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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stop keeping integrity report secret, gov’t told


Putrajaya has been urged to release the Integrity Perception Index report which is commissioned by the government’s own Institute of Integrity Malaysia (IIM) but not made public after being completed every year.

IIM board member Chandra Muzaffar revealed this at a forum in conjunction with the launch of IIM’s five-year report today on its tenth anniversary.

“(IIM president) Mohd Tap Salleh wouldn’t object to my mentioning that the IIM have been producing a report known as the integrity perception index which is a very broad index.

“It is a good analysis on the level of integrity of the Malaysian society since 2007. What is sad is the report is not made public except for one year,” he remarked from among the audience at the forum at IIM, Kuala Lumpur.

Chandra cited “resistance at the top”, adding that the findings would prove useful for the people to work on.

“Here you have an institute established by the government to produce the perception index rooted in empirical data and analysed by people in universities.

“But yet this report is not presented to the public,” he said.

When forum moderator Ramon Navaratnam pointed out that Malaysians should play their role in pushing for the report’s release, Chandra concurred.

“"This is the view of all - after so many attempts year in and year out, if the state is still not prepared to make this index public, we express this view that at some point the IIM itself must come out to say this is not right.

“This should be done and I am sure the Malaysian public will support us,” he said.

The panellists at the forum were Media Prima chairperson Johan Jaafar, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan and Denmark’s ambassador to Malaysia Nicolai Ruge.

Low urges ‘political integrity’

Meanwhile, de facto Integrity Minister Paul Low in his keynote speech urged a society with integrity, including within the political system.

“Political integrity must be ensured by an electoral system where the Election Commission must be absolutely independent from the influence of all political parties in order to support an electoral process that is fair and just.

“Elections must be clean and where there is minimum influence of vote buying and money politics. Political integrity exists when people trust the results of the election,” he said.

He added that money politics must also be eradicated and the relationship between politics and business continues to be a strong obstruction for reform.

Low (left in photo) also pledged to strengthen the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), but did not provide specifics.

“In the near future, we will endeavour to make the MACC even stronger - as an enforcement institution that is greatly feared by those who abuse their powers for personal gain,” he said.

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