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Malaysia’s corruption perception index remains at 5.1

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Sept 2008: Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) remains at 5.1 this year, showing no improvement compared to last year, said Transparency International Malaysia President Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

He said Malaysia’s score for the last eight years since 2001 hovered between 4.9 and 5.1.

“This shows that the trend of the CPI for Malaysia has remained mediocre at mid-point with no improvement for the last eight years,” he said when announcing the score today.

The 2008 CPI scores 180 countries on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean).

Ramon said in terms of country ranking, however, Malaysia showed a gradual decline from number 36th out of 91 countries surveyed in 2001 to 43rd out of 179 countries last year, and 47th out of 180 countries this year.

“This shows that there are a number of countries that have progressed much better than Malaysia,” he added.

Among Asean countries, Singapore comes first with a score of 9.2 followed by Malaysia in second place (5.1), Thailand (3.5), Vietnam (2.7), Indonesia (2.6), Philippines (2.3), Cambodia (1.8) and Myanmar (1.3).

Ramon said Malaysia should continuously combat corruption to improve perceptions towards the country.

“While Malaysia can be commended for taking significant initiatives, namely the setting up of Pemudah – the joint public-private sector collaboration to improve the government delivery system and services – the perceptions of the degree of corruption remain largely unchanged.

“This may due to a number of high profile cases that may have damped public confidence in the integrity of government institutions,” he said.

It could also be due to the encounters by the public with officers of enforcement agencies “demanding favours or bribe as reflected by the cases of corruption involving immigration, police, customs and Puspakom,” he said.

Ramon also commended the prime minister for initiating reforms in some institutions especially the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Agency to make them more independent, transparent and accountable.

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.

He also called for transparency in the government’s procurement process and suggested that the government implement integrity agreement with vendors to act as preventive measures to curb corruption.

Meanwhile, Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden share the highest score at 9.3, followed by Singapore at 9.2. Somalia has the lowest CPI score with 1.0, slightly trailing Iraq and Myanmar at 1.3 and Haiti (1.4). – Bernama

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