MP SPEAKS | Transparency International (TI) will release its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 tomorrow, an event all Malaysians dread, because Malaysia has been sliding down both in ranking and score in the last two decades since TI’s introduction of the annual CPI in 1995.
There have been no signs in the past year that there is the political will to fight corruption, particularly grand corruption, in Malaysia, as represented by the continued government clamp-down of reports and denial of the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal, which has given Malaysia the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy.
MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad (photo) has recently disappeared from public view, which is an indication of the parlous state of the anti-corruption battle in Malaysia.
Equally conspicuous is the inability of MACC to explain why Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy and what the MACC is doing to cleanse or purge Malaysia of this international infamy and ignominy.
Recently, there was the announcement of the appointment of four honorary advisers to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Is anyone of the MACC honorary advisers committed to demanding that the top priority of MACC is to cleanse or purge Malaysia of the international infamy and ignominy of being regarded as a global kleptocracy as a result of the 1MDB scandal?
Three frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the 1MDB scandal are:
1. Whether Prime Minister Najib Razak received an RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi royalty;
2. Whether Najib returned RM2.1 billion to the Saudi royalty; and
3. Whether the RM144 million pink diamond necklace for the “wife of MO1” came from stolen 1MDB funds.
The answers to all these three FAQs about the 1MDB scandal are available in great detail in the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion in 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
The answers are as follows:
1. Najib never received the RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi royalty just before the 13th general election, although he received other donations from Saudi sources, which have not been given a proper accounting. The RM2.6 billion monies came from 1MDB funds.
2. Najib never returned the RM2.1 billion to Saudi royalty, as the money did not come from Saudi sources, but were returned to the Tanore account in Singapore, which was operated by 1MDB mastermind and Najib’s confidante, Jho Low, and were from stolen 1MDB funds.
3. The RM2.1 billion returned to Tanore account in Singapore was used to buy, among other things, the RM144 million pink diamond necklace for the “wife of MO1”.
These details and evidence are all to be found in US DOJ kleptocratic litigation and are virtually “served on a silver platter” to MACC, and MACC and its advisers - honorary or otherwise - should explain why MACC had done nothing about this incontrovertible evidence.
First stagnant, now regressing
The history of the 22-year annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (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 23rd 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 40th with a score of 2.16 out of 10 while Indonesia came in last, ranking 41st 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 of around 18th out of 176 countries.
Unfortunately, Malaysia’s TI CPI worsened with the TI CPI ranking falling to 55th out of 176 countries last year 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. We do not even have to wait for TN 2050!
I said at the DAP Penang Chinese New Year open house three days ago that only with a change of the federal government in Putrajaya in GE14 can Malaysia stop the tide of corruption, which other countries like South Africa under new President Cyril Ramaphosa are trying to reverse.
A Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya will draft and implement a National Integrity Masterplan with civil society to ensure that Malaysia will be one of the leading nations in Asia for integrity, good governance and fight against corruption, instead of becoming a global kleptocracy.
LIM KIT SIANG is the Member of Parliament for Gelang Patah and DAP parliamentary leader.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.