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Survey: More Malaysians believe level of corruption has worsened

 | February 28, 2017

About a quarter of those polled admit paying bribes.

Akbar-SattarKUALA LUMPUR: More and more Malaysians feel the level of corruption in the country has increased over the past year, a survey by Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) has revealed.

Results of the 2017 Global Corruption Barometer, launched today, showed this perception was shared by 60% of the 1,009 respondents polled.

The number has almost doubled since three years ago. A similar survey in 2013 showed that only 39% of respondents felt the level of corruption had increased. In 2014, the perception level was just 30%.

In the latest survey, only 27% perceived the level of corruption to be the same as it was at the beginning of 2016, 11% felt it had decreased, while the balance of 2% said they “didn’t know”.

TI-M president Akhbar Satar called for tougher measures to be implemented to curb corruption among the high-risk service providers, which are the police and government officials.

He was speaking at the launch of the survey results here, where he revealed that police and “tax officials”, such as the finance ministry and local government tax collectors, were the institutions perceived to be the most corrupt.

The public also played a role in this. According to the survey, 23% of the respondents admitted paying bribes to access basic public services.

Of them, 39% were aged 35 and below. This, said Akhbar, proved there is a crisis of integrity among the youth and this was in line with the findings of the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

MACC’s deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil had last month revealed that out of 2,329 people arrested by the anti-graft agency over the last three years, about half or 1,267 were under the age of 40.

“We are facing an integrity crisis among our youth and we have to find the root cause of this problem,” Akhbar told reporters after the launch.

“We need to look at where the problem lies, whether it is our upbringing, our education system or the tone set at the top.”

The highest level of management in any organisation is said to be capable of setting a good or bad example for those below them on how to behave and think.

“We (TI-M) used to come up with educational activities for the youth. But we have a limited budget,” said Akhbar.

He believed it was better for parents to mould the thinking of children right from the kindergarten. In Japan and Sweden, he said they concentrated on character building of the child, right from kindergarten.



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