By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — The private sector is not blameless for the country’s corruption problems, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak today while conceding the government must still do more to battle the menace.
The prime minister was responding to a question in a dialogue session with Chinese youths, where he was asked about the government’s efforts were in combating bribery.
“You need two hands to clap,” Najib said. “It starts from us: Don’t give.”
“It’s incumbent on us,” he told the crowd at Universiti Malaya, saying that “it’s not just people in the public sector.”
“In the private sector, you must also have the attitude of not giving.”
He said the government is “trying to make [its] enforcement more effective.”
He pointed to the restructuring of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as an example, and said, “With the Whistleblower’s Act, there will be more effective prosecution of those involved in bribery.”
“But I agree there’s still more that needs to be done.”
He also urged the public not to only think of Barisan Nasional (BN) when bribery is mentioned.
“The other side pun banyak cerita (also has many stories),” he said, referring to federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR). “It’s not just BN’s problem.”
Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score has worsened for the third consecutive year to 4.3 from 4.4 in 2010, according to a report released by Transparency International’s Malaysian chapter in December.
The country’s ranking also fell to 60 out of 183 countries — between Saudi Arabia and Cuba — from 56 out of 178 last year.
Malaysia remained the third-least corrupt nation in Asean after Singapore (9.2) and Brunei (5.2), with Thailand (3.4) and Indonesia (3.0) following in fourth and fifth places respectively.