MACC shocked, baffled by ranking drop in global graft index

MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad (right) and MACC advisory board chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim speaking to reporters after a meeting.
MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad (right) and MACC advisory board chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim speaking to reporters after a meeting.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has expressed shock and bafflement over the drop in Malaysia’s ranking in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by global anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI).

MACC Chief Commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad said Malaysia should have been ranked higher in the 2017 CPI following the agency’s arrests and aggressive actions taken against graft suspects last year.

“The latest CPI does not reflect the prevention and action taken by MACC. As could be clearly seen, every week throughout 2017 there were arrests and action taken against the corrupt.

“The (CPI) index did not mirror that reality,” he told a news conference after a meeting of the MACC advisory board at MACC Academy in Jalan Duta.

The 2017 TI report put Malaysia seven spots lower than the previous year, at 62 among 180 countries, its worst performance in the last five years.

Malaysia also scored 47 out of 100 and was placed third among 10 Asean countries, but was left far behind Singapore and Brunei in terms of score.

The CPI is based on surveys of business people, including risk analysts and the general public working in the countries evaluated.

It is based on at least three independent surveys of the perceptions in each country. Malaysia used nine sources.

Dzulkifli said the agency believed the drop was not influenced solely by corruption issues but also by other contributory factors.

“It (ranking) involved human nature, politics and the business scenario in Malaysia. These factors that are assessed don’t come under MACC,” he said.

In this connection, he said MACC would form a committee to study the country’s performance and the fall in the ranking in detail.

He said the study had to be done independently to evaluate whether the drop was due to MACC.

“We will bring this up with the government for its feedback, maybe in two or three months’ time,” he said.