MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES YB TERESA KOK REITERATES PAKATAN HARAPAN’S PROMISE TO CLEAN MALAYSIA OF CORRUPTION AND NOTES SOME OF THE KEY EFFORTS TAKEN
Today as the world recognises World Anti-Corruption Day, the various efforts taken by the Pakatan Harapan government as part of the mandate given by Malaysians to clean-up the country should be remembered.
Amongst the very first steps taken to weed out corruption is the formation of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) led by former Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed. The monthly meetings are chaired by the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself, joined by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar and all the Secretary Generals of all the ministries.
GIACC coordinates and monitors all activities related to governance, integrity and combating graft. It is also responsible for planning, formulating strategies and evaluating policies in ensuring all government affairs adhere to the principles of good governance, integrity and zero-tolerance towards corruption.
Adhering to the principles where the core leadership of a country must be clean, it is only then that corruption can be gradually diminished. All Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament have made asset declarations to MACC. We have also taken this a step further by publishing the information online on: mydeclaration.sprm.gov.my, where it is accessible to all and sundry.
The Pakatan Harapan government have also adopted a no-gift policy, where cabinet ministers are not allowed to accept gifts valued more than RM 500 except flowers, food and fruits.
Some key agencies are no longer under the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) but now report to Parliament. These agencies include the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the National Audit Department. The Malaysian Parliament, which was also under the PMD, is an independent entity.
Various measures have been taken by the government and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to stamp out corruption in this country and these efforts have begun to bear fruits. With the slew of corruption cases linking former senior leaders like Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tan Sri Isa Samad, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and more, Malaysia has begun to clear its name from corruption scandals in the eyes of the world.
Let’s not forget the billions of ringgits that vanished into big projects and investment schemes helmed by the previous government. The 2017 Auditor-General’s (AG) Report detailed that Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) lost RM5.7 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) and Lembaga Tabung Haji had failed to impair RM227.8 million on its investments.
As Pakatan Harapan strives to right many of these wrongs, its efforts have not gone unnoticed. According to the Anti-Corruption Perception Study of MACC Series 13/2018 on the people’s perception regarding the government’s seriousness to fight corruption the index has increased 11% from 59.8% in 2016 to 70.8% last year.
On international indicators, Malaysia has also noted improvements in several important studies or indices such as the Edelsmann Trust Barometer Global which shows the level of public confidence in the government has risen to 60% this year compared to 46% in 2018.
Next month, the global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, will release its 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), an annual survey that looks at the perception of corruption in 180 countries.
Last year, Malaysia was among the top three Asean countries ranking after Singapore and Brunei in CPI. We placed one spot higher than 2017 at 61 out of 180 countries. This year, with the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Plan and the pursuit of high-profile cases, Malaysia is likely to improve its standing in CPI.
Under Ministry of Primary Industries, I found that the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) was plagued with massive corruption involving corrupt government officials & UMNO cronies. According to the Auditor-General Report, it was short-changed as the previous administration and was forced to sell 2,800 acres of its land at Sg Buloh at below market price of RM1.5 billion in 2010.
We have taken the mandate entrusted by Malaysians to our hearts and will continue to work tirelessly in our efforts of transforming Malaysia into a nation of integrity.
YB Teresa Kok
9 December 2019