MACC changing public perception, says Ahmad Zahid

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Anti Corruption Commision (MACC) was lauded today for bringing whales as well as small fry to justice.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi congratulated MACC for stepping up their efforts as more perpetrators are hauled up.

"I would like to congratulate MACC for stepping up its efforts and changing the public perception. Before this the public had a perception that MACC only went after 'ikan bilis' (small fry). Maybe the public thinks the net for 'paus' (whales) was too fragile," Ahmad Zahid said in his speech at the Immigration Department's Corruption Free-Pledge ceremony this morning in the department's headquarters.

However, with more top officers caught for corruption were brought to court, this perception is changing he said.

Ahmad Zahid who is also Home Affairs Minister added that it was no easy feat to change the public's perception.

"For example for our police, the recognition internationally and the reduction of the country's crime index by some 47% still hasn't changed negative public perception towards the police. Although the index improves it is very difficult to change public's perception," he said.

Transparency International Malaysia in their findings of the 2017 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Asia Pacific Region found that 62% of Malaysians feel that current government is handling the fight against corruption badly and 41% of Malaysians said that the MACC is doing badly at fighting corruption.

The institutions perceived to be involved in corruption are in Malaysia: Police (57%), Local Government and Councilors (48%), Tax officials (48%), Business Executives (46%), Government officials (45%), Representatives in Legislature (41%), Prime Minister and his officials (41%), Judges and Magistrates (33%), and religious leaders (31%).

The police were noted as having the highest bribery risk and this would seriously undermine the quality and fairness of this law enforcement institution