Political Parties Most Corrupt
Political parties emerged the most corrupt in Malaysia followed closely by the civil service, according to Transparency International’s (TI) 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) Report.
The report released today revealed that 42% of those polled in Malaysia said political parties were the most corrupt while 37% pointed the finger at the civil service.
TI Malaysia President Datuk Paul Low said political parties needed to be more transparent and disclose its source of funding, a move possibly enforced via amendments in election laws.
"Corruption in politics, as people have mentioned, is the mother of all corruption because it undermines democratic process (and) affects the way government is being governed," Low told a press conference here today.
Malaysia was plagued with the perception of pervasive money politics including rumours of corruption surrounding party elections and defections of elected representatives, Low said.
The GCB report also found that 67% of Malaysians polled felt the government’s actions were ineffective in fighting corruption with only 28% expressing approval towards government efforts.
The report also highlighted the business or private sector with 12% of respondents indicating that the private sector was corrupt.
Low said corporate leaders must "set the tone to fight graft" in the private sector by implementing anti-bribery, whistle-blowing and integrity policies.
He added the civil service needed to improve visibility of its transactions and access to information, particularly information on open tenders and procurement.
"With corruption, it takes two hands to clap... we also have to make sure private sector (apart from civil service) observe ethical practices and integrity," Low said.
When asked, Low said it was "still too early to judge" the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that replaced the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) in January.
Low, however, said MACC should tackle the perception that it practiced "selective prosecution".
Met later, TI Malaysia executive committee member Dr Pola Singh said MACC’s first-year performance could be gauged by comparing GCB figures from 2009 and 2010.
The GCB Report was based on a survey of some 73,000 respondents from 69 countries, including about 1,000 Malaysian participants, Low said.
Malaysia was not included in the previous 2005 GCB survey.
A similar Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) survey conducted by TI last year revealed Malaysia’s ranking had declined to 47 out of 180 countries in 2008 from 43 of 179 countries in 2007.
In 2008, Malaysia had scored 5.1 on the CPI (with a score of 10 being the least corrupt) while Malaysia had hovered between 4.9 and 5.1 over the years.