MTUC Lo: Corruption in the country needs anti-corruption vaccine

Andrew Lo

KUCHING, Jan 28: It is not surprising that Malaysia continues to slip in the international corruption index as corruption seems to be endemic and ingrained in all strata of society, said Sarawak Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak secretary Andrew Lo.

“Not surprised that we are getting worse, not better. We can expect next year to be worse.

“(This is because) corruption seems to be endemic and ingrain onto all levels of society; from the very top to even issues like parking fines, traffic summons and enforcement of SOPs (standard operating procedures), to foreign workers recruitment and welfare assistance,” said Lo in a statement issued here today.

He said corruption in the country is even worse than Covid-19 pandemic which needed urgent anti-corruption vaccine.

Lo was commenting on the latest report by the Transparency International (TI) after the country slipped six rungs, from 51st in 2019 to 57th last year, out of 180 countries in TI’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released today.

In a statement today, the Malaysian Society for Transparency and Integrity (TI-Malaysia) said the drop in ranking underscores the country’s deteriorating score, from 53 points in 2019 to 51 last year.

Countries are scored from zero to 100, with zero being perceived as the most corrupted, and 100 marks for those perceived as the cleanest and most transparent.

“Although a drop in the score appears statistically insignificant, the government must be cognizant(sic) that our rank falling six steps means that compared to other countries, we are not improving as well as other countries in our efforts to fight corruption,” TI-Malaysia said in a statement today.

According to TI-Malaysia, Malaysia’s deterioration can be attributed to its institutional reforms that appear to have stalled over the past year. An example it gave was failure by both the previous Pakatan Harapan administration and the subsequent Perikatan Nasional government to table the proposed Political Funding Bill in Parliament.

“Also the IPCMC (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission) Bill was revised to a watered down version and a largely ineffective IPCC (Independent Police Conduct Commission) Bill. Further, the separation of powers between the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor has yet to be initiated by the Government,” TI-Malaysia said.

Other reasons cited by TI-Malaysia added that the ‘Discharge Not Amounting to Acquittal’ granted in several high-profile criminal cases, like the recent developments in former minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s corruption trial, an outcome that TI-Malaysia said would give a negative perception on how the legal process is being used.

It also cited other local issues such as limited access to information on cases of public interest such as the compensations involved in the cancelling of the High Speed Rail, and the exact breakdown of how Goldman Sachs supposed to compensate Malaysia for their part in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. — DayakDaily