The Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 released midday today is the best Chinese New Year present to Malaysia and should spark the start of a virtuous circle of delivery of Pakatan Harapan general election promises and achievements in 2020.
It is the best antidote to the atmosphere of doom and gloom which has descended on Malaysia.
In 2017, Malaysia’s TI CPI ranked No. 62 (lowest for Malaysia in 25 year since 1995) with a score of 47 out of 100; while in the TI CPI 2018 released in January 2019, Malaysia was ranked No. 61 out of 180 countries with a score of 47.
In the TI CPI 2019 released today, Malaysia is ranked No. 51 with a score of 53, registering a single-year improvement six points for the TI CPI score and 10 placings in TI CPI ranking, which is the best performance for Malaysia in the past quarter of a century.
Malaysia’s score had fallen below 50 points or the rough equivalent of 5 points out of 10 before 2012 in nine out of the past 25 years, and seven of these nine years were after 2009.
I had expected an improvement in the TI CPI score and ranking for 2019, but the final results were beyond my greatest expectations.
In fact, Malaysia’s TI CPI score was the second highest since 1995.
But we should not be complacent. We are still behind 50 other countries.
The anti-corruption efforts, though remarkable since the change of federal government on May 9, 2018, should be regarded as a start, and Malaysia should not be satisfied until we are among the top 30 countries in public integrity.
This would mean that we must attain a score in the 60-point bracket, which is a great challenge as Malaysia’s best TI CPI score goes back to 1996 when we had a score of 5.32 out of 10.
Malaysia should not only aim for the best TI CPI score in the TI CPI 2020, all sectors of the Malaysian society should work to ensure that Malaysia can be placed among the top bracket of the world’s 30 top countries in public integrity well before 2030.