Gerakan leadership should publicly apologise for adopting a most unpatriotic position in being contented with the lowly 34th placing in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index undermining Mahathir’s call to Malaysia to compete with Finland for the world’s top position as least corrupt nation  and Abdullah’s “zero tolerance for corruption” speeches

Media Conference Statement (3)
when launching the DAP’s 46th National Day Celebrations and the “Defend Secular Malaysia” campaign in Tanjong parliamentary constituency
Lim Kit Siang

(PenangMonday): I am shocked by the unpatriotic position taken by the Gerakan leadership at its 32nd National Delegates Conference yesterday, where the Gerakan Vice President, Dr. S. Vijayaratnam in the leadership winding-up debate, expressed the party’s satisfaction with Malaysia’s “34th ranking out of 120 countries” in the world corruption index. 

Kwang Wah Yit Poh’s headline today is: “Malaysia’s Corruption Culture Not Serious - Vijayaratnam: 34th placing out of 120 countries”. 

I presume Vijayaratnam was referring to Transparency International(TI)’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2002 where Malaysia was actually placed No. 33 out of 102 countries. 

Be that as it may, the Gerakan leadership’s acceptance of such a lowly global placing for the country is most shameful,  dishonourable and unpatriotic, especially when the country is a week away from 46th National Day celebrations – a time for every Malaysian to revisit the meaning of patriotism. 

The Gerakan leadership should  know that when Transparency International first came out with its annual CPI in 1995, placing Malaysia as No. 23 out of 41 countries, Mahathir was outraged as he felt that it was most unfair to Malaysia, and accused the  Berlin-based organization for   European bias and ulterior agenda against the non-White world, asserting that  European countries were  more corrupt than any other and that if a similar watchdog group was set up in Malaysia, it would find that countries in Europe were the most corrupt!  

Now we have the Gerakan leadership very happy and contented when Malaysia’s position has fallen even further to 34th  place (or 33rd position in the TI  CPI 2002)! 

In the past seven years, Malaysia’s TI CPI ranking had been a series of  reverses with minor improvements, but never recovering to the already poor 23rd placing in 1995 -  - 26th in 1996, 32nd in 1997, 29th in 1998, 32nd in 1999,  36th in 2000  and 2001 and  33rd in 2002. 

Gerakan’s easy acceptance of Malaysia’s 33rd or 34th CPI placing is unpatriotic for two other reasons:

  • Undermining the call by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to the country to compare its public integrity with Finland, which came out as the world’s least corrupt and most ethical country in the past three years  in the annual TI    Corruption Perception Index (CPI).  Mahathir threw this challenge to the country when he spoke at the Transparency International Malaysia National Integrity Medal award ceremony on 28th June 2003  to honour posthumously Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali for their integrity  throughout their services to the nation. Instead of accepting Mahathir’s challenge that Malaysia should be the world’s least corrupt nation, the Gerakan leadership is content that Malaysia should be in the rut of the  thirties, ranking, even worse than the 1995 TI CPI!
  • Throwing the wet blanket on the recent calls by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for an all-out war against corruption and “zero tolerance for corruption”.

The stand taken by the Gerakan leadership on where Malaysia should rank in the global CPI is most shameful, disgraceful and unpatriotic, going against even what Mahathir and Abdullah had been advocating in their recent speeches, and the Gerakan leadership should publicly apologise for its unpatriotic stand.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman