TI Index Dispute, Zahid Belittles Najib’s Efforts

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PETALING JAYA, 6 FEB: Actions by Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, the Defence Minister in questioning the method of determining the defence corruption index used by Transparency International (TI) contradicts the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s methods.

This is because Umno-BN’s administration under the leadership of Najib himself makes the Corruption Perception Index, which was pioneered and developed by TI, as the main yardstick in determining the eradication of corruption of his administration.

PKR Strategy Director, Rafizi Ramli said that the denial syndrome of the Umno-BN leadership all this time represents strong resistance and the denial of the fact that their administration all this time is culture of corruption.

He explained that if this matter is only a perception, then all media campaigns carried out should have been successful in changing this perception.

“It is only in Malaysia where we have a senior minister ridiculing the corruption index which was adopted by the Prime Minister himself as the key measure of the government,” said Rafizi.

He added that feelings of anger and hate of the people towards rampant corruption and embezzlement from the purchase of national weaponry is not merely just a perception.

“Despite media campaigns, that take up a huge amounts of money, being run by Najib’s administration to change this perception, all surveys published so far through the Merdeka Centre as well as others, show that the people’s hatred towards corruption is still the top issue faced by Umno-BN,” he said in a press conference at the PKR headquarters.

The TI raised three fundamental issues that causes Malaysia to be ranked lowly in the Defence Anti-Corruption Index whereby there is not regulatory committee (in the form of a Select Committee) at the parliamentary level, with the responsibility to check and ensure that the arms purchase strategy is transparent and does not involve corruption.

Secondly, secrecy acts such as the Official Secrets Act, restricts information resulting in the people being unable to assess and criticise weapons purchase involving corruption because of the lack of information.

Meanwhile, the third issue is regarding the purchase of weapons which is done in secret and is determined by a small group.

Rafizi said that the Pakatan Rakyat administration will, in future, establish a Select Committee consisting of members of parliament who possess specific expertise in defence to be reciprocal in overseeing weapons purchase so that leakages and corruption do not occur.

In the meantime, Rafizi informed that PKR Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be making a special announcement about military troops on February 16, venues at Setiawangsa.’

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