‘Corruption crisis’ label on Malaysia unfair, Pemandu anti-graft chief says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 ― It is unfair to label Malaysia as facing a “corruption crisis” given the work that the government has put into combat graft, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu)’s Ravindran Devagunam said today.

Ravindran, who heads Pemandu’s anti-corruption unit, pointed out the government has been consistent in its efforts to fight graft.

“That’s a very unfair assessment in my mind because given the fact that in the last six years, it’s the government which has been driving a lot of the efforts to eradicate corruption.

“So I think it’s a very unfair comment to say we are going through a corruption crisis. I think every government is faced with all kinds of issues, I think we will overcome this,” he told reporters here when met after a session at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Commission.

Ravindran pointed out that Malaysia was the first country to use Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index as a measure of its anti-corruption efforts.

Pemandu’s anti-corruption unit chief Ravindran Devagunam Ravindran Devagunam speaks at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Putrajaya. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Earlier during the session, he listed a range of anti-graft initiatives by the government, including the setting up of 14 special courts dedicated to anti-corruption cases and the maintaining of a database of convicted graft offenders in use by the US embassy.

The government has also asked the Ministry of Finance to disclose direct negotiations and strengthened the local anti-corruption body, he said.

He said Pemandu had over the years tried to push for political financing reforms and for the introduction of corporate liability where companies can be liable for corruption offences, but had met with poor response from politicians on both sides of the divide and businessmen.

Later at a news conference, Ravindran said there needs to be a change among voters who have come to expect handouts on top of recommendations by a newly formed National Consultative Committee for Political Financing.

“And hopefully we can also educate our citizens that every time a wakil rakyat comes down, he doesn’t have to give a handout, it’s the power of his intellectual capacity to represent them in Parliament, it’s not his ability to do a handout,” he said.


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