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POSTION 47 LAST YEAR SLIPPED TO 56 IN 2009

TI-M president Datuk Paul Low said Malaysia’s ranking had slipped to 56th position this year from 47th last year, out of 180 countries surveyed in terms of index of corruption perception.

This "may be attributed to the perception of little progress in combating corruption, and lack of political will in implementing effective anti-corruption measures."

Reforms earn praise, but graft ranking drops

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17, 2009) : Transparency International Malaysia (T-IM) has acknowledged Malaysia’s efforts to deal with corruption although the country’s ranking on the corruption perception index (CPI) this year has declined.

TI-M president Datuk Paul Low said Malaysia’s ranking had slipped to 56th position this year from 47th last year, out of 180 countries surveyed.

However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s moves to initiate reforms in some institutions, especially the judiciary, and the setting up of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, to make them more independent, transparent and accountable, was the way forward for the country, he said at a press conference to announce Malaysia’s position in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2009, today.

He said Transparency International Malaysia believed that the way forward for the country was to seriously combat corruption and to make government decisions and transactions more visible and transparent.

Low, however, suggested that the government should be more transparent in its procurement process by implementing "integrity agreement" with vendors to act as preventive measures to curb corruption.

Low said Malaysia’s decline in ranking in CPI 2009 of 0.6, from 5.1 in 2008 to 4.5 this year, "may be attributed to the perception of little progress in combating corruption, and lack of political will in implementing effective anti-corruption measures".

Examples giving rise to the concern were the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco and the auditor-general’s annual report highlighting extraordinary public procurement abuses, he said.

"However, there are positive signs. The PKFZ fiasco is being actively and vigorously investigated, police reports have been made and suits have been taken against certain parties, and corrective measures have been taken.

"The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was ratified in September 2008. Integrity is a Key Result Area for the government, with the CPI as a key productivity index. The prime minister has formed a high-level task force to study and make recommendations for action to be taken on the auditor-general’s 2008 report," he said.

Meanwhile, DAP veteran and Ipoh Timur Member of Parliament Lim Kit Siang views Malaysia's drop in ranking as a national shame.

"I have no doubt that the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock on July 16 at the building housing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission building in Shah Alam and the MACC's targeting Pakatan Rakyat representatives as major factors for Malaysia’s worst-ever TI CPI ranking and score," he said in a statement.

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