KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s efforts in battling corruption has started to bear fruit, said Malaysia's former anti-graft chief.
National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the people’s perception on the government’s seriousness to fight corruption had increased to 70.8 per cent last year from 59.8 per cent in 2016.
He said that Malaysia has also shown improvement in its performance indicators in several important international studies and indexes.
“The Edelman Trust Barometer Global shows an increase in the level of public confidence in the government at 60 per cent in 2019 compared to 46 per cent in 2018.
“Malaysia rose three steps from 7th place in 2016 to 4th in 2018, out of 12 Asia Pacific countries in the Corporate Governance Watch Report.”
He said this in his special address at the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum 2019, with the theme 'Embedding Integrity, The Cornerstone of Good Governance' here today.
The Democracy Index 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit also ranked Malaysia 52nd out of 165 countries, he said.
“In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, Malaysia advanced nine places to the 15th in 2019, compared to 24th in 2018, among 190 countries worldwide, on ease of doing business.”
Abu Kassim said many other bills and directives were being examined and perused to ensure high governance, high integrity and to eradicate corruption in the nation.
Among the key initiatives, he said, were the new code of conduct for members of Parliament, asset declaration policy, a bill on political donations, and a bill on the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.
"Addressing governance in corruption will also be extended to the private sector, once the bill on corporate liability as per Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009 is in force from June 1, 2020.
"This provision is to ensure that commercial organisations do not participate in corrupt activities for their advantage or benefit."
Abu Kassim also said the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP), which was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Jan 29 this year, had shown positive acceptance from both public and private sectors.
“In addition, Malaysia has adopted the ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management Systems international standard, which can also be used as a guide to implement a systematic way of managing corruption risks in an organisation."
He called upon all stakeholders to apply principles of transparency, accountability, and integrity, as well as compliance with good governance to eradicate corruption and shape a corruption-free nation.
"Building the culture of integrity must come from the top.
“This will support good governance which eventually will result in the creation of sustainable and competitive organisation that can spur Malaysia's economic growth."