malaysia against corruption was a good sign.
“Malaysia must continue to do so as it is very close to Hong Kong and Singapore – the two countries where corruption is very low,” he said, urging the ACA to continue its fight against corruption by creating awareness among the public.
Malaysian ACA Director-General Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor said the country’s Anti-Corruption Academy – the first of its kind in the region and probably the world – would become a regional training centre.
He said member countries attending the ADB-OECD 5th steering group meeting here had agreed to his proposal to make the academy a training centre.
“The Government has given us RM17mil to refurbish the old ACA headquarters in Jalan Duta and it will be partially opened by next year,” he said.