Oct 30, 2010

Malaysia's Corruption at its Worst


Malaysia is in the lowest rating ever by Transparency International in the latest Corruption Perception Index for 2010. Malaysia is seen plunging down in to serious corruption with an index score of 4.4, the index has a range of 0 to 10, 0 being highly corrupt to 10 being very clean. An index score of 4.4 is deem to be a "serious corruption score" and is rank at 56 out of 178 countries being rated.

As compared to Singapore which is jointly tied at the top spot with Denmark and New Zealand with a high index score of 9.3 being the cleanest of countries.


Dato Paul Low, the President of the local branch of Transparency International noted the plunge was serious not only when compared to the country’s perceived past performances but, more importantly, in relation to other countries worldwide and especially those within the Asean region.

Even tiny Brunei which was included in the CPI for the first time this year, outstripped Malaysia at 5.5.

Drawing special attention to neighbouring Indonesia, Low marked that though it ranks 111 and scored 2.8 on the CPI, the country’s corruption level is seen to be improving steadily under the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indonesia, which once scored less than 2.0, rose to 2.6 last year and this year improved to 2.8 in the CPI.



DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang called Malaysia’s ranking the worst in 15 years and said it was a major blow to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration.

“This is a national shame and major blow for Najib’s premiership,” the Ipoh Timur MP said in a statement.

Dato Paul Low blame the federal government’s lack of political will in enforcing tight anti-graft measures.

He said intense scrutiny surrounding public scandals exposing money siphoned off public funds, from the long drawn-out multi-billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project to the more recent double-tracking railway project, which went overboard by a whopping RM1.3 billion were clear examples that affected the increasing poor perception.

He said the impression the public gets is of double standards and selective prosecution, adding that the newly empowered Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is only seen to be catching “small fish” and focusing on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rival political parties.

“The Auditor General’s annual report highlights extraordinary public procurement abuses, but no action appears to have been taken,” he stressed.



This chart shows a correlation between the GDP and corruption and clearly indicates that the least corrupt countries enjoy the highest economic wealth.

The chart above relates the wealth of the nation on per capita income based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of the GDP, Singapore which is tied in the Top spot of the CPI enjoys a PPP per capita income of US$53,000 which is higher by 3.8 times as compared to Malaysia at US$14,000 .

Singapore's GDP per capita income at PPP is the fourth highest in the world and Malaysia is ranked at no. 58 next to Libya and Lebanon as rated by the International Monetary Fund.

Professor Johann Graf Lambsdorff of the University of Passau, who carries out the Index for TI, underscored the disastrous effects of corruption and gains from fighting it, saying, "Evidence suggests that an improvement in the CPI by one point [on a 10-point scale] increases capital inflows by 0.5 per cent of a country's gross domestic product and average incomes by as much as 4 per cent."

“Stemming corruption requires strong oversight through parliaments, law enforcement, independent media and a vibrant civil society,” said Labelle. “When these institutions are weak, corruption spirals out of control with horrendous consequences for ordinary people, and for justice and equality in societies more broadly.” - Huguette Labelle of TI.

If Najib is sincere in wanting to bring Malaysia towards a high income economy than he must seriously act to rid the country of corruption by empowering the MACC (Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission) and making it fully independent and autonomous or otherwise all his talk of a New Economic Model and Economic Transformation is seen to be a Deception and a lot of Hog Wash.

Corruption Ruins Life, Take Action, Fight Back - Transparency International

List of countries GDP per capita HERE 
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