Prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia is now no longer seen as a kleptocracy, following the launch of National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023.
He said the country is now indeed, a respected nation again as it had moved up from the 61st spot to 51st in the Corruption Perception Index 2019, according to a report by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).
“Today, the prime minister of Malaysia is no longer accused of stealing public funds for personal interest,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said in evaluating the performance of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) since taking over Putrajaya in May 2018, the matters that showed the greatest impact were efforts to improve governance, integrity and combating corruption.
He highlighted that in the one year since the introduction of the NACP 2019-2023 on Jan 29, 2019, various measures were implemented in a structured and detailed manner starting with the setting up of a special body responsible for coordinating all government efforts in building a culture of integrity among the rakyat (people). (Bernama)
“At the same time, it also planned the best strategies to fight corruption. This body became an important center to advise the Government on best practices by advanced countries, thus becoming benchmarks set by the United Nations.”
Sharing facts, Mahathir said 25 initiatives were in place out of the 115 up for implementation between 2019 and 2023.
“This is just the first year of the implementation of the NACP and we can already see results.
“What is important from these initiatives are changes in our systems and institutions, which will ensure these efforts are continuous and sustainable and not seasonal,” he added.
Mahathir also said that the government will be revoking contracts, licences and approved permits (AP) that have been sold by the holders to third parties.
He said plenty of opportunities were created for lower-income people to leverage the nation’s wealth under the New Economic Policy introduced in 1970.
But he said some of them had used it as a way to make easy profits, saying that it prevented the success of the country’s policies. “When they were given contracts and such, they sold them. Eventually, when the money they received had finished, they remained poor as before.”
He said that there were many ways that the government has tried to improve the economy of this low-income group would not succeed if they were unwilling to use the opportunities given.
“We found that many of them who received these opportunities have succeeded. But many have not used this opportunity to improve their lives.
“This is the problem that we are facing and we need to make it clear to all parties that there will be no improvement without effort.
“If we don’t use every opportunity given, then we will not be able to overcome the poverty issue in the rural areas,” he said.
31st January 2020 15:55