The people's perception of the government's effectiveness in combatting corruption has plunged significantly, according to Transparency International-Malaysia's (TI-M) Global Corruption Barometer (GCB).

The public survey conducted between September 2012 and March 2013 shows that only 31 percent of respondents thought the government had been effective in fighting corruption, down from 49 percent in 2011.

The last time the perception of effectiveness of the government in this area was this low was in 2009, at 28 percent. 

It was 45 percent in 2006, 53 percent in 2007 and 48 percent in 2010. There is no data for 2008 and 2012.
NONEPresenting the findings at the TI-M headquarters in Petaling Jaya today, TI-M president Akhbar Satar said the fall could be due to the lack of prosecution of the 'big fish' in corruption.

"Maybe, lately, there have been big cases that have been investigated but those involved were not charged.

"Secondly, when the government implements a new strategy, people wait for the results. So, sometimes, the implementation of new strategies takes time," Akhbar said.
According to the survey, 14 percent of respondents thought that corruption in the last two years had decreased, 39 percent thought that it had increased and 47 percent thought that it remained unchanged.

The last survey in 2011 found that 23 percent thought that corruption had decreased, 37 percent thought that it had increased and 40 percent said it was unchanged.

‘Police still most corrupt’

The telephone survey of 1,000 people also found that the police are still perceived to be the most corrupt of all institutions in the country based on a scale of one to five, with one being not corrupt at all and five being extremely corrupt.

The police scored 4.0, follow closely by political parties 3.8, then public officials and Parliament at 3.3, private sector at 3.2, judiciary at 3.0, media at 2.7, NGOs at 2.6, education system at 2.4, military at 2.3, medical and health officials at 2.2 and religious bodies at 2.0.

In light of this, queried whether an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) would be necessary, Akhbar declined to comment. 

However, he said with regard to political parties, the issue of political financing must be addressed to improve their rating.

“Political parties must identify their sources of funding and submit annually to the registrar of societies. This information must be made available to the public.

“Funding must go directly to the party’s account and not to individual politicians,” he said.

Furthermore, Akhbar said the survey also found that only three percent of respondents said they had given bribe in the last 12 months, in league with countries like New Zealand, Norway and Canada, indicating that petty crime was still low.

He added that admission of bribe giving bribe was 18 percent in Thailand, 36 percent in Indonesia and 27 percent on average globally.

However, he conceded that the respondents may have been untruthful in admitting whether the had given bribes or not.

The survey also found that 79 percent of respondents were willing to report incidences, down from 85 percent in 2011.

Akhbar said the addressing public sector corruption is still a main concern and the government must act against “big fishes”, on top of implementing stiffer penalties.

Furthermore, he said the government needed to enhance the independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission and also improve the framework to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.