A local index to measure integrity and corruption

I had a chance to attend a discussion organised by the Institute of Integrity Malaysia, located off Jalan Persiaran Duta last month.

The session was attended by civil servants from some governments, NGOs and a few politicians like Tan S G (vp of DAP) .

This  was a nonpolitical discussion on how to improve the integrity of local councils in Malaysia.

I gave a proposal that perhaps it would be good to formulate an Index along the line of the Corruption Perception Index of Transparent International. We can call this CPI of local councils, or to make it more palatable, perhaps we can call it Performance Index of local councils , and it would be used to measure corruption, integrity and efficiency of our local councils.

I suggested that this index can be used to compare the efficiency and corruption levels of the various local council. Like the TI’s CPI, it should be made known and published in newspapers on a regular basis (once a year maybe), and let everyone in Malaysia knows about how their local council is performing, how corrupted or not corrupted are their councillors, and by having these indices, it would serve as a wakeup call for those councils that were ranked very low.  Comparison and competition will introduce motivation (to do better than others) as well as a shame factor (for those deemed very corrupted councils) , and hopefully, it would serve as an incentive for each and every council to try to compete and outdo the others.

There must be integrity at 3 levels. Macro level and that is at policies level; meso level, and that is at insitutions,  departments and councils levels,; and thirdly the micro level and that is the level of individuals – the politicians, civil servants and so on.

Only when there is integrity will there be morality, and both integrity and morality are precious commodities that are so lacking in our leaders, civil service and even many of the business people .


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: A local index to measure integrity and corruption | Dump Blog
  2. Richard Loh
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 15:28:40

    When the leaders are corrupt with impunity, the example shown to the downline is that its ok to be corrupt.

    Your suggestion is good only when the top leaders are clean up first. We want to reclaim back the billion lost to corruptions. Any way to get serious into reaping in the top leaders, just depending on the macc is futile.

    Yes you can clean up the micro level which are peanuts which the macc is happy to carry out but at the macro level and the top leaders everything remain status quo, you scratch my back, I scratch your back.


  3. ShiokGuy
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 16:41:25

    This is a good step forward!

    Make sure the index is open for all to see and judge. Please not another feel good factor!



  4. disgusted
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 19:05:05


    I know it is a step for the beginners but I do not want to go cold water on the proposal or suggestion so soon.

    But first, there must be a changing of the mindsets. And I doubt there will be a mass mindset change within BN political actors.

    I agree with the Pleiadians (spiritually advanced civilisation in the Pleiadian stars on the Tauraus Orion belt) that they don’t forsee any mass critical changes in the humankind earthings anytime yet.

    And Malaysian politicians and bureaucrats in particular may only change when they see death ahead. Don’t be overtly optimistic but still….a starting point.


  5. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 22:15:45

    Now people start talking about “MORALITY” as precious commodity.

    Too late or not too late?

    The “God” must be crazy!!!! Local councils exclaim

    Let’s start with Bandaraya, the biggest town council

    Morality makan cili, Bandaraya rasa pedas


  6. disgusted
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 23:34:03

    Cilipadi’s initial rumblings about morality has been the “only” direction for mankind to progress. He has been right all along though there are apologists who think politics with morality is impractical and I am afraid there is no other way.

    The Pleiadians is a classic example of having running a “super-human” civilisation with morality in place of its governance and a system that puts many governments on earth to shame.

    Morality boosts spirituality in turn enhances an advanced social system. But morality is only the beginning, a means and not an end. That’s the only road because that’s the cosmic and Creator’s law.

    Bandaraya? Some people said it’s at the pit of corruption. That’s another story, the anti-thesis of integrity.


  7. meng
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 01:38:14

    Morality for bandaraya will mean deprive them of extra income. No way Doc it will not work. Just go to Cheras yong Tau foo shops you will know what I mean. It is done openly.


  8. Dr Hsu
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 06:28:24

    i think morality is the most important quality if we want to achieve a kind of government that is really caring and clean. Singapore government is a classic example. Confucius went round the country touring many warring states just to plead to the various heads of states to practice morality and compassionate rules. Unfortunately, not many states followed his advice.

    I think we should start from education, start from young to train future generations to be more moral.


  9. Taikohtai
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 08:07:13

    Can Malaysia nip it in the bud?
    While there are honest councilors every where, they still need to heed the instructions of their higher ups. And we all know where the allegiance of these higher ups are in Malaysia.
    Take Penang as an example. LGE is doing a great job but he gets sabo every step of the way. Luckily he comes from another platform and hence, he can offer a real alternative.
    So I think before Malaysia can start cleaning up their civil service, the top must be cleansed up first. Right now, the sh*t is so entrenched that even a tsunami made no difference. Therefore, all efforts must be made to ensure another tsunami come and take away the loosened rubbish before any chance of a clean up can be expected.


  10. ong
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 08:15:27

    I disagree with Richard Loh’s comment: “Your suggestion is good only when the top leaders are clean up first”. On the contrary I believe that our leaders are able to remain corrupt with impunity because Malaysians in general allow them to remain corrupt with impunity. Publicly most Malaysians will condemn corrupt practices, but in reality most of these people who condemn corruption will willingly condone and even practice corruption themselves if they themselves benefit from such corrupt acts.

    The best way to illustrate and prove my point are Malaysian motorists. My personal observations, not speculations or guess-work, of people I know is that the large majority of Malaysians, when caught for committing a traffic offense will, either willingly or unwillingly, bribe the enforcement officer instead of insisting on accepting the summons and paying the legal penalty. Some are honest enough to admit that paying a bribe is cheaper whereas others rationalise with the excuse that it is too troublesome to go and pay the fine.

    On the subject of corruption in our local governments I can actually write an entire book. However let me just touch on corruption involving something that affects the daily lives of most of us.

    In reality if there is no corrupt practice, then practically all of our lowest end food outlets, i.e. stalls and coffee shop type restaurants, will be shut down by the health inspectors. None that I have seen comply with all health and sanitary requirements. Why is it that only occasionally are a few such establishments shut down for non-compliance? Answer: They willingly pay bribes.

    Walk along 5-foot ways of our shops and you will notice that infringements are common. These areas which are meant for pedestrian foot traffic are being used for carrying out business, many even on a semi-permanent basis. How do they get away with such blatant infringements? Answer: They willingly pay bribes.

    Before we continue to pretend to the world how we abhor corruption, I suggest that perhaps we may want to answer a few questions which touch on our daily lives.

    1. When caught for committing a compoundable traffic offense, do you insist on being given the summons or do you hope for a “negotiated settlement” with the traffic policeman?

    2. Full and proper compliance with all health and sanitary bylaws comes with substantial additional costs. This means that prices of cooked food will rise. Stamping out corruption here will mean increased cooked food prices. Are you ready for such price increases?

    I agree fully with Dr. Hsu that “we should start from education, start from young to train future generations to be more moral”. The mindset of many of the older generation are already cast in stone.


  11. 1MY
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 11:21:03

    It’s Chinese New Year round the corner. Again this year those VIP from company directors, bank managers, lawyers, architects, engineers to site supervisors will be flushed with hampers and even “ang paw” from their generous customers, contractors, etc.

    This is the norm of Asian society during festive seasons.

    I remember reading in the news a few years ago that in Sweden (if not mistaken) that government officials can not even accept a glass of mineral water FOC when meeting with their client/customers. They have to use public transport during on official duties. Well, government vehicles have been fixed with GPS to track down on illegal use: to send/fetch your wife/children to/from work/school or other unofficial duties. An employer found guilty of corruption would have to seek employment in another country – he/she will be blacklisted whole life in that country.

    In a neighbouring country, a state department even issue circulars to staffs that they are not allowed to accept from even a bottle of wine to entertainment tickets from contractors. Those gifts less than $50 are acceptable on condition that they are declared and that they will be impartial in performing their duties.


  12. ahoo
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 15:00:19

    We must start from somewhere and with something in mind. What better way than that of educating our young ones. Parliament needs to enact a new law like in Indonesia that will curtail racist remark. Make it an offence with both fine and jail sentence of not less than 3 years. Thereafter, revamp the judiciary and bring back the jury systems. Without any fear nor favors of anyone but just interpret the law as it is.

    Well, this may be a dream but everything in life started with a dream, refine with a goal in mind and that will ultimately leads us to our destination of choice. Without which we are like sailors sailing in the ocean without any guide not knowing where we are heading. As the saying goes, if we are not sure of what we want in life, nobody can assist us in achieving our dream.

    Theodore Roosevelt said : Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.


  13. disgusted
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 15:36:46

    If for example, a Prime Minister is corrupt, what do you expect the down liners and if a department head is corrupt, do you expect the office boy is clean?

    This cancerous social disease has reached terminal level.

    All the laws are meaningless and ineffective cos enforcement only means “paying off” and in fact the more laws, the more corruption. A vicious cycle.

    The fish rots in the head first, so we were told years ago.


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