Malaysia’s corruption index on the mend

Azmin dismissed any notion that the perceptions index will be affected by Umno’s presence in the current ruling coalition


MALAYSIA is expected to chart a better Corruption Perceptions Index this year under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration, Senior Minister (Economic Cluster) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) said.

Azmin said PN, under the leadership of Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, is committed to achieving the goal via all the related initiatives spearheaded by the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) and the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR).

He also dismissed any notion that the perceptions index will be affected by Umno’s presence in the current ruling coalition.

“Under Muhyiddin’s leadership, we believe that we will continue all efforts led by GIACC and JKKMAR with various initiatives that are currently implemented at the government agencies. I believe that we can see more positive results in the near future,” Azmin told the press at the Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) certificate presentation ceremony to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

In January, Malaysia ranked significantly higher in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2019, climbing 10 ladders to the 51st place compared to its 61st spot in 2018.

The scores were also improved with a six-point increase to 53 points over 100, from 47 in 2018. It is also the highest Corruption Perceptions Index since 2012.

Established under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration in 2018, GIACC was parked under the PM’s Department with the aim to get rid of the “kleptocrat nation” label that was resulted by the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandals involving former PM and Umno president Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

However, the PH administration only lasted 22 months after a large fraction of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia under Muhyiddin and Azmin decided to form the PN coalition with Umno and the Islamic-based party, PAS.

“The challenge (to combat corruption) is all on us and not based on only one party. As the government, that is our stand and commitment to preserve the aspiration of the people,” Azmin said.

Azmin said MITI will continue to engage stakeholders to find the best, practical solutions in facing the current economic challenges before submitting any proposal that could be considered for Budget 2021.

“The focus will be on generating growth, because without growth, there will be no distribution,” he said.

This year, Bank Negara Malaysia had forecast the country’s economy to grow between -2% and 0.5%.

“But the latest report by the World Bank indicates that our economy will grow better between 6.3% and 7.5%. However, the caveat is, we need to move very fast to restart our economy,” Azmin said.

He added that the government is currently engaging the business community to gather feedback on how they have been benefitting from the fourth economic stimulus package unveiled last month — the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan valued at RM35 billion.

Azmin said the government does not plan to rely on overseas borrowings as the main strategy is to depend more on the strength of cashflows that are generated within the country.

Earlier, Azmin, on behalf of MITI, received the ISO 37001:2016 ABMS International Certification from Sirim Bhd.

He said MITI is the fourth ministry in Malaysia that has received this certification, and is also the first to be acknowledged in the medium risk category.

“This ISO 37001:2016 ABMS International Certification is vital for MITI to enhance the efficiency and transparency of management at the ministerial level founded by the principles of governance, integrity and anti-corruption,” he said.