KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Malaysia needs to make necessary reforms and changes, among others, in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to tackle Malaysia’s currently low Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive officer, Tricia Yeoh said these included the creation of an independent Anti-Corruption Commission as a constitutional commission, as proposed previously in 2015.

She said the proposed amendments to the MACC Act 2009 and to other laws, including the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010, Official Secrets Act 1972 and Witness Protection Act 2009 also needed to be made.

“The lack of reforms for the MACC has been going on since 2015. Progress needs to be made on the recommended reforms,” she said in a statement in response to Malaysia’s five-point drop in Transparency International’s most recent CPI 2021.

Malaysia’s CPI dropped from a ranking of 57th out of 180 countries in 2020 to 62nd in 2021.

Malaysia scored 48 out of 100 points in 2021, compared to its 2020 score of 51, placing Malaysia among two-thirds of countries globally with scores of below 50.

IDEAS also proposed that actual progress of the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) be transparently reported on for the public and National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) to act on its mandate to facilitate and monitor integrity in public institutions.

Yeoh said failure to undertake these necessary reforms and changes would have severe ramifications in both the short and long term.

“In the short term, it will negatively impact upon Malaysia’s post-Covid-19 and post-flood recovery efforts.

“In the long term, it will damage the confidence and trust of foreign investors in the Malaysian economy, as well as erode public confidence in the government and public institutions,” she added. — Bernama