KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has jumped 10 spots to 51st from last year’s 61st place in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Dr Muhammad Mohan told a Press conference today that the survey, which involved 180 countries, said the improvement was due to the new government’s measures in combating graft.
He said among others, Malaysia scored points due to prompt action against scandals involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), SRC International Bhd, Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) and Tabung Haji, as well as greater media freedom.
“Surveys and expert assessments were used to measure the perceived level of corruption of public sectors.
“The survey results indicate that Malaysia’s score has improved to 53 points in 2019, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupted) to 100 (perceived to be very clean) in 2019 compared to 47 points in 2018.
“The improvement is led by the new government’s swift action on 1MDB, SRC International Bhd, Felda and Tabung Haji scandals, the arrest of several political figures for corruption and money laundering, and greater media freedom.”
In the report, Denmark and New Zealand are at the top of the index with 87 points each as “clean countries”, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia are at the bottom of the index, with 13, 12 and 9 points respectively.
Muhammad also said contributing to Malaysia’s current position in the index were the appointment of opposition members of parliament to the Public Accounts Committee, asset declaration by MPs of the ruling party, including corporate liability for corruption under Section 17A of the MACC Act (Article 26-UNCAC) and the National Anti Corruption Plan (NACP).
Muhammad pointed out that the 2019 CPI score was the country’s highest score since 2012, which stood at 49.
In 2014, Malaysia was given a score of 52 when the 1MDB scandal surfaced.
The score dwindled since the scandal with a score of 47 for 2017 but in 2018, it went up after the change in administration.
Under the same CPI in comparison to other Islamic countries, Malaysia tied with Saudi Arabia at the fourth place with the same score and rank, while the United Arab Emirates leads the index with a score of 71 at rank 21, followed by Qatar (62 at rank 30) and Brunei (60th spot and ranks 35).
Among the Asean countries, Malaysia is in the third place in Asean. Singapore ranked first and Brunei scored the second place while Indonesia is placed fourth.