LETTER | The government can consider a proposal to put the MACC under Parliament in order to strengthen the role of MACC in combating corruption in the country and, most importantly, to increase public trust both nationally and internationally in the agency.
Recently, many were shocked over the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI) which ranked Malaysia at number 62 among 180 countries with a score of 47 points.
In 2016, Malaysia ranked 55 among 176 countries, with a score of 49. In 2015, Malaysia ranked 54 out of 168 countries, with a score of 50.
The sudden drop in the CPI clearly indicates to us that many things need to be done in order to ensure our long battle against corruption in the country is not hampered.
Over the years, MACC has taken many initiatives to ensure the agency performs in the manner it should perform, like making a lot of arrests and prosecutions as well as encouraging many government agencies and institutions at both federal and state level in the country to make an anti-corruption pledge.
However, more needs to be done to make sure MACC becomes more reliable and, most importantly, a trustworthy agency in fighting corruption in the country. This can done by making MACC a real independent entity and not by putting it under the Prime Minister’s Department.
This is very important in order to allow MACC to carry out all its responsibilities accordingly and, most importantly, to create public trust in the MACC and a perception of independence and neutrality.
Such a proposal is not something new. For many years, a few politicians from both the government and opposition, as well as NGOs had proposed a similar idea.
Some even proposed putting MACC directly under Parliament so that the agency could be monitored by all entities in the country, thus making MACC more transparent, neutral and stronger in order to carry out its job.
Beside making MACC more independent, other steps also need to be taken in order to increase the ranking of our country in the CPI, such as reviewing and strengthening all existing laws on corruption, as well as carrying out constant education to create awareness among the public on corruption.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.