Guan Eng: MACC chief’s case will knock Malaysia even more rungs down world corruption ladder next year

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia’s sharp decline in rankings and performance in fighting corruption in 2021 was not in time to cover the share shenanigans involving Tan Sri Azam Baki. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia’s sharp decline in rankings and performance in fighting corruption in 2021 was not in time to cover the share shenanigans involving Tan Sri Azam Baki. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today said that Malaysia’s low score and position in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) issued by Transparency International (TI) will continue to see a sharp decline if action is not taken against Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki over his proxy stock trading issue.

Lim said Malaysia’s sharp decline in rankings and performance in fighting corruption in 2021 was not in time to cover the share shenanigans involving Azam.

“By including Azam Baki’s shares scandal, Malaysia’s TI-CPI rankings will further deteriorate in 2022,” he said in a statement this afternoon.

Yesterday, it emerged that perceived corruption in Malaysia has deteriorated, according to TI that ranked the country 62nd in 2021, or five rungs lower than the previous year.

Malaysia scored 48 points in the annual Global Corruption Index (CPI), the first time the country’s score dropped below 50 since 2012.

The international watchdog’s CPI scores countries from zero to 100, with zero being perceived as highly corrupt, and 100 marks for those perceived as very clean.

Commenting on the matter, Lim said the fact that TI suggested the need to reform the MACC to make it truly independent and place it under the purview of Parliament as well as protect whistle-blowers that have not enjoyed full protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, showed that the MACC is not part of the solution but part of the problem.

“Not only has the MACC been used as a political weapon against opposition politicians, but MACC high-ranking officers are also embroiled in corrupt practices and abuse of power. MACC investigations and threats of prosecution for corruption charges will descend upon Opposition MPs but then magically disappear after they defect to support the prime minister,” he said.

Lim said Malaysia’s depressing failures include managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our economy continues to be mired in recession from the disastrous serial total lockdowns that caused more than RM500 billion in economic losses, the political crisis caused by weak leadership with an unelected government, the national flood disaster resulting in more than 55 lives lost and RM20 billion in economic losses and now the corruption scandals.

“TI had said that whilst Malaysia has launched a National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) in 2019, this is meaningless if not executed or enforced as well as not accompanied by promised institutional reforms, amongst them the Anti-Hopping Law.

“These are one of the reasons why Pakatan Harapan leaders signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the prime minister to expressly amend the Federal Constitution to enact the Anti-Hopping law by March 2022 parliamentary session, to prevent ‘bought’ defections by elected representatives and betrayal of voters’ mandate,” he added

TI suggested that Malaysia could improve its CPI rankings if it steps up institutional reforms and shows greater transparency on matters of public interest.

It urgently called for the full implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), and publication of the progress on the plan’s 115 initiatives via a public dashboard.

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