The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has posted online the pictures, names, and arrest records of 900 convicted graft offenders.
The MACC’s director hopes the name-and-shame campaign will educate the public on the seriousness of corruption and the penalties individuals will face if caught.
Malaysia's action is part of a larger trend within Asia to centralize anti-corruption data. Indonesian activists and journalists recently set up Korupedia.com, a website that names convicted officials and individuals, and China nationalized its own corruption database.
Entries on the MACC portal for 2012 show that 31% of government officials and 61% of private individuals charged with corruption have been convicted. MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamad said at least two multinational corporations and a company owned by a member of Malaysia’s royal family will be part of a batch slated to be posted later on the site.
The MACC, established in 2009, won 75% of the cases it brought to trial in 2011. It has collected over $3.4 million in fines from corrupt officials. It also set up a site where private citizens can report corruption.
Along with Malaysia's recently passed Whistleblower Act, the MACC is part of the Government Transformation Programme, aimed at curbing corruption. Writing for Huffington Post, Michael Hershman, who helped craft the MACC’s strategy as a paid consultant, praised the Commission for making “outstanding progress by focusing on a three-pillar approach that institutes reform in government, civil society, and business.”
Melanie Lansakara is a researcher for ethiXbase.