THE National Key Result Areas’ (NKRA) anti-graft initiatives have made an impact, with Malaysia improving its standing in the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) when it shot six spots up to 54th position from last year’s 60.
It was a marked improvement from 2011 when the country fell four places down from 2010’s 56th position.
In releasing the index figures yesterday, Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) revealed that out of the 176 countries involved in the CPI survey last year, Malaysia also ranked third among Asean countries, ahead of Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.
The three countries ranked 88th, 105th and 118th respectively.
Singapore, which was placed third in the world, was the top anti-graft performer in Asean, followed by Brunei at 46.
Malaysia scored 49 out of 100, with 0 being the most corrupt and 100 corruption-free.
The country’s anti-corruption initiative also received another boost with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealing yesterday that it had achieved an 80 per cent prosecution rate between January and November this year, a jump from last year’s 75 per cent.
At the press conference to release the CPI figures, TI-M president Datuk Paul Low praised the government’s commitment in combating graft, saying that Malaysia was the only country in the world brave enough to include the CPI as part of its Key Performance Index.
“The improvement is good, it was expected. We believe it was because of the ETP (Economic Transformation Programme), GTP (Government Transformation Programme) and NKRA (National Key Results Areas).
“The efforts of Pemandu (Performance Management & Delivery Unit) and MACC have borne fruit... of course there have been issues, but it has been fruitful.
“Acknowledgement has to be given to the government which has undertaken various initiatives to combat graft. We hope it will grow in the years to come,” he said.
NKRA anti-corruption director Ravindran Devagunam said the establishment of 14 special Sessions Courts in February last year had expedited prosecution cases.
TI-M, Low said, called on the authorities to take bold measures to combat corruption in the country.
“Law enforcement institutions such as the MACC and police, as well as the judiciary, should be strengthened to gain public trust,” he said at the press conference also attended by TI-M’s former president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.
Low also felt that Malaysia should introduce a Freedom of Information Act as practised in Sweden and Norway. They were placed second and fifth in the world in the 2012 index.
However, in March, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim told Parliament that the ministry had no intention of introducing the law as Malaysia already practised its tenets.
TI-M also urged authorities to tackle systemic corruption by focusing on specific sectors.
Under the NKRA programme, combating corruption is among the seven key areas of priority for the government. It was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2010.
Source : http://www.nst.com.my/top-news/big-strides-in-war-on-graft-1.182099