KUALA LUMPUR: The 2017 Global Corruption Barometer report by Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) is merely a measure of how Malaysians perceive corruption and does not show the truth, says Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.
“We are not worried because it is only perception. There is no truth in it. People can believe what they want to believe.
“For many years we have been ranked very low by TI-M. Even bringing in its former chairman as a member of the cabinet didn’t help,” he said, referring to Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who was formerly TI-M chairman.
The 2017 Global Corruption Barometer report yesterday revealed that 60% of 1,009 respondents polled felt that the level of corruption in the country had increased in the past year.
Speaking during a press conference, Nazri said he was more interested in fighting corruption than in referring to a perception index.
“It is more important to fight corruption than to influence Malaysians’ thinking. Malaysians are people who like to complain and whine.
“So, of course, I have to say that I am not bothered at all by the perception index.
“I’m more interested in fighting real corruption, as MACC is doing now.”
Nazri praised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), saying Malaysians should support its efforts to combat graft in the country.
“We should all give our fullest support to the MACC and not demoralise them by perceiving that corruption has doubled.
Meanwhile, Nazri said Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud would not have visited the country if Prime Minister Najib Razak had been linked to “shady dealings” in regards to the RM2.6 billion donation.
“Because they don’t want to be associated with any shady dealings with Malaysia. It is normal for any country to pursue good relations with other countries.
“If he (King Salman) was not comfortable with what had been reported about the RM2.6 billion, he wouldn’t have come.”
Last year, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali acquitted Najib of any wrongdoing and said the money had come from a member of the Saudi royal family.
Asked if King Salman’s visit was vindication of Najib, he replied: “I don’t know.
“The fact that the Saudis came in huge numbers shows confidence and support for the country’s leadership.”