Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has one of the best anti-corruption strategies in the world such as its on-going education approach through the school children and capacity building, said Australia Anti-Corruption Consultants Director Michael Symons. However, he cautioned that a country can never eradicate corruption overnight or entirely.
“If you build a strong ethical foundation, you will be able to build up the resistance level (against corruption). There is a chance you will reduce corruption but I do not think you will ever entirely get rid of corruption anywhere in the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, American Bar Association (Regional Anti-Corruption) Advisor Daniel Eric Stonecipher said that MACC and the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) has demonstrated to the regional and global audiences that they are doing well in both investigation and prevention.
“Of all the countries in the South East Asian region, Malaysia is certainly making a herculean effort and it is my hope that the other countries will follow suit and demonstrate likewise. MACC is certainly one of the leaders in combating corruption in this region,” he said.
He added that the Commission is taking on corruption in bite size pieces and making tactical as well as co-ordinated approaches.
“Until you do what the MACC is doing, I do not think you can make significant progress. I am very impressed with the initiatives taken by the MACC under the leadership of Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim,” he said at the sidelines of the 6th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA).
Concerning the IAACA Conference, Michael Symons described the speakers as “magnificent” and he also said that the spread of topics on anti-corruption were brilliant.
“The IAACA conference is one of the best conference I have ever been to as it is the only conference where there is a spread of anti-corruption agencies from around the world. The conference in Malaysia is one of the best conferences that I have attended in every way,” he said.
When asked if political will is vital in fighting corruption, Symons remarked that it is pointless of having a very effective agency, if the agency is not supported by the government.
He also said that he has some concerns over Transparency International‘s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) because the Index is based on perception and does not truly reflect what is happening in reality.
“I tend to lean towards the actual people who are doing business in a country and not the perception. I am not degrading TI but I think there are better measures,” he said. [ENDS]