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Bold reforms urgently needed to improve Malaysia’s CGGI ranking, govt told

Publish date: Tue, 21 May 2024, 12:02 PM

MCA Youth has expressed concern over the plummet of Malaysia’s global ranking in the Chandlers Good Governance Index (CGGI) to the 39th spot and called for the government to address the concerns reflected by this ranking.

Its secretary-general Saw Yee Fung said the ranking signifies not just numerical changes but serves as a warning about the government’s governance capacity and international image.

“An efficient government is crucial for national progress, its bearing on economic development, societal stability, and international competitiveness,” she said in a statement.

“Therefore, we must address the concerns raised by this ranking decline and take necessary measures to enhance it, to ensure that government efficiency issues will not pose any obstacles against our country’s advancement.”

Saw was referring to the recent report by the non-profit organisation that saw Malaysia’s ranking falling seven notches from the 32nd spot in 2021 to 39th this year.

This is particularly in areas of leadership and foresight, law and policy, and national institutional capabilities, which Saw said reflects a “regression in critical areas of performance”.

Saw went on to outline several measures that could improve Malaysia’s ranking, including setting a clear direction especially in terms of economic development.

Citing the government’s introduction and adjustment of various tax policies, among them the move to increase the service tax from 6% to 8% and the imposition of the 10% sales tax on low-value goods for purchases of imported items on e-commerce platforms, she said these measures appear to be merely short-term fixes especially to address immediate fiscal issues and compensate for insufficient government revenue.

“Therefore, the government should improve promptly and establish a clear direction for national economic development particularly systemic and long-term strategies for financial expansion to ensure sustainable economic growth,” she stated.

Saw went on to stress that the government should demonstrate firm resolve to carry out institutional reforms, including those that were promised by Pakatan Harapan in its election manifesto such as the decentralisation of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the enactment of political financing laws and the review and repeal of the Sedition Act, among others.

“Although PH’s promised institutional reforms may not be fully accomplished instantly, clear timetables and specific blueprints should be publicly announced to demonstrate the government’s commitment and determination to reform.

This is rather than letting the people feel that the government is reneging on its past promises with various excuses after successfully taking office,” she reckoned.

When it comes to dealing with extremist individuals or groups and unreasonable or radical demands, Saw further pointed out that the government must demonstrate decisive leadership especially in terms of the recent wave of boycotts against individual businesses and brands.

“If the government fails to act, delays action, or lacks fortitude, it will only condone and tolerate the escalation of radical sentiments in Malaysian society,” she warned.

“The government needs to take decisive action to stop these waves of boycotts, to maintain national harmony and economic stability, and to prevent a hostile atmosphere in Malaysia’s business environment that would scare off foreign investments and investors.” - May 21, 2024

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