EVERY penny counts, they say.
Hence, the estimate by Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) that Malaysia lost nearly RM46.9bil in 2017 alone due to the corruption within the public sector is nothing less than alarming.
For context, the amount, which is higher than the RM44bil collected last year via the now-zerorised goods and services tax (GST), is also almost double the allocation for national healthcare in Budget 2017.
Had the monies remained with the government, it could have been used to build some 117,250 affordable 1Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme (PR1MA) houses priced at RM400,000 a unit for low- and middle-income Malaysians.
Describing corruption in Malaysia as a “serious conundrum”, TIM president Datuk Akhbar Satar tells StarBizWeek that the RM46.9bil amount is likely to be a conservative estimate.
“Corruption in the country’s civil service has been increasing over the years and is valued at about 5% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP).