I regard the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 Report the best in 25 years since Transparency International started its annual Corruption Perception Index report in 1995, and should be the basis for a new era of anti-corruption in Malaysia by achieving the best TI CPI score next year, which will embark Malaysia on the road to become one of the world’s top 30 countries in public integrity before 2030.
The National Integrity Plan (NIP) 2004-2008 launched in 2004 had one of its objectives the placing of Malaysia among the world top 30 countries in public integrity.
At that time, Malaysia was ranked No 37th with a score of 5.2 out of 10 in the TI CPI 2003.
The National Integrity Plan was a total failure as Malaysia never improved on its TI CPI ranking and score, and instead went on a downward decline, ranked No. 47 out of 180 countries with a score of 5.1 out of 100 in TI CPI 2008 at the end of NIP, before heading for another period of decline, falling to TI CPI ranking of 62 out of 180 countries with a score of 47 of 100 points in the TI CPI 2017.
Malaysia’s TI CPI 2019 score of 53 out of 100 is just short of Malaysia’s top score of 5.32 out of 10 in the TI CPI 1996 which placed Malaysia on the ranking of 26 out of 54 countries.
Malaysia should aim not onto to exceed the results in the TI CIP 1996, but should also aim to achieve the NIP objective of being ranked among the world top 30 countries in public integrity before 2030.
To do this, Malaysia would have improved considerably in anti-corruption drive and enter the sixties bracket of the TI CPI score, which would undoubtedly be an achievement for Malaysia.
The TI CPI 2019 is good news for Malaysia but we must also be aware of sombre developments for the planet and humanity.
I am referring to the announcement that the Doomsday Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, “the most dangerous situation that humanity has ever faced”.
The decision was made by The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which announced it from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C
Since 1947, an organization known as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists developed a theoretical model to describe just how close humanity is to the brink.
The end result was a clock, dubbed The Doomsday Clock, whose countdown to midnight signified the approaching end of humanity.
Over the years, scientists have adjusted the clock according to their assessment of the risk of destruction. In 1953, the clock was moved to 11:58 as Americans and Soviets developed the hydrogen bomb, a weapon with destructive capabilities orders of magnitude greater than the Hiroshima bomb. Given the effects of nuclear winter alone, such a war would have almost certainly wiped out all of humanity, the catastrophic event known as omnicide.
After that, the world somewhat relaxed.
In 2007, a new variable for measuring omnicidal dangers was added: climate change – the effects of a steadily warming planet pose an enormous threat to organized human existence.
Global warming increases the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes such as wildfires, floods, freak storms and droughts. Increased carbon in the atmosphere is causing decreased nutritional levels in crops. Coastal areas around the world will sink under water, and entire countries will be uninhabitable due to excessive heat. The effects of this would be enough to tear apart the world order.
Since then, the clock has been inching closer to destruction. In 2018, the Doomsday Clock moved to 2 minutes to midnight, as close as it has ever been in the clock’s history.
In 2019, the Bulletin announced that it was still 2 minutes to midnight as information warfare techniques posed another threat to civilization. In a world of fake news and alternative facts, the information ecosystem is threatened with utter chaos.
For the 2020 Doomsday Clock, Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, said “the fact that the clock is now a mere 100 seconds from midnight signals really bad news. What we said last year is now a disturbing reality in that things are not getting better.”
Rosner added that a particular concern is the undermining of the public’s ability to understand what’s true from what’s false. “Past experience has taught us that even in the most dismal periods of the Cold War, we can come together. It is high time we do so again.”