Last year, Malaysia was virtually drowned in a sea of negative vibes.
In the first seven months of the new government in 2018, there was nothing that the Pakatan Harapan government could do wrong. But in the past year, there was nothing that the PH could do right.
This is one reason why the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 Report which was released on the eve of the Chinese New Year was met with such grudging response, although it was the best TI CPI report in 25 years.
Without the phenomenal improvements in both TI CPI ranking and score last year , Malaysia would not be making the crucial and critical break from a global kleptocracy.
If there had been no change of government, Malaysia will be sliding down the CPI score to the thirties bracket, to find new company among the more corrupt nations of the world in the lower rankings.
The TI CPI 2019 report does not mean that Malaysia has achieved the objective to become a world top class nation among the leading 30 states in public integrity, but it means that we are in the trajectory towards this direction if we build on the anti-corruption efforts of the past year.
We must not be complacent and all sectors of society should work to ensure that we can repeat the Great Leap in the TI CPI 2019 in TI CPI 2020 and future TI CPI reports.
In the past 25 years, Malaysia’s highest TI CPI score of 5.32 out of 10 (or roughly 53.2 out of 100 under the new system presently used by TI) was achieved in 1996, in a survey involving 54 countries – which was why Malaysia could get the best TI CPI ranking of 23 (out of 41 countries) in TI CPI 1995.
In TI CPI 2016, Malaysia’s ranking fell seven places from 55 to 62 out of 180 countries and the nation plumbed the lowest TI CPI score of 4.3 out of 10 in the TI CPI 2011.
In the TI CPI 2019, Malaysia is ranked with four other countries in No. 51 with a score of 53 out of 100 – Grenada, Italy, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia.
Can Malaysia improve our TI CPI ranking and score as compared with these four other countries?
This will the immediate challenge for Malaysia, which had better TI CPI score and ranking than Saudi Arabia in 12 of the 17 years from 2003 to 2019; better results than Rwanda in 7 of the 15 years from 2005 to 2019; better results than Italy in two of the 12 years from 2008- 2019. In the three year from 2016 to 2018, Grenada had better TI CPI results than Malaysia.
2020 is the year is to leave the negative vibes of 2019 behind – for Malaysians to believe again that we are capable of building a New Malaysia which had been the driving power in the 14th General Election.
This is why 2020 is a make-or-break year for the Pakatan Harapan Goveernment to convince Malaysians that Pakatan Harapan is serious is delivering the promises to reset nation building policies in the country, based on the Malaysian Constitution and Rukunegara, to: