PUTRAJAYA, Feb 11 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today shone the spotlight on the prominent role played by women in the government’s effort to fight corruption in the country.
She said leading the fight on corruption is Latheefa Koya, who heads the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“In Malaysia, I am proud to share that we have three exemplary women whistle-blowers from the Auditor-General’s Office,” she said when opening the Gender Mainstreaming and Women Empowerment to Fight Corruption Symposium, here.
They are former Auditor General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad, former Audit Performance Director Saadatul Nafisah and Audit Director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad.
These women are key witnesses for the MACC in a high profile corruption case, she said.
Dr Wan Azizah said the establishment of clear lines of whistle blowing and safe spaces for women to report corruption with clear channels for redressing incidents is central to this effort and initiative.
“The deeper question that needs to be asked is have we done enough to ensure women from all walks of lives have the ability to be at the forefront and centre in our societies to fight corruption,” she added.
Dr Wan Azizah also deliberated on the devastating impact of corruption on women, how women can play an active role in fighting corruption in societies and Apec’s role to boost women’s empowerment in fighting corruption.
“The first panacea to fighting any form of corruption is in building an ecosystem of the public’s rights and access to information; freedom of speech; legal protection; existence of mechanisms to report corruption, register grievances; and the existence of anti-corruption laws to name but a few,” she said.
She said the Pakatan Harapan government is committed to eradicate corruption and their efforts have yielded results.
“Malaysia’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 jumped 10 places to 51 compared to the previous year.
“We (Malaysia) scored 53 points compared to 47 points in the 2018 index. Anything above three points is considered a significant improvement,” Dr Wan Azizah added.
Touching on the role of the media, she said, a free, responsible and independent press must be allowed to investigate, report, and publish on corruption.
“Malaysia has made positive strides in our press freedom and we are in the midst of drafting a bill for the formation of a National Media Council to further strengthen the integrity and independence of our media,” she added.
The symposium is held in conjunction with the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) senior officials meetings and related meetings hosted by Malaysia. — Bernama