Guan Eng calls for Azam to resign after MACC chief scoffs at TI’s corruption report

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Lim was responding to Azam’s comment disputing the findings of TI’s CPI on Malaysia that he said did not represent the true level of graft in the country and only measured the prevalence of such views.

Federal Opposition lawmaker Lim Guan Eng today called for the resignation of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) head Tan Sri Azam Baki for questioning the veracity, credibility and reliability of Transparency International’s (TI) findings of its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on Malaysia.

Calling the chief commissioner unfit to helm the national graft busters, Lim pointed out that TI’s CPI is the accepted standard by all countries globally as well as multilateral institutions such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“It is shocking that the chief anti-corruption enforcer of the country rubbishes the TI’s CPI.

Lim Huey Teng/Reuters

“Presumably because Malaysia has been downgraded with a low ranking due to MACC’s dismal and pathetic performance in combating corruption,” said Lim in a statement today.

Lim was responding to Azam’s comment yesterday disputing the findings of TI’s CPI on Malaysia that he said did not represent the true level of graft in the country and only measured the prevalence of such views.

He added that Malaysia, being ranked 62 on the TI-CPI, was better than Vietnam (rank 87), Indonesia (96) and Thailand (110).

TI issues the annual CPI that ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.

In 2008, when the TI-CPI study was expanded to 180 countries (also the size of the current study), Malaysia ranked 47.

Lim, who is also the DAP chairman, said Azam failed to understand that the scourge of corruption is not a fundamental flaw occurring in isolation, but a complex problem interwoven within a mosaic of social, economic and political structures.

“Corruption is a social problem as it is an economic and political problem,” he said, adding that in fighting graft, there was a need to understand the nature, shape and context of corruption and how it occurs.

Lim also questioned if Azam held a grudge against TI merely because Malaysia dropped five spots to rank 62 out of 180 countries in last year’s CPI, which is the lowest ranking in history.

“The CPI for this year is expected to decline further with many corruption charges being used as a political weapon against Opposition MPs and the withdrawal of charges against pro-government MPs with no prosecution despite earlier arrests being made.

“How can Malaysia’s CPI improve when the MACC is seen as covering up instead of exposing corruption, especially those committed by the highest levels of the country’s leadership?

“The MACC needs a new chief commissioner who is clean, competent, independent, neutral and not be subjected to political manipulation to win the war against corruption in Malaysia,” he said.

In January this year, the MACC said that it was taking serious note of Malaysia’s score and position in the CPI issued by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).

Malaysia dropped to the 62nd spot out of the 180 countries in the CPI 2021 compared to its 57th position in 2020, with the country’s score also dropping to 48 compared to 51 in 2020. – MMO