C4 Asks What Happens to Anti-Graft Plan After Govt Unveils a New One

Related news: https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/621854

Coverage by: MalaysiaKini

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) today questioned if the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 (NACP) has been sidelined after Putrajaya unveiled another similar plan yesterday.

In a statement today, the anti-corruption group demanded an immediate explanation on the status of the NACP as it feared that the previous plan has become a victim of several changes in the government of the day over the past few years. 

This came after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced in a statement the National Good Governance Plan (MyGovernance) and the setting up of a new committee for its development.

“The prime minister, in his statement, was notably silent on the NACP. This is despite the fact that all the initiatives mentioned by the premier overlap with existing NACP initiatives.ADS

“In March, Ismail Sabri reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing initiatives under the NACP following the nation’s serious plunge in the Corruption Perception Index, where Malaysia fell five spots to number 62,” it said.

‘Corruption cannot be solved in one term’

“With one year left for the policy and many initiatives yet to be completed, why is an entirely new committee being set up to achieve exactly the same goals as the NACP, which has been in place for three years?

“Is there really a need for another round of research on the same issues that have been discussed for several years, or is there simply no real political commitment to see this plan through?” asked C4. 

“It appears that the NACP has been a victim of changes in government policies brought on by several changes in government over the past few years. This should not have been the case.

“Malaysia’s endemic corruption will not and cannot be resolved over the course of one term of administration. For the country to truly witness success against corruption, it is imperative that successive governments adopt and implement long-term national anti-corruption policies, especially one as comprehensive as the NACP.

“Anything less than this betrays a complete lack of seriousness and understanding in addressing the manifold challenges of corruption and governance that plague our country,” said C4. 

“We call for the prime minister to immediately issue a clarification on the status of the NACP. The government must ensure that all 115 initiatives outlined by the NACP are completed by the end of the policy’s timeline in 2023 and for work to begin on a subsequent five-year plan.”

C4 also urged the National Centre for Governance, Integrity, and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) to issue an update on the progress of the NACP in terms of initiatives completed and an assessment of its impact.

Update meetings between civil societies, GIACC, and other relevant bodies must also be held so that research on political financing and the separation of powers between the public prosecutor and the attorney-general can be exchanged, C4 added.

Launched in January 2020 during the Pakatan Harapan administration, the NACP is a five-year plan to free the country of corruption in 2023 via 115 anti-corruption initiatives. 

The NACP was developed through numerous consultations between the government, enforcement agencies, experts, and civil societies, including C4.

Meanwhile, the new MyGovernance plan is to address the weaknesses of governance in government agencies and statutory bodies, improving capabilities in the process.

The prime minister said the new plan was based on four principles of good governance, namely transparency, accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness.

“A committee will be set up for the development of MyGovernance. In line with the development, the level of governance quality of a public institution will be measured through the Malaysian Governance Index (MGI),” he said in a statement yesterday. 

“The meeting has agreed to the development of MyGovernance and recommended that a study and engagement session be organised by the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre involving various stakeholders and the findings of the study to be discussed in the next meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption,” he said.

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