Published: Wednesday February 6, 2013 MYT 3:46:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday February 6, 2013 MYT 3:59:54 PM
TI-M says report on Defence Ministry not biased
By MARTIN CARVALHO
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia could have scored better than the 'D-' had the Defence Ministry been more forthcoming with information with regard to the policy and mechanism in tackling corrupt practices, Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) secretary-general Josie M Fernandez said.
"If the ministry was more open and transparent when the report was being compiled, I am certain Malaysia would have been in a much better band," she told reporters when presenting a briefing on the index report.
She noted that there was no intention by the corruption watch-dog group to tarnish the country's image via the report which aimed for constructive and critical engagement.
She said that TI-M would seek a meeting with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to discuss the report which was based on a year-long assessment by experts who compiled feedback from several sources, including ministry officials.
"The minister must be given the benefit of doubt over his knee-jerk response to the report which he described as bias.
"He (Ahmad Zahid) may not be aware of the details of the report although we have been in communication with the ministry's officials, including submitting a draft of the report to them last year," she said.
She noted that the assessment of irregularities and corrupt practices in the defence sector was initiated in July 2011 involving 82 countries aimed at tackling corruption in the estimated RM5 trillion global arms industry.
The report, which was to have been released here by TIM, appeared in the United Kingdom International Transparency website on Jan 29.
On Tuesday, Ahmad Zahid refuted the report saying it was bias, noting that it was merely an opinion that was not necessarily true.
United Kingdom International Transparency outlined seven standards of indices namely "A, B, C, D+, D-, E and F." Countries like Australia and Germany are placed in the A category while Algeria, Angola, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Cameroon, Libya and the Republic of Congo are in the 'F' category.