KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia moved up three spots on the latest Transparency International (TI) corruption index, ranking at No 50 among the 175 countries which participated in the 2014 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Last year, it ranked 53 out of the same number of countries.
Score-wise, Malaysia moved up two points to 52 from 50 last year. On the CPI, a score of 0 is “highly corrupt” and 100 is considered “very clean”. The index ranks countries based on the perceived level of corruption in the public sector.
The index is based on a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by various reputable institutions, said the body in a statement released to the media yesterday.
TI-Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar (pic) said that Malaysia’s score and ranking improved based on the feedback from surveys of eight institutions conducted between 2011 and 2012.
These surveys could have recorded positive feedback from experts and laymen on the government’s efforts at combating corruption in those years.
These efforts include introducing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act of 2009 which established the anti-graft body that is said to be more independent and powerful than its predecessor, the Anti-Corruption Agency.
“This is why if you look at our rankings and scores, it has been increasing since that period,” said Akhbar during a press conference after launching the report.
In the 2012 report, which would have measured corruption perception in 2010 when the Act came into effect, Malaysia scored 49 out of 100 and ranked 54 out of 176 countries.
The score and rank improved in 2013, which used sentiment from 2011, to 50 out of 100, while the country ranked 53 out of 177.
“I’d like to commend the MACC and Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) for their efforts in combating corruption. But more needs to be done if we want to reach a rank of 30,” said Akhbar.
Malaysia’s intention of reaching a rank of 30 in the CPI was first announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2012.
The top five countries in the CPI this year in descending order are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
Compared with similar countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia is ahead of the Philippines, Thailand (both ranked at 85), Indonesia (107), Vietnam ranked (119) and Laos (145). — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 4, 2014.