By Mohd Jamaludin Shamsudin

KUALA LUMPUR--The unveiling of the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index on 25th Jan 2022 pretty much reveals Malaysia’s deteriorating position from 51/180 in 2019 to 57 in 2020 and 62 in 2021. Although saddening, it does not come as a surprise with the events unfolding before our eyes.

The CPI is a global aggregate Index capturing perceptions of corruption in the public sector.

Some of the reasons for the drop in the index include:

1. Appointment of politicians without experience to head GLCs/GLICs

2. Limited progress or update of high profile cases.

3. Government Procurement Bill has yet to be tabled in Parliament

4. Lack of action against public officials found to have abused their position.

5. Slow progress on the various initiatives within the NACP

ACCIN supports the various recommendations by TI-M to combat corruption and abuse of power. Some of the recommendations include, narrowing the scope of Official Secrets Act to only matters related to national security, reform of MACC to make it truly independent and report to Parliament and enact an Asset Declaration law to compel all politicians and high ranking officials to declare publicly their assets and explain their sources.

ACCIN calls for the full implementation of the NACP. Accelerate the tabling of the Political Financing Act. Ensure Independence and transparency of all key check and balance and enforcement institutions such as the Police, MACC, AG’s Chambers and Judiciary.

The numerous scandals and polemics involving these institutions has severely eroded the confidence of the public in them. The latest being the saga of the MACC Commissioner. Despite the outrage of the general public and calls for his resignation, no action has been taken, thus far. Instead, the whistleblower is being victimised for her courage and sense of duty.

Recent and past experience indicate, the only path towards reform is for the civil society and rakyat to compel for change. Change will not happen through the efforts of the politicians only who are burdened with vested interest such as influence, position and power.

The case of Tan Sri Azam Baki is one of the many ills that need to be reformed in this country. The people are waiting. If there are no reforms instituted urgently, the nation with its general public will suffer. Is this a price we are willing to pay?

*Mohd Jamaludin Shamsudin is CEO of the Allied Coordinating Council of Islamic NGOs (ACCIN)*