Malaysia fell six spots to 57th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index.

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KUALA LUMPUR: In the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2020, Malaysia dropped six spots to 57th position among 180 countries.

Dr Muhammad Mohan, president of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M), said Malaysia’s score also worsened to 51 out of 100 points in the CPI survey.

“We may have dropped by two points which are statistically insignificant, but the drop in score and position is a cause of concern. We need to improve and I am sure we can do better than countries like Rwanda, Poland, and so forth,” he said.

He said this in a virtual press conference to announce the CPI for 2020 in Malaysia. The CPI was published today by the global anti-corruption coalition, Transparency International.

The CPI scores and ratings are based on 13 surveys and expert evaluations that assess the perceived level of corruption in the public sector in the country on a scale from zero (perceived to be extremely corrupt) to 100. (perceived to be very clean).

Denmark and New Zealand were in the top spot of ‘clean countries’ with 88 points each worldwide, while Syria, South Sudan and Somalia were at the bottom with 14, 12 and 12 points respectively, Muhammad said.

“Within ASEAN, Singapore is in top position followed by Brunei (35th) and Malaysia (57th). The only country from Asia to be in the top 10 list is Singapore,” he added.

He said the rating of Malaysia fell as its institutional reforms stalled and discharge was issued for some high profile cases that did not lead to acquittal.

Other explanations include inadequate access to information on public interest issues, the non-halal meat controversy, ongoing cases of misuse of power and misconduct by public officials, limited progress or public updates on high-profile cases, and slow government action to enact the Public Procurement Bill.

Nevertheless, he said, it was worth praising the current government’s commitment to continue the anti-corruption agenda, including the introduction of the corporate liability law effective June 1, 2020 and the commitment to continue with the previous government’s National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP).

“The NACP is a comprehensive plan but the government must ensure its effective implementation and the Chief Secretary to the Government should be empowered to lead the implementation and be made accountable,” he said.

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