KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders faulted the Barisan Nasional (BN) government today for bleeding the country’s coffers through corruption, saying its mismanagement of the economy had turned Malaysia into the “king of black money”.
Pointing to the Global Financial Integrity’s (GFI) findings that Malaysia had lost RM150 billion in 2009 through the siphoning of illicit money, the leaders warned of a bleak future for the country should the ruling pact be allowed to continue its reign.
According to the Washington-based financial watchdog, the country also lost RM927 billion between 2000 and 2008, with Malaysia’s loss in terms of illicit capital flight at RM1.07 trillion in 10 years.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said it was time to get rid of “the robber barons in this country”, reminding Malaysians that the staggering loss of funds through illicit capital flight could never be recovered.
“The GFI report has shocked us all, with results showing that Malaysia is now ranked one of the top five countries in the world in terms of highest illicit capital flight.
“Malaysians must unite to save this country from BN, clean up corruption and try to get back this RM1.07 trillion of illicit money,” he urged.
The Penang chief minister blamed projects like the scandal-ridden Port Klang Free Trade Zone; the RM52 billion Bumiputera share scandal; the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre controversy; and the government’s multibillion ringgit submarine purchase as some of the causes behind the staggering loss of funds.
“It is precisely projects like ... the multitude of government-linked projects that run into massive cost overruns with zero accountability, including the RM3.7 billion over-expenditure by government departments reported in the latest Auditor-General’s report, that contribute to Malaysia now becoming the king of black money,” he wrote in a statement here.
With such losses, added Lim, it was no wonder why Malaysia performed poorly in the latest 2011 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which saw the country drop four spots to 60 out of 183 countries.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said she was “fearful” of Malaysia’s future and the government’s purported penchant for fashioning development initiatives to gloss over alarming realities.
“Certainly the release of the GFI report showcases and validates our assertion that nothing has changed fundamentally and everything remains the same.
“The ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) and Pemandu remain as mere tools to prop the government’s image that it has fully transformed ... which in reality is nothing less than a public relations campaign,” she said today.
Unless the administration begins to plug the leaks through good governance, added the Lembah Pantai MP, “Malaysia will be looking at a future filled with illegal outflows”.