Friday, May 17, 2013

'If no core reforms, even Paul Low can't save you'

Harakahdaily,17 May 2013

May 17: A newly formed pro-reforms civic group warned that as long as the country's current political system remained, even the appointment of Transparency International Malaysia president Paul Low could not succeed in tackling official graft.

■ Paul Low, alongside P Waythamoorthy of Hindraf, are non-elected individuals appointed by Najib Razak to ministerial positions

In stating this, Centre for Policy Reform cited the Defence ministry as most prone to corruption, saying TI's own reports showed this.

Lam Choong Wah, a fellow at CPR, said the reports categorised the transparency of Malaysia's defence budget in the same group as Afghanistan, Vietnam, Rwanda and Mexico, while countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Philippines ranked higher in defence budget transparency.

While in TI's Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2013, Malaysia got a 'D minus' for high defence corruption risk owing to lack of legislative scrutiny and parliamentary debate on procurement of defence contracts.

"With the joining of ex-chief of Transparency International Malaysia, Najib tries to proof to the nation that he is serious in tackling corruption.

"Nonetheless, Najib’s plan wouldn’t work if the administration still fails to respond to the factors highlighted by the Transparency International," Lam said in a statement to Harakahdaily.

Paul Low's appointment has been criticised by TI Malaysia members, who among others questioned whether the ministerial post was Najib's way of rewarding him for signing the 'integrity pledge' with BN without getting consent from other members. Apart from Low, Najib also appointed leader of the once-banned Hindraf P Waythamoorthy, who also appeared together with Najib in the run-up to the May 5 polls, to the cabinet.

~ Harakah Daily

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