Country’s corrupt image not reality, says deputy minister

(TMI) A deputy minister today brushed aside the public’s negative perception on the current state of political corruption in Malaysia, declaring that it did not mean the country was corrupt.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk VK Liew told Parliament today that the people’s perception did not necessarily translate to reality, claiming that it was coloured by other factors that were likely unclear and untrue.

He was responding during Question Time to a query by Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan) who had asked if the government was aware that, based on the Global Corruption Barometer Survey 2009 by Transparency International, Malaysians had a bad perception of political corruption in the country.

This, she pointed out, was despite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s 2009 report that 15 members of political parties were presently facing legal charges in court.

“The survey results were based on the community’s perception towards corruption in political parties in their respective countries,” Liew said today.

“For your information, perception is not necessarily reality. Perception is often coloured by current facts that may not be clear or true,” he added.

On the other hand, Liew pointed out that the legal charges by MACC against 15 political party members were based on facts and the law.

“They were charged based on complaints received and information obtained during investigations,” he said.

Liew’s response, however, failed to appease Fuziah, who rose to tell the House that the deputy minister’s answer showed that the government was in denial over the state of corruption in the country.

“From your answer, you seem to claim that in reality, there is no corruption as it is merely a perception. I would like to state that perception is formed according to several facts and through experiences, interaction and contact.

“In the same survey, when Malaysians were queried whether they perceived that the government was effective in combating corruption, 67 per cent of Malaysians said that the government was ineffective, in comparison to Indonesia where 74 per cent said their government was effective and in Singapore, 96 per cent say their government is effective.

“So there seems to be a denial here,” she said.

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