PETALING JAYA - A Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) survey has revealed that political parties are perceived as more corrupt organisations compared to the police.
According to the 2014 Malaysian Corruption Barometer (MCB), which was released yesterday, 45 per cent of the respondents surveyed felt that political parties were most corrupt, followed by the police at 42 per cent, said TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar.
A total of 2,032 respondents were interviewed nationwide for the MCB between March and April this year.
Last year's Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) placed political parties (69 per cent) below the police (76 per cent) on the list of those perceived as most corrupt institutions.
Akhbar called on the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to lead by example if they were serious in fighting corruption.
"People will know if they are involved in corruption. It is sad when political parties, being the driving force of democracy, are perceived to be corrupt institutions," he said yesterday.
He also called on political parties not to spend too much money on by-elections and to ensure that political donations went straight into the party's accounts and not into personal ones.
"TI-M strongly urges that laws governing political parties be reformed immediately, especially on political financing," he added.
The MCB, however, revealed that the overall public perception of corruption had improved compared to last year.
According to the MCB, only 30 per cent of Malaysians felt that the level of corruption had increased compared to 39 per cent surveyed in last year's GCB.
On government officials, Akhbar said about 39 per cent of the respondents felt that they did not only look after their own interests, which was a 19 per cent improvement compared to the GCB findings last year.
On the perception of corruption in the public sector, 24 per cent of MCB respondents felt that corruption in the public sector was not a problem compared to 42 per cent in last year's GCB.
However, the perception of the Government's anti-corruption efforts had deteriorated, with 38 per cent feeling that efforts were ineffective compared to 25 per cent last year.
The MCB also revealed that 45 per cent of respondents were asked to pay a bribe at one point in time while 49 per cent were not willing to report an incident of corruption, mainly for fear of reprisal.