Rafizi said the perception of the people was formed by observing actions taken by the MACC, especially by its chief commissioner, in dealing with major scandals.
Rafizi Ramli today said he would resign if he were the MACC chief commissioner after Malaysia dropped to 62nd spot in Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), the same ranking that the country scored at the height of the 1MDB scandal in 2017.
In a statement today, the PKR deputy president censured Azam Baki for saying yesterday that the CPI ranking does not necessarily reflect the actual corruption situation of a country.
Rafizi said Azam was defending his record even as the country’s CPI ranking dropped five spots to 62nd position out of 180 countries in 2021 since he assumed office in March 2020.
“The ranking implies that the Malaysians feel corruption has recently reached the level when the 1MDB scandal peaked in 2017.
“If I were Azam, I would resign because people’s efforts in rejecting graft appeared to be in vain when they start to feel the current situation is not much different from the 1MDB scandal.
“The CPI is important as it is accepted all over the world and the foreign investors use the index to measure the corruption level in our country. More importantly, it is the single most independent yardstick of public perception of corruption.
“We cannot blame the people for feeling the corruption practice prevailed until it reached the level of 2017 at the height of the 1MDB scandal,” Rafizi said.
Yesterday, Azam was quoted by The Malaysian Insight as saying that the CPI measures the perceptions of corruption in the public sector in different countries and it wasn’t factual nor based on evidence.
However, Rafizi said the perception of the people was formed by observing actions taken by the MACC, especially by its chief commissioner, in dealing with major scandals.
“The people’s perception of corrupt practices will not change if there is no action against the big sharks.
“I closely follow the development of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BPMB) in its efforts to recover around RM1.5 billion of public funds that have been embezzled by borrowers.
“It involves loans to companies with large ‘cables’ and was approved by BPMB management when Najib Abdul Razak was the prime minister.
“The amount of RM1 billion in loans that have been (allegedly) embezzled (including transferred to overseas accounts in certain cases) was the biggest scandal from a government-owned development bank in the history of our country,” said Rafizi.
He added that the ‘missing’ loans were approved by the bank that directly reported to the then finance minister, who was also Najib.
Rafizi said he raised the issue when he was a parliamentarian between 2013 and 2018.
“All these cases are public cases that should be investigated by the MACC since 2014 without a complaint lodged.
“I sympathise with the BPMB management which was forced to initiate legal action to reclaim the public fund because there seems to be no action from the MACC.
“The new management appeared to be proactive and sued its former CEO and 26 others over an RM400 million loan granted to Aries Telecoms (M) Bhd,” he said.
Rafizi also felt that the MACC should have reason to act against anyone who violated the MACC Act following adequate evidence submitted in the civil court.
He also questioned why Najib has yet to be probed as those loans were given to his close contacts.
“When cases with clear evidence are not taken action, prompting BPMB to resort to a civil action to recover public funds, of course the people feel that corruption is becoming more prevalent in this country.
“That’s why I said, if I were Azam, I would resign,” he said. – Malaysiakini