CORRUPTION: SINGAPORE’S CPI POSITION IS A SHAME
The recent Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released by the Transparency International (TI) showed that Singapore acquired the best score of 9.2 and ranked third among a total of 180 countries. Singapore is way far better than any countries within Asia. The ranking and score signifies that Singapore is a nation with basically no corruption and hence, the people of Singapore are perceived to have high value against corruption and integrity.
I suppose the Singaporeans are much disciplined when within their country but otherwise they are equally arrogant and undisciplined lots. This can be construed without any hesitation by seeing their acts on the Malaysian highways or roads. They show very contrasting discipline when driving in Singapore compared to driving outside their country. When driving in Singapore, they basically adhere to the rules by driving within the speed limit, parking only at the designated parking areas so on and so forth. However, these same drivers show their true colours when on the Malaysian highways or roads and even in Malaysian towns.
They drive exceeding speed limits, park their cars as they wish without any considerations to others and litters where ever they wished. They disrespect the laws of the land by ignoring the road signs. They perceived that they can escape the arms of law by bribing the guardians of law in this nation.
However, they were wrong to perceive that they can buy out their way in this country as they might have done in their own motherland. Recently, the MACC issued statistics of arrests against foreigners for offences of corruption. A total of 37 foreigners were arrested within the first half of the year for bribery. Out of which 3 each were from India and Vietnam, 5 from Bangladesh, 6 each were from Myanmar and Pakistan, and 7 each from Indonesia and Singapore. The seven Singaporeans were arrested for trying to bribe Malaysian Enforcement personnel for various offences. The main one being traffic offences.
The Singaporeans along with the Indonesians are the most number of foreign individuals arrested for bribery in Malaysia. The act of Indonesians trying to buy out their way from the Malaysian authorities coincidently with their country’s rank of 111 out of a total of 180 countries and a score of merely 2.8 in the CPI issued by Transparency International are understandable. In contrarily, Singapore which was ranked third with a score of 9.2 is perceived to have very discipline and high integrity citizens.
Record shows that even though Malaysia were placed 56 with a score of only 4.5 in the TI Corruption Perception Index but there were no single arrest of Malaysian citizens for bribery in any neighbouring countries. Thus, it reveals that Malaysians are practicing good values of integrity and do not practice bribery. There must be some flaws in the process of evaluation by TI on corruption in certain countries exceptionally Malaysia.
Malaysia had taken every step to eradicate corruption. The transformation of MACC, the establishment of Integrity Institute of Malaysia, the establishment of PEMUDAH, the NKRA, Integrity Pact, and the establishment of the Committee on Integrity Governance in every organisations in the civil service sector are among the initiatives that warrants Malaysia to be placed much better in the CPI. In fact, no other country had such initiatives to fight graft. Apart from that, Malaysia was open and transparent in the fight against corruption by publicising all cases of corruption unlike certain countries including Singapore.
The Transparency International’s findings on Singapore are discredited by acts of bribery shown by its citizens in alien land. I suppose they have been practicing corruption in their own country but never exposed them in medias. Nevertheless, they will not try to bribe enforcement personnel in Malaysia. It may be habitual act that made them to bribe the Malaysian Enforcement personnel to avoid actions on their wrong-doings. However, they were wrong in their perception that Malaysian law enforcement officers were corruptible as may be in their own country.
It is a shame to Singapore which were ranked third and scored 9.2 in the CPI while its citizens were arrested for bribery in their neighbouring country. It is also shame to the Transparency International for evaluating and positioning Singapore in its present rank with such a high score. The Transparency International should revise the methodology of their CPI positioning. They should include numbers and frequency of arrest of citizens of a country for bribery offences in other countries.