RECENTLY, The Edge Markets reported that Malaysia dropped five spots to rank 62 in the global rankings of Transparency International Malaysia’s (TI-M) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2021, marking the second consecutive year that the country has seen a decline in the rankings.
TI-M president Dr Muhammad Mohan has reportedly said that Malaysia’s score fell below the 50-point mark to 48 for 2021, from 51 and 53 in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
The CPI uses a scale of zero to 100, with lower scores indicating higher corruption.
Among the ASEAN countries, Malaysia ranked third after Singapore (score of 85) and Brunei (score of 60). Notably, Singapore was the only Asian country to make it to the top 10, ranking fourth after Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, among selected Islamic countries, Malaysia ranked sixth after the UAE, Qatar, Brunei, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
He highlighted several reasons that could be the factors behind Malaysia’s declining score.
“The last four governments have lacked political will to table the Political Financing Bill. As a result, money politics is still rampant, both during elections and as a scheme for corruption.
“The proposed IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission) Bill was revised to a watered down, ineffective bill. There also has been no progress on reforms to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which were recommended in 2015,“ he reportedly said.
Muhammad also pointed out the acquittals or discharges not amounting to acquittal to high profile personalities in several corruption cases with no clear clarification from the Attorney General’s office, the suspension of parliament during the Movement Control Order and the continued lack of political will from various administrations in fighting institutional corruption.
Other factors included the appointments of politicians without experience to head government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies, lack of progress on amendments to the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010, as well as the continued adverse findings and repeated governance failures observed in the Auditor General’s annual report.