Two years ago, when Malaysia’s Parliament gained a strong opposition and the federal government lost control over the northern states, one benefit became clear to most people. The shift in the balance of power could lead to a healthy competition in policy-making. Any measure undertaken in one state which shows positive results will be difficult for others to ignore. We see that happening already where transparency policies are concerned.
Transparency and accountability were key themes in the electoral campaign of opposition parties two years ago. At that time, Barisan Nasional governments at state and national levels had been suff ering harsh criticism for corruption, financial mismanagement, wastage and abuse of power.
Voters were angry about their taxes privileging a few. Indeed, Malaysia dropped from 47th in 2008 to 56th place in 2009 on Transparency International’s Corruptions Perceptions Index. This was its worst ranking in 15 years.
Two years have passed, and it is time to take a look at what Pakatan Rakyat states have been doing to fulfil their pledges on cat – competency, accountability and transparency.
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