Lee Lam Thye: Malaysia's drop in Corruption Perception Index must be taken seriously

  • Nation
  • Monday, 01 Feb 2021

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's six-point drop in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 should be taken seriously by the government, says National Institute of Integrity member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

He said that Malaysia must never let its guard down in the war against corruption, adding that corruption is a scourge that impacts the people in many adverse ways.

"There is no denying that corruption cannot be completely eradicated in any country or society. So long as there is a willing giver and a willing taker, there will be corrupt practices, ” said Lee.

He added in a statement on Monday (Feb 1) that steps can be taken to minimise the prevalence of corruption through concerted action, including stringent enforcement of existing laws and through public education.

Lee said that while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission must be commended over its deeds in the past, more needs to be done.

He added that corruption takes many forms such as bribery, favours, preferential treatment, favouritism and rewards.

At the same time, Lee said the lack of institutional reforms and political will has exacerbated the issue of rampant corruption, as he pointed out that hundreds of corruption cases go unreported on a daily basis.

"The war against corruption cannot be won overnight. It needs painstaking effort, commitment, political will and a propensity to stay the course despite temptation," said Lee

Lee added that the war on corruption is a two-pronged assault; first, to book all corruption suspects and second is to educate Malaysians to be more ethical.

"For this, we must start at schools where we can inculcate good values and habits in the young minds that emphasise integrity and responsibility and respect for people, institution s and healthy practices."

At the same time, Lee also said the media must be congratulated for regularly highlighting corrupt practices and publicising court prosecutions for malpractice.

"Fighting corruption is everybody's duty. We shirk it at our peril."

Malaysia dropped six places in the TI CPI 2020, placing it 57th out of 180 countries ranked by their perceived level of public sector corruption.

In 2019, Malaysia came in at 51st place.

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