DAP reminded Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak not to “crow about” Malaysia’s recent improvement in CPI (Corruption Perception Index) ranking, stating that the country’s CPI took a nosedive during his premiership compared to previous Prime Ministers.
It was reported by Transparency International (TI) that Malaysia moved up to number 50 from 53 last year on the CPI that ranks a total of 175 countries worldwide.
“Although any improvement is to be welcomed, there is no ground for Najib to be ecstatic to talk about ‘not resting on our laurels’, as Malaysia has yet to achieve any laurels on the anti-corruption front under his premiership”, said Lim Kit Siang in a statement released to the media today.
According to Lim, Najib has fared worse than his predecessors in tackling corruption in the country. He pointed out that under former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Malaysia’s best CPI ranking was 39, as opposed to our best ranking under Najib, 50.
Malaysia’s ranked 39th in 2004 while under the supervision of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and was at 23rd position during Mahathir Mohamad’s era.
Transparency International is a non-profit organization that ranks countries based on the perceived level of corruption in the public sector, it is called the CPI. The CPI is based on a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by various reputable institutions.
Najib has failed to live up to his predecessors
Lim said that during the premiership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, corruption was not a pressing issue in the country. He recalled that in the seventies, Lim had debated the biggest corruption fiasco at the time which was the RM65 million Bank Rakyat scandal.
“Since the eighties, corruption and financial scandals increased by leaps and bounds from the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal, the RM600 million Maminco tin-buying scandal and the RM1.5 billion Co-operatives Finance scandal in the 80s, to the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal and RM11 billion Perwaja scandal in the 90s, and the multi-billion ringgit Scorpene and defence procurement scandals and the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal in the last decade,” said Lim.
He said that the root of corruption was the trend of money politics in government parties.
“(Money politics) Instead of being curbed has taken on wings, as it has been estimated by UMNO inner circles that it takes more than RM10 million to win a seat as UMNO Vice President and more than a million ringgit to win as a UMNO supreme council member,” Lim added.
The Najib premiership has witnessed the 1MDB scandal and another burgeoning multi-billion ringgit Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd scandal, which Lim said has reached “stratospheric regions in tens of billions of ringgit – as if the sky is the limit”.
He also criticised Mahathir’s premiership during which time Lim was one of his strident opponents, saying that no discussion about looming financial scandal’s of his time.
“Mahathir has blogged his deep frustration that there was no discussion on the 1MDB scandal, but it was the same during his time, as there was no discussion of the BMF, Co-operatives Finance, Perwaja, Bank Negara forex and Port Klang Free Zone mega-financial scandals in the UMNO General Assemblies when Mahathir was Prime Minister and UMNO President.”
Lim Kit Siang also said that Najib had failed to live up to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whose goal was to improve Malaysia’s position on CPI index.
“Najib has surreptitiously kicked off Abdullah’s target of improving Malaysia’s 37th placing in 2003 (when he became Prime Minister) to 30th place in 2008 further down the road by another 12 years to 2020,” said Lim Kit Siang.
Adding that this was another reason not to crow about Malaysia’s slight improvement to CPI ranking, Lim opined that Najib should not continue to be Prime Minister in 2020 so he need not be responsible for meeting this target.
“Can Najib explain why he had shifted Abdullah’s target of Malaysia achieving at least 30th placing in CPI by 12 years from 2008 to 2020?” said Lim Kit Siang. -The Rocket