Transparency needed for financial improvement, TI-M tells government

By Lisa J Ariffin, The Malaysian Insider

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) today called for government transparency in order to bring about significant improvement to the country’s financial management.

“With the increasing government budget deficit and the removal of subsidies, the public is demanding more accountability and public disclosure of how and what decisions are made,” TI-M president Datuk Paul Low said today in a press statement.

“Going for significant improvement would require identifying the root causes that gave the abusers the opportunities to extract gains for themselves or for their proxies,” he added.

Low said that corruption is often fed by the process of “state capture”, whereby those in a position to determine or influence important decisions abuse this privilege to change policies, procedures and processes to favour themselves or their proxies.

“In many cases, the civil servants who are involved in these processes do not benefit personally from them. But, either for fear of reprisal, or because they want to be obedient to their bosses, they may carry out certain instructions,” he said.

“Furthermore, with the opaqueness in government decision making as fettered by the all-encompassing Official Secrets Act, public accountability is undermined.”