KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has moved up 10 spots to 51st position among 180 countries in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2019.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Dr Muhammad Mohan said Malaysia’s score also improved to 53 out of 100 points on the CPI survey, an improvement from the 47 points it obtained the previous year.

He attributed the improvement in the global ranking to the swift action taken by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to address the scandals in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), SRC International, Felda and Tabung Haji after it came to power.

The CPI scores and ranks are based on 13 surveys and expert assessments which measure the perceived level of corruption in a country’s public sector on a scale from zero (perceived to be highly corrupted) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

Among the 10 Asean countries, Malaysia is in third position after Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Muhammad said that globally, Singapore is in fourth position and Brunei Darussalam in 35th. Indonesia is in 85th; Vietnam, 96th; Thailand, 101st; the Philippines, 113th; Laos and Myanmar, 130th and Cambodia, 162nd.

He said Malaysia’s improvement in the ranking followed the arrest and prosecution of several political figures for alleged corruption and money-laundering, greater media freedom and declaration of assets by the ruling party MPs.

TI-M called on the government to accelerate institutional reforms, such as making the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) more independent; tabling the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill; and enacting a political financing law to stop money politics, as well as regularly engaging with the public and civil society to update on the progress of the reforms.

TI-M also recommended early closure of high-profile graft cases like the SRC, Sabah ‘Watergate’ and 1MDB, and ensure successful implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Plan and make disclosures on the progress of the plan’s 115 initiatives.

Worldwide, Denmark and New Zealand are in the top spot with 87 points each while Finland is in third spot with 86 points. Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland share the fourth spot with 85 points each. The countries at the bottom of the list are Syria (178), South Sudan (179) and Somalia (180) with 13, 12 and nine points, respectively. – Jan 23, 2020, Bernama

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