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Monday, July 7, 2008

Graft cost country RM10 billion a year

Statistics made available to theSun show the ACA's performance is dismal -- it has only investigated 10.1% or just 7,223 cases out of the total of 71,558 reported between 2000 and 2006.

Yong said World Bank statistics show that corruption can reduce the country’s growth rate by between two and four per cent and this translates to a loss of up to RM10 billion a year.

Of the total number of cases reported in that seven-year period, only 4.1% or 2,905 people were arrested, 1.8% or 1,287 persons charged/prosecuted and only 0.7% or 524 actually convicted.

Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said the country risks dropping further on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) if immediate efforts are not taken to put ACA in order. Malaysia has remained at the 43rd spot for the past two years.

In 2003, the country was at the 37th spot, before sliding to the 39th spot in 2004 and gradually to its current position.

“At present, there is less than satisfactory public confidence in the ACA. It is about time the ACA is free from the control of the PM’s office as this will ensure greater transparency, integrity and accountability.”

Navaratnam added it was also time for ACA to be made up of credible people, especially as it will be made a commission soon as announced by the prime minister shortly after the general election.

When contacted, ACA director-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said it will be hard for Malaysia to emulate Hong Kong’s success in anti-corrution efforts.

He added that the ACA has no problem if it is placed under Parliament. “We are constantly striving to be the best and it doesn't matter under whom we work.” . . read all

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