The Chief Commissioner of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad, who launched the “Anti-Corruption Revolution Movement” (GERAH) two days ago, has said in an exclusive interview that the MACC had set a three-year deadline for Malaysia to move high up the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
The question that immediately comes to mind is whether the MACC does not expect any improvement in the TI CPI until three years later in the 2020 TI CPI?
The history of the 22-year annual TI CPI from 1995-2016 shows that Malaysia had stagnated and even regressed in integrity and principles of accountability and good governance in the past two decades as compared to some countries, like China and Indonesia, which had made significant improvements with steady strides.
In the first year of TI CPI in 1995, which listed only 41 countries, Malaysia was ranked in the middling position of No. 23 with a score above the midpoint – i.e. 5.28 in a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).
China and Indonesia came in at the bottom end, with China ranked as No. 40 with a score of 2.16 out of 10 while Indonesia came in last ranking No. 41 out of 41 with a score of 1.94.
If Malaysia had made a decimal improvement in the TI CPI score of 0.1 point each year the past 22 years, Malaysia’s present score would have been 7.48, or roughly translated into 74.8 out of a scale increased from 10 to 100, which would have placed Malaysia in the rank around No. 18 out of 176 countries.
Unfortunately, Malaysia’s TI CPI worsened with the TI CPI ranking falling to No. 55 out of 176 countries while the TI CPI score fell below the midpoint to 49 in the new scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
In contrast, both China and Indonesia have made significant improvements in the TI CPI in the past 22 years, with China improving its score from 2.16/10 in 1995 to 40/100 with its TI CPI Ranking improving from No. 40/41 in 1995 to 79/176 in 2016 and Indonesia improving its score from 1.94/10 in 1995 to 37/100 with TI CPI ranking from 41/41 in 1995 to 90/176.
If for the next two decades, China and Indonesia improve in their TI CPI ranking and score at their pace in the past 22 years, while Malaysia stagnates, both countries would have overtaken Malaysia in both the TI CPI ranking and score well before 2040.
Let Dzulkifli answer whether the MACC expects Malaysia’s TI CPI to stagnate or regress in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 TI CPI listings, with the MACC only confident of an improvement for Malaysia in TI CPI 2020.
Two other questions are in order:
Firstly, whether the MACC pledge of “at least one corruption case a week” excludes political leaders as indicated by Dzulkifli last Thursday; and
Secondly, whether Malaysia’s new-found infamy as “global kleptocracy” and MACC’s drive for corruption to be declared as country’s number one enemy is a blatant contradiction in terms, and how the MACC proposes to resolve this contradiction – whether and when MACC is going to take a pro-active position on the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.