NGO urges govt to reconsider establishing JITN, saying it's a waste of money

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): Malaysia Corruption Watch (MCW) has urged the government to reconsider the setting up of the Department of National Integrity and Good Governance (JITN).

"The Cabinet's approval to establish JITN will result in overlapping of responsibilities among the other government agencies such as the Institute of Integrity Malaysia, Public Complaints Bureau, Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission," MCW said in a statement today.

"In this challenging economic time, the establishment of a new department is clearly a waste of money. It is much better if the government improves the existing agency and increase law enforcement officers so that preventive action can be carried out effectively," the anti-graft watchdog added.

Going forward, MCW said it wants the minister in charge of integrity and good governance, Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, to focus on improving the country's score in the Malaysia's corruption perception index.

"The rakyat feels that the corruption perception index has deteriorated since the minister was appointed," MCW added.

According to Transparency International, Malaysia's rank in the corruption perception index dropped one spot to number 55 in 2016, out of the 176 countries.

Yesterday, Low announced that the Cabinet has agreed to upgrade the Integrity and Good Governance Division (BITU) of the Prime Minister's Department into JITN.

BITU, which is supervised by Low, acts as the secretariat that monitors and coordinates the implementation of all anti-corruption initiatives that are outlined in the Government Transformation Plan.