KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 ― Malaysia rose one spot in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2018, which was coincidentally released on the same day the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) was launched.
Malaysia is now 61st out of 180 countries measured, although its score in the CPI was unchanged at 47 out of 100.
“The possibility to improve is there, provided that this morning the prime minister just launched the NACP,” the watchdog's Malaysian chapter president Datuk Akhbar Satar told the press.
“There is a possibility for us to improve, provided that it's not the job of the MACC alone. We have to look at sincere political will, the effectiveness of MACC, and support from the public,” he added, referring to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission by its initials.
In the index released simultaneously worldwide today, Denmark topped the list with the score of 88, followed by New Zealand (87), and third place shared by Finland and Singapore (85 each).
South Sudan, Syria and Somalia were the worst-performing countries.
The second highest-ranking country in the region after Singapore was Brunei at 31st place with a score of 63.
Malaysia placed third in South-east Asia.
Speaking to reporters after the launch, Akbar lauded Malaysia’s ranking in 2018 as “not bad”. In the previous year, Malaysia fell seven spots from 57th place.
Akbar admitted that last year’s ranking was not fully indicative of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration’s performance as it only took over Putrajaya in May.
However, he was confident that Malaysia’s core can improve, especially if PH swiftly carries out its manifesto pledges on corruption and graft.
The CPI for Malaysia was based on the results of nine surveys by third parties, such as the World Bank, World Economic Forum and The Economist Intelligence Unit.