Malaysia at no.43 in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index

This was what was reported in the StarOnline today:

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is better than 76% of the countries in the list surveyed for the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told Lim Kit Siang (DAP – Ipoh Timur) that whether a country improved or declined in the index should not be determined alone from its yearly ranking.

“This is because the number of countries taking part in the index differs from year to year. In 1995, 41 countries took part while in 2006, the number grew to 163. Last year, there were 179 countries.

“A more accurate indicator to show the trend of a country’s performance in the index is the country’s score. Malaysia’s score since 1995 has been averaging at five points, a good and stable level,” he said in a written reply on Monday.

Full article here.


Well, I checked it out on the Transparency International website here.

I actually think that Pak Lah is quite right in saying that it’s not about where in the list Malaysia is placed, but in the score. But that doesn’t mean that the score is anything to shout about.

Since when was an “average” score of 5 a “good and stable” thing? Since when did Malaysia decide that it wanted to be “good and stable” and not strive to be better than just normal “average”? And besides, if Malaysia has been getting 5’s since 1995, then something is very wrong. It’s stable, yes. But anything BUT good, really.

Take a look at the list of countries in that list. We’re at number 43. The other countries that are listed below us aren’t really countries to shout about. We’re talking about countries where poverty is a way of life. There are countries that are under military rule. I don’t want to shoot down these countries, but since when did Malaysia stop aiming for the stars? If Malaysia is so keen on becoming a developed country, or at least as one of the leaders in developing countries, then at least show some integrity.

Don’t make it sound as if being 43 out of 179 countries is something to be proud of.

Don’t make it sound as if having a score of 5 is good.

Don’t make it sound as if keeping the score at 5 for 13 years is stable.

It’s anything BUT. If Malaysia hasn’t improved on the score for 13 years, then the government hasn’t been doing anything substantial, after all that talk about transparency and anti-corruption. This just PROVES that they’ve been feeding us with bull.

I don’t want to throw this off balance, and we don’t know exactly how this index is generated. But please, Mr Prime Minister, don’t dress something up to look good, when it actually isn’t.


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