KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s political will to fight corruption has started to bear fruit, says the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC).
Its director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said international indexes and studies showed improvement in Malaysia’s performance indicators.
“The Global Edelsmann Trust Barometer shows the level of public confidence in the government has risen to 60% in 2019 compared to 46% in 2018, ” he said in his keynote address at the Anti-Corruption and Integrity 2019 forum here yesterday.
The Institut Integriti Malaysia and Aram Global Sdn Bhd jointly organised the forum with the theme “Embedding Integrity the cornerstone of Good Governance”.
Malaysia is ranked 52nd, 14 places above Singapore (66th) on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index, among 165 countries.
“On the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, Malaysia has advanced to 15th position in 2019 from 24th out of 190 countries last year, ” he said.
Abu Kassim said the Corporate Governance Watch Report showed Malaysia securing the fourth position among 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region in 2018, compared to the seventh in 2016.
Malaysia also jumped 22 places to 123rd position on the World Press Freedom Index 2019.
“Among South-East Asian countries, Malaysia is top on the World Press Freedom Index 2019, ” he said.
All these reflected the public and international community’s confidence in the seriousness of the government of the day in addressing corruption, integrity and governance issues, he said.
The Anti-Corruption Perception Study of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission showed that the people’s perception of the government’s seriousness in fighting corruption has increased by 11% from 59.8% in 2016 to 70.8% last year, he said.
Abu Kassim also revealed that the much- awaited Political Donations Bill would likely be tabled in Parliament next month.
The Prime Minister’s Directive on issuance of support letters by Members of the Administration is also being formulated.
Abu Kassim also noted that the Pakatan Harapan-led government had implemented a new code of conduct for Members of the Administration and Members of Parliament.
This includes barring MPs from being appointed as chairman or board members of government-linked companies (GLCs).
“Previously, GLCs such as Tabung Haji, Mara, Felda, BSN, FGV, etc, were led by lawmakers and caused huge losses, ” he said.
Abu Kassim said both the public and private sectors had positively accepted the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in January.
“NACP is the people’s plan. It is not owned by the government or any individual organisation. All of us have a role to play to ensure the successful implementation of NACP, ” he said.
Malaysia has also adopted an international standard “ISO 37001: Anti-bribery Management Systems” which could be used as a guide to prevent corrupt practices through systematic implementation of corruption risk management.