‘Shocking’, says PM over RM277bil lost to graft over last five years

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“Shocking” was how Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim described the loss of RM277bil to graft over the last five years.

“We should not view the issue of corruption lightly.

Bernama

“The problem of corruption has swelled to a figure which is shocking and has exceeded billions,” the Prime Minister said in his speech when launching the National Anti-Corruption Strategies (NACS) 2024-2028 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Tuesday (May 7).

Anwar also said that warnings by former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein against corruption seeping into the nation in 1961 and 1962 had gone unheeded.

Anwar noted that the billions saved from corruption could be used to address pressing development issues, particularly the eradication of poverty.

“Imagine the eradication of poverty, addressing dilapidated schools and hospitals, championing the wellbeing of the rakyat, farmers and fishermen.

“Almost all of these can be settled if the nation is saved from the greed of those in power whether they are politicians, civil servants or from the private sector,” he said.

He acknowledged that it would be pointless to have numerous anti-corruption plans and strategies if they were not backed up by strong political will and direction.

“The scourge of corruption cannot be taken lightly.

“To combat this, you need a powerful dedicated and courageous body, strong legislation and law.

“More profoundly, you need clear political will and direction,” he said.

Earlier in his welcoming speech, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki said that RM277bil was lost to corruption between 2018 and 2023.

Bernama

However, Azam noted that the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023 was one of the factors in helping Malaysia improve its ranking on the global Corruption Perception Index in 2019.

He said the goal was to see the country achieve below the 25th ranking on the corruption index within the next decade.

Malaysia managed to improve its position by four points on the ranking last year from 61 to 57 out of 180 countries.

The country also improved its score from 47 to 50, revealing a downward trend since 2019.

Meanwhile, Anwar reminded the public that the fight against corruption rested not only on the shoulders of the MACC but as a nation as a whole.

Anwar later launched the NACS to replace the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023 which was also previously launched by him.

The NACP, which ended last year, succeeded in implementing 85 initiatives or 77% out of the total 111 initiatives.

The NACS, a continuation and improvement of the previous NACP, will give focus on the well-being of the people through the Malaysia Madani agenda. – The Star