Kit Siang says Pakatan’s 22 months rule failed to combat corruption

(FMT) – DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has called for a national consensus to lift the nation to a respectable global standing in terms of the economy and perception of corruption which have both fallen behind several Asian countries over the last 25 years.

He said as the nation enters the final days of the year, there is much evidence that it has failed in its Vision 2020 to make Malaysia a great world-class nation which is united, harmonious and democratic, with corruption minimised.

“We had hoped that this vision would make Malaysia capable of leveraging on its unique position as a confluence of four great civilisations to be a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world.

“Obviously, we have failed in this vision. Therefore, urgent action is needed to infuse Malaysians with a new national consensus and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps if we don’t want to spiral down the trajectory to a failed state in 2040,” he said in a statement today.

Elaborating on the “great” opportunities that Malaysia had missed to fight corruption in the last 25 years, Lim said there had been numerous anti-corruption campaigns, major anti-corruption laws and the elevation of the former Anti-Corruption Agency into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), among others.

Despite all these, he regretted that Malaysia had fallen to its lowest ranking in the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI).

“In 2019, Malaysia was ranked No. 51 with a score of 53. This was the best performance in the past quarter of a century, which saw a single-year improvement of 10 placings.

“Now, with a number of cases of corruption involving top politicians being withdrawn, I dread the TI ranking for 2020, which will be released next month. China, Thailand, India and Indonesia are examples of much improved Asian countries in the index,” he said.

On the economic front, Lim said the Japan Centre for Economic Research had predicted that Vietnam will become an upper-middle-income country in 2023 and its gross domestic product (GDP) will surpass that of Taiwan in 2035.

He said when Malaysian embarked on the New Economic Policy in 1970, Vietnam had a GDP of RM11,200 million, trailing behind Malaysia’s GDP of RM15,100 million.

“The time for action based on a new national consensus is now if we want to spare Malaysia the fate and ignominy of kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state in 20 years.”